Baby Dishes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-29-2001, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
cynthia mosher's Avatar
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Baby dishes

forum: Parenting Issues
Author Topic: Baby dishes
Member posted 03-23-2001 05:53 AM
We try to avoid plastic as much as we can in our home. We've made sure that ds only has wood/cloth toys. But what about feeding? All the baby stuff - bowls, sippy cups, utensils - are plastic! Has anyone found an alternative? Is anyone else even concerned about this? What did they do in the 1800s?

Member posted 03-23-2001 05:59 AM
I was thinking the same thing when Kaya started to eat solids. Ultimately I ended up using plastic everything.
But I have a montessori catalog/ book

they dont believe in using sippy cups so the children learn to drink from a glass (diner orange juice size) that fits in their hands perfectly.

spoons, forks etc--- just use babysize silverware can get wooden bowls or use ceramic bowls, unbreakable of course

For the cup idea you would really have to accept spills and messes but eventually he/she will get the hang of it!

Or you can just be lazy and use plastic leak-proof ones like I do

Erica & Kaya

Ms. Mom
Moderator posted 03-23-2001 06:01 AM
Winkie, you bring up an interesting subject! I have one set of plastic dishes for each child. I did purchase quality products so that I wouldn't have to keep re-buying the same stuff. However, I've seen metal bowls and cups for children at speciality children's stores which may be an option for you. Let me know what you find, I'm curious now!

Moderator posted 03-23-2001 06:45 AM
Look in Middle Eastern groceries. DD has a silver cup, spoon and bowl. Silver is a beneficial metal. My dad brought this set back from India just for the reasons you have mentioned. She also has a silver sippy cup but cannot drink from it (can do a cup but not a sippy cup).

Member posted 03-23-2001 07:03 AM
bowl--Royal Albert (Beatrix Potter)--It is short, squat, and heavy, just like my Grandmum would give me when I was little, back before Beatrix Potter was corrupted by the formula people.
glasses--Luminarc--forget what they are called, but they have 3 sizes, 375 ml, 500 ml, and then the really big one without a measurement on the bottom. They sell them at Williams-Sonoma and Wal Mart, too. The 375 ml is good for a two year old, real heavy and stable.

spoons/forks--I end up with part plastic Hello Kitty things from our Japanese former exchange student. But, even practice chopsticks are plastic. Often, she just uses what we use, even if it is more messy.

Moderator posted 03-23-2001 08:39 AM
We do have plastic bowls, plates and cups, but we also use some old indestructable ceramic bowls. I can't remember the name, but they are thin and come in basic white and flowered patterns and will literally "bounce" off the floor if you drop them. Does anyone know what I'm taking about? You can buy them at KMart and it seemed that every family used them in the 70s...
A friend also gave us some beautiful Beatrix Potter heavy china, but they are hanging in a plate rack in my son's room. Lovely to look at and feel, but I can't imagine a young child using them yet.

And we let him use regular silverware - salad fork and small spoons.

Moderator posted 03-23-2001 08:45 AM
I am a sucker for Old tupperware from the 60s. My grandma used to sell it, so we grew up on all those crazy shaped containers in orange, yellow, brown, green....
I just had to have the same thing for dd. They have little square plates with rounded up edges to prevent spilling, and lots of kid sized bowls spoons etc. I like the old stuff, so I got mine used.
Nostalgia (spelling?)

Holistic Momma
Member posted 03-23-2001 09:10 AM
The Natural Baby Catalog sells a stainless steel child's cup ($24.95) and flatware ($14.95) from Oneida.
The child's cup holds 5 ounces and has a removable plastic sipper lid. Can also buy replacement lids.

I bought the flatware, but never did get around to buying the cup (that price!).

Anyway, you can get to the Natural Baby Catalog online via or call for catalog 800-388-BABY.

Bowls, I can't help you with but it looks like you got some good suggestions.

Member posted 03-24-2001 09:26 AM
Thanks everyone! I honestly didn't think I would get so many replies to this. Those are some great suggestions. I feel really encouraged. I especially like the idea of checking out ethnic stores to see what they do in other countries. My husband suggested Corelle too - he said they used to advertise it as unbreakable.

