3 Great Alternatives to Plastic at Mealtime for Toddlers
When I first had my son, I hadn’t really thought about what I’d feed him other than the typical not wanting him to be a picky eater, and I certainly hadn’t thought about what I would feed him in. From my very first purchase of his first bottle, I quickly realized that there was a ton of plastic in babyland and a little bit of research suggested it wasn’t as straightforward as just avoiding BPA (which is now banned in baby products anyway, despite the prolific and misleading advertising of BPA free). I found myself with a glass and later as I got more savvy silicone bottle. As we transitioned into toddlerhood, I didn’t want to all of a sudden bring in lots of cheap plastic into our eating routine. Plastic sippy cups, plastic toddler plates and bowls, plastic snack containers, plastic toddler forks and spoons - it was everywhere.
Alternatives to Plastic Toddler Dishware
Glass - this one is a classic. Glass is inert, can be heated in a microwave or an oven, put in the fridge or freezer, is easy to clean and will last forever. The downsides of course are that it can break (although good durable Pyrex is pretty hard to break) and it’s heavy. I have sent a lot of glass to daycare without incident. As long as your kid isn’t chucking it across the room (although no guarantee there), it should survive.
Stainless steel - another material that has been around for a long time, won’t leach into food, is used in medical applications and is super durable. It’s lighter than glass, more resilient - feel free to have your toddler test throwing it across the kitchen, and easy to clean. The major downside of stainless steel is that it can’t be heated, so you’ll need to put food in a real bowl to warm it up - or maybe straight out of a Pyrex Tupperware.
Silicone - this is a great plastic alternative - especially for plates, placemats, straws, lids and bottles. Silicone is also a medical grade material, easy to wash and more flexible than glass and stainless steel, making it a great compliment to those materials. It has some of the same limitations of stainless steel (not for heating), but is by far the lightest weight and easiest to travel with.