A food pusher can be two different things.
Food pusher for eating with
In the classical sense, a food pusher is a flat rectangle of metal attached at a 90 degree angle to a handle.
It was used in at least three circumstances:
- to push food onto a spoon or fork, particularly for a child if he or she weren’t supplied with a knife at the table;
- it could also be used for the same purpose by those with disabilities, e.g. people with crippling arthritis in their hands.
- it could also be used by anyone to push food off from serving platters onto their plates.
Often made of silver, they sometimes had a person’s name engraved on the handle.
Typical dimensions for a child’s food pusher might be for the rectangular pusher part to be about 4 to 5 cm (1 ¾ inches) wide, with the handle about 10 cm (3 ½ inches) long.
Food pusher for food processor
In the modern sense, a food pusher is a plastic tube, solid at the bottom, that is used to push food down the chute of a food processor or food mill.
Some people like to joke that their overly-solicitous grandmothers were the original food pushers.