When our family made the decision to stop using plastics as much as possible, especially in contact with our food, one of the hardest things to replace was our toddler dishes. What can you feed a toddler on that won’t shatter into a million pieces if it is accidentally dropped on the floor, but isn’t plastic? And where do you find things made out of it for a reasonable price? What do you do? You get creative!
We found that wood or metal would be our best options, but not all metal is safe either. Many are coated with plastics, lined with bpa or contain things like lead that you don’t want your child eating. But wooden dishes are not always easy to come by, either. And when we made this choice, we were flat broke and couldn’t afford to shop at fancy internet retailers where a single wooden baby bowl cost $12 or more.
So, we began scouring our usual venues – thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales. We found olive forks in the little used section of silverware that we had inherited long ago, and they were just the size for little mouths. They were simply miniatures of our nice flatware set, so completely plastic free, but with real tines. We found demitasse spoons, which are tiny little metal spoons. We found wooden salad bowls. In fact, at this point, we’ve managed to buy several different sets of wooden salad bowls for about $1 for a set of 6 or more.
But what about when you just don’t want a bowl? When the toddler needs plenty of space to see his meat, veggies, and sauce? We found a great idea in the cooking section of our local department store…
A bamboo cutting board that came complete with silicon, grippy edges and a carved in reservoir that catches the juice instead of letting it run off to the table! And it only cost us a few dollars. It washes up easily, doesn’t scratch or break, and also doesn’t have a rim like most plates, so it doesn’t go through the occasional tipping problem that plates sometimes have. Elliott just loves his “pate”…
even when he is too tired to make it through dinner!
And yes, that is a plastic sippy cup he has. We have pottery plates, bowls and mugs that he will transition to, but he isn’t ready for them yet. In the meantime, we settle for bpa free plastic for regular use, with a stainless steel sippy cup and a Lifefactory Glass Water Bottle that we use for special drinks or away from the house sometimes.