Practical (and beautiful) alternative to plastic dinnerware for kids
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
If you have little kids or have been around them you would know the need to keep them far away from standard dinnerware - glasses and crockery! They are always moments away from dropping, hitting or throwing plates, bowls and cups. So the go to is plastic items for kids as it can handle almost anything kids do to them and is nice and bright and colourful.
If you have been reading my posts for a while you will know that I am increasingly trying to avoid my use of single use plastic and being conscious of the reusable plastic items I buy due to the fact they stay on our planet forever, so little is recycled and is living in landfill.
However my reasons for getting away from plastic in my child’s dinnerware goes far beyond an environmental reason. It’s about trying to minimise the amount of dangerous chemicals he is exposed to.
By now most people know about BPA as a lot of modern hard plastic products state it is BPA free. BPA is so widely used as it’s great at keeping hard plastics strong and durable. These chemicals have been proven to be linked to causing reproductive, immunity, and neurological problems, a number of cancers, early sexual development in women, as well as an increased likelihood of Alzheimer’s, childhood asthma, metabolic disease, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. I learnt the effects of BPA during my first pregnancy and I made a conscious effort to reduce the amount of things I consumed from plastic. I learnt it has been proven that male fetuses that are exposed to it while the repoductive organs are developing will have a much lower sperm count for life and same with egg quality for females during development. This was really eye opening and freaked me out!! I started buying BPA free items as well as bamboo products but I since learnt that scientists are constantly coming up with very similar replacements for what BPA does and so all these products contain new and just as harmful toxins that are yet to be regulated.
Outside of toxins, recent studies have shown micro plastics have now been found in placentas and unborn fetuses. They have known about the existence in humans for sometime but now it’s clear it’s getting passed onto unborn children. Plastics are getting into our bodies and not leaving, so it’s time for everyone to be conscious about what we eat and drink out of plastic.
Unfortunately plastic packaging is everywhere and pretty hard to avoid. Meat, produce, water, drinks, snacks, etc. comes in it. However it’s not all hopeless, where these toxins are more likely to be released into your food and drink is when it’s heated. Just like how BPA is used to keep hard plastics hard, similarly PVA / phthalates are also very dangerous and are in soft plastics to keep it flexible such as cling wrap, zip lock bags and plastic bags. So always remove food from packaging before heating up, don’t consume bottled water that’s been in the heat and never reuse single use bottled water. Don’t eat hot food or drink hot beverages from plastic. Lastly keep plastic out of your dishwasher. A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives showed that 95 per cent of plastic products put through a dishwasher proved positive for leaching chemicals that had an oestrogen-like effect on the body.
So coming back around full circle to kids dinnerware, we know we can’t use breakable items and we want to avoid plastic, so what’s the answer? Some people are using metal, the problem with mental is it’s not particularly nice to eat from, you can’t pop it into microwave and it can get very hot to touch from hot foods in it.
Melamine is often used for kids products as it’s strong and considered safer than plastic. However it faces the same issue of when heated it releases toxins and also when it is exposed to acidic items such as juice. So it’s really not an option. Think about how much hot food you put in bowls, on plates, as well as the heat through the dishwasher and using the microwave.
Most bamboo items also still contain some plastic, however after lots for research, there are brand snow making 100% plant based items - not mixed with plastic. I came across this brand Bobo & Boo. They have both Bamboo and plant-based dinnerware that is 100% plastic free, truly non toxic, biodegradable, dishwasher and microwave safe. Plus they come is lots of beautiful colours to suit your style and home.
I later found the brand Amelia Frank which also does cutlery with stainless steel ends and plant based handles, they have been so great as I was looking for quality plastic free utensils to finish off my dinnerware needs for my child.
I also love supporting Australian businesses who are also making a difference in the world, which both of these brands are ☺️
I am so happy to finally have found a practical alternative to plastics for my child to eat off and drink out of every single day. As it’s at least another small way I can reduce the amount of toxic chemicals and micros plastics my boy is exposed to.
My Bobo & Boo collection
I hope this post has been informative to you and helps you choose better options for your family when it comes to food plastics.
I was not paid or gifted any items from Bobo & Boo or Amelia Frank for this post, I simply found and tried them through my own research.