Member posted 03-24-2001 10:04 AM
we've always just used what we use. DD is 2 and hasn't ever minded using full sezed silverware and things. We use our rgular (ceramic) plates and bowls. They are hevier and don't get tossed on the floor. She has broken a few of our cheepo kmart glasses but I have broken more of them myself. Mostly she uses ceramic mugs and does great with them. We have 2 sippy cups that my sister gave me. The lids are lost and the cups have become batth toys!!

Member posted 03-24-2001 11:42 AM
Someone already said middle eastern markets for stainless steel stuff, any sizeable asian market will have tin stuff with pretty flowers for less than a dollar.
And used plastic stuff wont be leaching toxins anymore.

Member posted 03-24-2001 02:25 PM
I also started thinking about all the plastic food bowls, etc. a while back. I discovered in our local dollar stores there are often small stainless steel bowls that work well. You can also get unbreakable enamal-ware dishes and mugs from camping stores. Visiting my mother one day she pulled out a sterling silver cup from her childhood -- it slowly dawned on me that this is what was used for kids in the pre-plastic days!

Member posted 03-24-2001 08:48 PM
My brilliant aunt suggested demitasse (espresso) spoons. I got 12 for $5 at a restaurant supply store (East Bay Restaurant Supply in Oakland, California). Stainless steel and prefectly sized.

Sierra M-
Moderator posted 03-24-2001 08:55 PM
Just a note to be cautious about buying stuff that will have contact with your food if it has aluminum. Aluminum is associated with the development of alzheimers, and it is associated with other imbalances in the body. If you buy metal, always check that there is no aluminum in it, particularly if this is something you will be cooking in (we've gotten rid of all our aluminum containing frying pans, for instance, and have replaced them with iron). Also, be careful about wrapping foods that contain anything particularly acidic in aluminum foil, as the acidity can break down the protective covering that prevents the aluminum from getting into the food. It seems to me I remember recently hearing someone say that we will one day look at aluminum as we now look at mercury (remember the days when kids would go to the drug store and get mercury to play with? Yikes!!), maybe it was the G.I. doc I just went to hear speak, I don't remember. Anyway, just be cautious .
Oh, but I'm loving hearing all these great ideas about how to get non-plastic dishes for kids. This is great!


Sierra M-
Moderator posted 03-24-2001 08:59 PM
Oh, wait, I think I am remembering that that thing about aluminum was something I read in the last issue of Mothering. Was that where I heard it? OOooo...this is driving me crazy !

mom at home
Member posted 03-24-2001 09:40 PM
If you want to use wood, just get a wooden salad bowl (do they still make those?). Our kids always just used the ceramic bowls and plates and silverware we use. They are heavier and not easy to toss like those light plastic plates.


Member posted 03-25-2001 12:07 PM
I always see the wooden salad bowl sets at secondhand stores like Goodwill. Usually a large bowl and 4 or 6 small wooden serving bowls. I'm planning to get these for my kids for play dishes to avoid the plastic crap. but there's no reason you couldn't use them for food. In fact they have all sorts of wooden things that you would hae to search long and hard to find in stores.

Member posted 03-26-2001 04:47 AM
Hi Yogamama,
I have used the Beatrix Potter bowl for my dd since before she was 2, sometime between 18-24 months, when she seriously was learning how to put food in her mouth. That bowl is so heavy that is stays put, and Mr. Jeremy Fisher is cute. Get that thing off the shelf and use it. It beats all.
I was just confessing to friends this weekend that I have a "problems" buying up any vintage plastics, especially Tupperware, in Harvest Gold or Avocado. So, I'm not the only one. I just haven't been able to find any dishes like you mention, just flour bins, measuring scoops, etc.

Moderator posted 03-27-2001 09:31 AM
Eventually I will use the Beatrix Potter dishes, but not while wild boy like to throw things.
And yes, Corelle is what I was thinking of - almost indestructable. The ones we have belonged to my parents and survived a family of 6 for over 30 years. The white Corelle ware is fine - the rest is uuugly!

Member posted 03-27-2001 12:09 PM
One note of caution... I have heard that utensils made from silver and unglazed pottery may contain lead. I don't remember much more than that though. I think the silver is ok if it is made to be used with food but if it is soft, malleable, or ornamental then don't use it for food. With pottery the unglazed or certain types of glazes can be problematic. Again, make sure that it is meant to be used with food. Does anyone know more about this?

