With so many choices available today, do you wonder what the best kids plates and bowls are? I’ll cover what to look for when choosing kids plates and bowls for your family.
Please note that this article contains links, but they are not affiliated in any way. They are simply items I am recommending you check out if you’re interested! Read more to learn about some of my favorite items!
Types of Kids Plates and Bowls – Design
Should I use a Tray or Plate?
When you are just starting out feeding your infant, it is common to begin these experiences using a tray that is attached to some sort of highchair. This makes the most sense since babies are still learning a lot about their surroundings and adding plates or utensils at this point is more for sensory development rather than a useful method of eating.
By the time your child is a toddler though, I suggest using a plate early on so that your child gets used to using the plate. This can help the transition when your child sits at the table like a big kid with their own plate, cup, bowl, and utensils.
Divided Plates versus Undivided Plates
Many parents assume they should use a divided plate for their children, especially since there are so many plates designed for kids that happen to be divided into sections. Options at most stores display divided plates with cute kids’ themes, so why wouldn’t that be a good option?
However, I beg to differ. If you serve your child food on a divided plate, they become accustomed to that and naturally think that all foods must remain separate or shouldn’t touch. Pair that with the developing brain of a toddler, who if put into a new situation using an undivided plate may not like the change. You’ve put yourself into meltdown territory if a piece of chicken touches a grain of rice.
By using a divided plate early on and throughout childhood, you may be setting your child up for more of a picky eating experience than if you had used an undivided plate.
My recommendation is to begin using undivided plates and stick to it if you can. Unless you have an extremely picky toddler that needs the absolute assurance that their foods remain separate, then in that case, it would make sense to use a divided plate suited for that child.
What if my Kids Throw Their Plates?
Kids are curious and they love to figure out how things work. This means flipping and tipping their plates and bowls!
However, if you have a child who is distracted by the fact that plates move and they want to play with them or end up tossing them on the floor, then my suggestion would be to find plates and bowls with suction.
Keep in mind that using a suction plate or bowl should be thought of as temporary, until your child learns that plates and bowls stay on the table. In the next section, I’ll cover my favorite kids plates and bowls that have suction.
Types of Kids Plates and Bowls – Material
Plastic has been criticized as a material of food storage containers, processed food packaging, and for items we use to eat. This is due to the chemicals found in plastics called phthalates and bisphenols.
Today, there are many plastic items that are made without BPA (bisphenol-A) and phthalates. If you do purchase plastic items, look for this statement on the label.
In addition, if you use plastic items to eat with in your home, you can take additional steps to reduce the risk of chemicals leaching into foods. Specifically, do not place them under high heat like in the dishwasher or microwave.
Here are some fun plastic kids plates and bowls:
Silicone and Suction
I placed silicone and suction in the same category since they often are paired together or work together.
Silicone is a non-toxic material that is odor and stain resistant. Plus, it is flexible and doesn’t break. It lasts longer than plastic and can stand up to heat. It’s an ideal for a material to choose for kids plates and bowls.
Many silicone options come as divided plates, so I urge you to find a non-divided options like these:
Bamboo or Plant-Based Material
Recently, biodegradable and eco-friendly options have become more commercially available for kids eating items, such as bamboo or plant based materials.
In this category, you will likely end up spending more money for a kids dining set. However, you can feel good that the options you are choosing are made from recycled and biodegradable materials. If you can invest more dollars into what you purchase, these are great options, but are not necessary for the safety of eating.
Here are some favorite items that are biodegradable and eco-friendly:
Stainless steel is another non-toxic and very durable material to consider when choosing kids plates and bowls. It can also withstand the test of time and will likely last forever if taken care of!
There are many stainless steel options to choose from. However, many come in the form of divided trays, so look for non-divided options.
Aesthetically speaking, stainless steel can be quite shiny, and this can be a deterrent for some people.
Here are some good stainless steel options for kids plates and bowls:
Stainless Steel Dinner Plates (how fun are the rainbow colors?!)
Ceramic, Porcelain, or Glass
If you have older children or can trust your child not to break their dishes, you may consider options like porcelain or glass. These are very affordable, non-toxic options to use for the entire family!
Here are some nice options:
My Overall Recommendations
Choose what works best for your family! There is no wrong decision in any of the options that I laid forth. Keep it simple and fun for your kids. In our house, we use many types including plastic, bamboo, porcelain, and glass that we have acquired over the years.
You do not need to go out and buy many types of plates and bowls for each of your children. Think through what you want and need in your kids plates and bowls, and choose one or two good options to start with.
Your children will grow into new phases and will likely need different plates and bowls in the future. Eventually, probably sooner than you think, your children will be using regular plates bowls just like you. That is the goal! Find items that will get you to that goal easily.
If you’re interested in working with me to learn more about feeding your family, you are welcome to contact me here. I would love to hear how I can help!