Do you ever get a little twinge of guilt every time you buy yet another plastic kids plate or bowl. Sure, they are really cute and the kids seem to love them. But you KNOW that plastic is bad for the environment, and you certainly want the best for your kids. That’s why I was so happy when I found the absolute best alternative to plastic kids dishes!
I almost feel like I’m talking about my best friend behind her back when I explain why I will never buy the super cute plates and bowls from Target again. Don’t worry, Target, I will make up for that lack of purchases with something else, I promise. While typically I am more of an advocate for that store than I probably should be, for trying to live a “green” life at least, their kids dinnerware is now where I draw the line.
How It Began
It all began when my baby girl finally started eating off of regular plates and bowls. I started noticing all the amazingly cute offerings, and was sucked in to buying each season’s newest design. It seemed to make her happy to be eating off a cute pink plastic plate with hearts and animals painted on it. But being both budget conscious, and landfill conscious, I held on to the dinnerware for years.
One day I noticed some of the paint flaking off one of the plates. All of a sudden I felt like the worst mom in the world. Was I feeding my little girl toxic paint chips and chemicals? I knew that in general, plastic wasn’t super great. So my choices were to either throw them away more often, which is extremely wasteful, or find an alternative. That sent my mom and I on our search for safe, eco-friendly, non-breakable dinnerware.
The Solution to Finding The Best Alternative to Plastic Kids Dishes
After HOURS AND HOURS of research back and forth, and never ending rabbit holes of blog links and Amazon links, we narrowed it down to some stainless eco kid’s trays, and these Kinderville divided silicone plates and bowls. Neither choice is the cheapest option on the block. But their longevity makes up for that many times over.
My heart sank a little as I threw out (and recycled what was recyclable) all the fun plastic-ware we had accumulated over the years. I felt guilty being so wasteful, but knew that my karma would right itself with the silicone alternative we were now using. It’s tough to find a TON of information on it, but the biggest “pro’s” we found were that it didn’t react with food or beverages, wouldn’t emit any strange toxic chemicals, is stable, and is heat resistant.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t break down any quicker in a landfill than plastic does. In theory, though, it will last longer in your household and you shouldn’t need to replace it. And though I do still stare longingly at the great, fun designs of the plastic-ware, my little girl has NOT ONCE said anything about having a preference of eating off the old pink plastic versus the new brightly colored silicone alternative.
Now I sleep just a little better at night knowing the she (and soon her brother) isn’t in danger of ingesting chipped plastic off her dinner plate, when she does in fact decide to actually eat dinner. But that’s a different story.
My next move is to get rid of the plastic straw tumblers we have a ridiculous amount of. I got some stainless steel straws for Christmas, and I just got some fancy metal mason jar lids. Here’s what I did with them to help us stop using plastic cups.
Almost a year and a half after this post was written, these kids dishes are still the only ones that we use, and are still amazing. They’re so durable and still look brand new. I wish I had jumped on the silicone train earlier. In addition to using the mason jar straw lids, we now also use these silicone sippy lids, and silicone straw lids with silicone straws on every cup in the house!