Madame Ovary
Member posted 03-28-2001 07:35 AM
You can buy lead test kits at Mall-Wart. If it's not relatively new and made in America or England, I would test it. We have some antique tea pots and other china, which we just don't use. I'm sure they look very nice inside those boxes in our storage unit!!
We use a lot of Pyrex custard cups and plain white Corelle. (I agree: the patterns are baboon-butt ugly!) Also, Beatrix Potter china for DD, but Tarzan is still in the throw-it-all stage. We also use some small antique silver teaspoons.

My kids rejected plastic a while back, b/c it tends to take on bad smells and flavors. The only plastic we use are sippy bottles and sport bottles for the car, and for Wild Boy until he gets tired of pouring everything out on the floor.

Member posted 03-28-2001 02:29 PM
Well, I went to Walmart & got a couple small Corelle dishes (yes, the plain white). Also some ceramic ramikins - then I can try & talk my dh into making me a creme brulee someday. Then wandered over to the camping section, and lo & behold found a 4 oz. espresso cup made of enamelware for $0.94! It's small but right now ds only drinks 2 sips before tipping the cup over anyway. I do think the cup is ridiculous for its original purpose - isn't the idea of camping to be "roughing it"?? But it ought to work for what I want it for.

Member posted 05-02-2001 06:15 PM
Chanley -
Where did you get the silver sippy cup? Was it from the Natural Baby Catalog? I know they have one, but it is back-ordered until July! I am looking elsewhere and coming up with nothing. I need one that is sippy cup style. I am hoping you got yours somewhere else other than Nat. Baby. thanx

Member posted 05-02-2001 06:37 PM
I am told by potters that lead glazes of any type are no longer available in the US and have not been for if you get pottery made by a craftsperson here it is ok,
most of the problems have been with imports from Mexico and China especially. Unglazed can leach mineral from the clay it was made from , but everyone I know who makes pottery clear glazes the inside of everything that's not "art". Please also be caustious of pewter, which can also leach lead. Stainless
steel ok of course. I have a lot of wood bowls from various sources, many of them oiled and not varnished, and as a kid I had metal baby spoons...I liked to use them for certain foods until I was an adult!

Member posted 05-02-2001 08:00 PM
We have pewter baby cups that my son drinks from... are they all unsafe?

Member posted 05-02-2001 08:03 PM
I'm not sure if this has been mentioned (at least I didn't see it), but stainless steel ramekins make good cups for the toddler who doesn't have to have a lid. They're the cups that restaurants put side sauces in like ketchup. They're about 1. 5 inches tall and about .75 cents a piece. We got ours at Wal-mart (but if you can find them anywhere else, do!). These things work great for us and are the perfect size for little hands!

Member posted 05-02-2001 11:42 PM
I've read that pewter leaches lead when used to searve acidic things. Tomatoes are a big offender. You may also want to be cautious with acidic juices (orange, grapefruit, tomatoe) but I don't know for sure. Sorry, I'm sure someone else has more info it's just some bit of info I picked up somewhere.

Member posted 05-03-2001 03:21 AM
We were given plastic baby dishes for our baby shower by some very dear friends... They won't need to be used for at least 8 months to a year from now (due date in 7 weeks!), so if we wash them in the dishwasher every time there's a little extra space from now until then, do you think that would help offgas/leach out the toxins? Does "old" plastic become less harmful?
[This message has been edited by summermom (edited 05-03-2001).]

Member posted 05-04-2001 10:50 PM
does anyone else know anything about pewter leaching lead? How much? What about copper? I have heard that copper leaches lead also. So what about copper pipes for plumbing? And faucet fixtures?

Member posted 05-05-2001 09:10 PM
From my jewelry class in college, I do know that pewter has a high lead content. Copper should be okay---unless *they* decide copper is harmful. We have a newly built house with copper pipes, so if copper is bad; I'm going to be one unhappy person!

Member posted 07-16-2001 10:21 PM

Little J's Mom
Member posted 07-19-2001 07:37 AM
Sorry if I'm posting the same thing as some one else but I don't have the time to finish reading right now. Corelle is great BUT when it does break it shatters (mostly little shards/very sharp)and goes everywhere.
best Wishes

Member posted 07-19-2001 08:09 AM
What's wrong with regular plates, bowls and utensils? DS has been using our regular dinnerware from day one, and has never ever broken anything. But even if he did-- what's a big deal, we are not using expensive fine china for everyday
When he was a baby, he used a silver coffee spoon for mashed foods, then graduated to teaspoon. NOw at 2.5 yo he uses all regular utensils, including fork. Trying ot use blunt knife for spreading things, too. He also LOVES to drink from a crystal goblet, but that is only for special occasions. He uses a regular glass (like double old-fashined, or iced tea glass) everyday. Though he likes using straw with it -- can't get away from plastic completely But we wash and reuse the straw, and they last for a few months. I admit, though, we did use a sippy cup in hte beginning. Actually, not a sippy cup, but a drinking bottle/cup with a straw from Rubbermaid.

