When my little sister was in her younger years, she had a very favorite kid’s place setting. It was a Little Mermaid plate, bowl, cup and silverware set. Because she loved it so much, if was used often and soon bore the marks of frequent use. Hot food was ladeled on it, sandwiches were placed on it, and cereal and oatmeal was eaten out of the bowl. Now that we are more aware of some of the disadvantages of plastic, such as the chemical load it gives us and our children, we are looking for other choices. There are so many options today! It’s exciting. Today I wanted to share some of the items that we have personally used continuing our “plastic free” series. With Christmas just around the corner, these also make great gift ideas!
Plates and Bowls
Because heat can release more chemicals, such as BPA in plastic, it’s especially important that hot foods are dished into plastic free dishes. Life Without Plastic (a wonderful resource) sent me their children’s stainless steel set to try out (priced at $23.95). My 4 year old was extremely excited about this set (yes, even without Little Mermaid plastered on it). She (and I) loved it. Children tend to love having their own special dishes, and my daughter is no exception! It’s quite heavy duty without being heavy in weight. And stainless steel is beautiful. We use all of the dishes together and separately. It’s also nice because stainless steel does not break like some of our other favorite plastic free dishes. A definite plus.
While this set it beautiful on it’s own, I noticed that Life Without Plastic also sells some beautiful stainless steel children dishes with animals and fun colors on the outside. These would be sure to garner enthusiastic responses from my household and I bet yours too. These would be a great option for those wanting more color.
Pictured above you will notice some of the other bowls in our household that we use. In the background, the white bowl is a Corelle bowl. We have Corelle dishes for our everyday dishes. They are made out of glass and I really like how practical they are. They are lightweight, hard to break, and great for children. And, they weren’t very expensive too! You will also notice a cute little bowl with giraffes on it. This bowl has been one of Elena’s favorite bowls to use for snacks for the last two years. It’s Japanese made (you see the Japanese influence in the shape of the bowl) and is made out of porcelain. It also comes in a set. Warning, these will break if you drop on hard surfaces such as tile floor! Along the same line, I have used random little porcelain bowls, such as the blue bowl on the left. My daughter loves anything pretty and small.
I have used a variety of stainless steel sippy cups, such as the Thermos Sippy Cup . They work great to replace the old plastic sippy cups and we have been very happy with them. I have also used small Ikea glasses for Elena for the table, also pictured above. They are very sturdy and haven’t broken one yet and I love how cheap they are to buy! And of course, now we have the stainless steel cup from the set that Life Without Plastic that she also enjoys using. I think that it makes her feel very grown up to have a one handle cup.
While Elena at four can now use regular silverware, we had her use a variety of plastic free silverware the last few years. Pictured above are two options. On theleft you see the NUK Gerber BPNUK Gerber BPA free silverware set (which my mother bought for us one year at Christmas time). On the right is a real silver baby spoon bought at an antique store. I don’t wholeheartedly recommend this as there could be other trace metals in old silverware that I am unaware of, but it’s plastic free. You could also invest in a real silver silverware set like this beautiful one. I am drooling over this set! A cheaper option that we also used was a bamboo “silverware” set. Elena really enjoyed using them , though they aren’t quite as long lasting as metal utensils
Those are a few of the items we have used to reduce plastic in our household children’s tableware. I would love to hear what you have used too!