Eco-friendly dishes for kiddos

Hi friends! I’m super excited to be here chatting with y’all on Simple Mom.  Especially about something so near and dear to my heart—finding cool, eco-friendly/BPA free alternatives to those bright, plastic dishes that our kiddos (and we) love so much.

Plastic ain’t so fantastic

As you probably know plastic has been getting a bit of a bad rap over the past few years. Even those darling dishes made of Melamine are posing a problem. As Time Magazine reported, the problem with Melamine – even though that type of plastic has been around for more than 100 years, it easily scratches and stains. Like most BPA plastic, the scratches leach the chemical and there is little known information on the safety of Melamine.

The FDA is investigating its safety but they’re still okay with Melamine right now. However, who knows how they will feel about it in a few years. If you can’t break up with your sweet, separated melamine dishes, that’s OK too—just replace them yearly to avoid heavy scratching and think twice about putting them in the microwave and dishwasher.  But, hey, you might as well invest in some pieces that will allow you to rest easy and make your kiddos smile too.

1. The appeal of stainless steel

Stainless steel is a great option because it can go straight into the dishwasher with no muss or fuss and is a great alternative for the toddler set that can’t be trusted not to knock their dishes off the table.

I love this set from Green Heart Shop.  So darling!

Here is a great divided plate shaped like a bus for people whose kiddos are addicted to those terrific separated Melamine plates.

2. The warmth of wood

Wood is a timeless and beautiful alternative to plastic.  This stunning child’s dish set of Japanese lacquerware is thinly coated many times with a special honey-scented lacquer that is BPA free and food safe. It can stand many many drops, but alas, isn’t dishwasher or microwave save. So, please keep that in mind before choosing most wood dishes.

3. Add some class with glass

A lot of people have been buzzing about Brinware dishes, and with good reason. They are adorable and made of tempered glass which can take a serious beating. And for extra durability they come with these great silicone covers which highlight the wonderful white designs on each plate. And it is dishwasher and microwave safe. Huzzah!

4. Sweet ceramic style

Just because older kiddos can master keeping their plates on the table doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a fun dish to eat off of. Here are some of my favorites out there:

European designer Boguslaw Sliwinski created a builder’s paradise for children with this very charming dish set for kids.  I bet that would get quite a few picky eaters to nosh on their peas!

Smiling Planet, creates beautiful earth friendly porcelain that is manufactured in the USA with safe, sustainable, recycled, and/or organic materials, featuring whimsical artwork reflects their earth-friendly ethos with a message of peace, diversity, and respect for the environment.

Even Marimekko has a great option for kids. What little girl wouldn’t like to see this colorful floral set welcoming her to the table?

As you can see, there are loads of fun ways to get plastics out of your life and still have style and a happy kiddo!

Do you have special plates for your kiddos?

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  1. thanks for all these great options! We use the bird stainless steel from your first picture for our outdoor dishes. Just don’t put them in the dishwasher! The design comes right off 🙁 I learned the hard way.

  2. Jenn R. says:

    Great Finds! I adore these! I was just looking for new dishes for my youngest kiddo. I was thinking of the stainless steel set, but the other sets you mentioned have certainly caught my eye. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the great ideas! I have been searching for some options and your post was right on time!

  4. LOVE these suggestions, especially the Marimekko and Brinware designs! I think another good option is to let kids use the salad plates from your regular dinnerware. That way, their plates will match/complement yours, and you skip the hassle and expense of buying/caring for additional dishes. This is what we’ve been doing with DD since she was about 2. And I found some lovely little vintage Ball canning jars at Goodwill to serve as her drinking glasses. They’re very durable and have a cool tapered shape that makes them stackable.

  5. I think these are all SO cute!! Love love love.

  6. Love that wood utensils and this is a good sign you that not all of us are into destroying our planet but rather displaying the beauty of it. Good job!

  7. Jessica Prentiss says:

    I know there are now bazillions of people blogging these days, but thank God for people (like you) who are doing the time-consuming work of tracking down the cool, safe stuff and putting it all in one place. As a new mom of twin girls, I feel like I spend hours online trying to (a) educate myself about chemical and other dangers that seem to multiply daily and (b) find products that are safe and HAPPY! When I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that living a happy life is ultimately more important than living a long life. You’ve identified neat products that might contribute to both. Thank you for making my life easier!

  8. I love this guide! I am hoping to get some new dishes for my girls, and it will be hard to choose which ones to get! However, Smiling Planet says on their website that their dishes are plastic (#5 polypropylene), not porcelain.

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