Member posted 07-19-2001 09:31 AM
This may not be completely relevant but what do you use when going out to the park or in lunches?If plastic is a nono and ziploc type bags are not only plastic but bad for the environment tne what do you do?I have always used reusable containers for outings and lunches.I thought I was doing a wonderful thing!! Saving the environment,teachning my kids not to be wasteful,and how to recycle.
Any ideas?

Member posted 07-19-2001 07:30 PM
Do any of your babies like to chew on spoons? I use the plastic spoons (Sassy, no PVC) because he insists on chewing on the spoon. So when we eat, he has a spoon, and I have another to feed him. It seems if he had a metal utensil, it would damage his 2 little teeth. Am I off-base? Or is my baby the only one who insists on chewing on anything he can get his chubby hands on?

Member posted 07-20-2001 09:00 AM
Wow! I was just starting to get a few non-plastic supplies for my ds and I love all of your ideas! If anyone is interested in wood the Natural Baby catalog is selling a neat wooden baby bowl with two compartments and wood spoon and fake (it's a spoon too) fork. It's is on clearance for $22.95 - not super cheap but it looks like it will last through as many kids as we are gonna make!

Member posted 07-20-2001 12:47 PM
doesn't the stainless steel cup in the nb catalog have a plastic lid?

Member posted 07-20-2001 01:32 PM
Hi Boysrus,
Yes, it does. Actually, we received an engraved stainless steel (or is it pewter?) cup for my son. I wanted a lid that would fit it, so I ordered the one from NB. Unfortunately, it didn't fit, and I never bothered to return it. I have no idea where it is, or I would send it to someone! If it turns up again when we have a second baby I'll post again.

Member posted 07-20-2001 03:18 PM

Originally posted by yogamama:
We do have plastic bowls, plates and cups, but we also use some old indestructible ceramic bowls. I can't remember the name, but they are thin and come in basic white and flowered patterns and will literally "bounce" off the floor if you drop them. Does anyone know what I'm taking about? You can buy them at KMart and it seemed that every family used them in the 70s...

It's Corelle (sp?) Sounds like you have the Old Town Blue pattern (my favorite). That pattern is still available at Revere/Corning outlet stores, and there are many others in various stores. Great stuff.

Member posted 07-20-2001 05:12 PM
It does have a plastic lid. Are you asking out of curiosity or because you think it odd to go for the non-plastic cup with the PLASTIC lid? Because I was wondering that. I actually want this cup, but I did think about the fact that it still has a plastic lid! I wonder if the plastic is non-pvc.I would assume NB would'nt use a lid with pvc. I don't know, I just figure if you are bothering to get away from the plastic, shouldn't I maybe be concerned about the plastic lid? I guess it is still better than the whole cup being plastic, which is why I still want one.

Member posted 07-20-2001 06:13 PM
yes, jrromanchick, i was wondering bc it looked like it in the picture like plastic and so i thought that was weird that i woukd spend all this money to have a non plastic cup only to have my ds chewing on plastic. what is the selling point then? is it bc it is lees plastic? although i honestly dont know how to make a sippy lid without using plastic. maybe all wood with a screw on lid?

Member posted 07-20-2001 08:13 PM
yea, I think the point is that it is LESS plastic. Also, the drink is not sitting in plastic all of that time to have it leach into the liquid. Taste your kids drink after it sits in the cup for an hour. It will taste like plastic flavored water/juice. That makes me wonder. I DO, however, make it a point to use only hard plastic cups-nothing that is even slightly pliable. I buy only the really well made expensive plastic cups because they tend to be the hardest ones.
A wooden cup and that would be interesting!
[This message has been edited by jrromanchick (edited 07-20-2001).]

Moderator posted 07-20-2001 09:36 PM
Good point about Corelle ware breaking into tiny little shards. Just happened in our yard the other day and my husband wasn't able to get all the little bity pieces up and our toddler got a teeny tiny piece in his foot.

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