There is so much to consider when feeding your child, so it comes as no surprise that tableware is no different. The options seem to be endless so we took to the streets to find out exactly which products real moms are loving and why. We interviewed dozens of moms just like you, spoke to entrepreneurs developing the product, and even had products tested by the harshest of critics...our own children.
There is a lot to take into account, but first and foremost, all of the products we recommend here have undergone safety testing that meet and often exceed the standards required in the U.S. Beyond that, each product offers different features, since what meets the eating needs of my child may not meet the needs of yours.
Here’s the deal: In 2011, this family run company that has been around for 32 years, launched their line of affordable, durable, and sustainable tableware. All products are made from recycled plastic milk jugs and come in a variety of sizes, configurations, and colors. They are safe for kids and great for the environment, plus they claim to virtually indestructible (see what Mrs. Nipple moms are saying about that below). They are sold in many grocery stores at affordable prices making them extremely accessible.
Material: All products are made from FDA approved sustainable HDPE recycled plastic or recycled polypropylene.
Price: starting at $3.99
Love it: Extremely affordable. Positive impact on the environment. Extreme durability. Dishwasher safe.
Not so much: Do not have suction bottoms. While they have been tested for the microwave, the brand’s website warns it is not recommended to microwave these products.
What are moms saying?: “We’ve had these for SO long and they are in perfect shape.” - Nathalie L.
Bottomline: These are our pick for every day, affordable tableware that you’ll be using for the long haul!
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Here’s the deal: In 2014, Lindsey Laurain, mom of 3 “wonderfully wild” boys, developed ezpz mats with the goal of reducing mess and stress at mealtime. These products are an all-in-one solution that is both dish and placemat. The stable base was designed to reduce tipping and tossing and encourages self-feeding. The mats come in varying sizes and configurations in both bright and muted colors.
Material: 100% toxin-free silicone
Price: starting at $19.99
Love it: Mom-run small business. All-in-one dish and placement is perfect for dining on the go. Can be stacked and carried with food. Dishwasher safe. Oven safe up to 350 degrees. Fun collabs with Elmo, Cookie Monster & Peppa Pig.
Not so much: The footprint of the happy mat is often too big to fit on most highchairs. Some moms find it too tough to reposition in the moment.
What are moms saying?: “I like using the large mat best because it limits the amount of cleanup since it literally covers the entire highchair.” - Erica B.
Bottomline: These are a great option for many families though there are some drawbacks depending on your needs.
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Here’s the deal: Bella Tunno’s goal is to make parenting easier and more fun while offering products with a greater purpose. In 2005, Michelle Tunno Buelow began sewing bibs and burp cloths at home with the goal of helping children in need. Since then, Bella Tunno has grown but remains rooted in that original mission of helping children. The wonder bowl and plate come in a variety of bright and muted colors. The products also feature the Bella Tunno’s adorable signature phrases and puns. For example, “Give peas a chance,” or “Let’s taco ‘bout it.”
Material: 100% food grade silicone
Price: Wonder plate - $22, Wonder Bowl - $18
Love it: Mom run small business. One-for-one, each product purchased provides a meal for a child in need. Bowls and plates suction to most surfaces to prevent spills. The suction release tab is harder for little fingers to get to than the typical suction tableware. Dishwasher safe. Fits most highchair trays.
Not so much: These plates are on the larger side so may be cumbersome for the littlest ones. No suction is completely childproof, this one is good but it’s not perfect (from what we can tell, a 100% child-proof suction plate does not exist!). Only the more expensive end.
What are moms saying?: “We have loads of plates in the cabinet, [but] these are the ones I always find myself grabbing. The suction is strong, the depth and overall size of the bowls are perfect for my toddler. Plus they are totally cute!” - Emily K.
Bottomline: These are one of the best all around dishes that will grow with your kids. While they are not the least expensive, the quality is there.
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Here’s the deal: Love Mae, a company based down under out of Byron Bay, is passionate about creating the safest products both for children and for the planet. Love Mae refers to plastic dinnerware as “environmental and toxic disasters!” Love Mae offers a variety of plates, bowls, and other dinnerware. The plates come in a variety of configurations and the designs are playful and whimsical.
Material: 100% plant-based (bamboo & corn)
Price: 5 piece sets begin at $39
Love it: Biodegradable and as environmentally conscious as it gets. Dishwasher safe. Claim to be the safest material on the market. Divided plate offers five sections. Option of suction or not as all sets come with suction attachment.
Not so much: They tend to chip and can break though this should be expected with any kind of biodegradable product. The priciest option. Single items do not include suction attachment. Five divided sections could overwhelm some children. Can really only be found on the Love Mae website and with that comes a hefty shipping fee.
What are moms saying?: “We have a lot of dinnerware but Love Mae is my favorite. The dinner plate has a ton of compartments, more so than the standard, and it’s all adorable” - Ashley
Bottomline: These products stand out because they don’t look like most of the product that is currently making up the market. Love Mae offers fun and unique designs. This is the pick for the most environmentally conscious mamas! Though keep in mind they are on the pricier side and can be harder to locate in stores than other brands.
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Here’s the deal: In 2004, Avanchy was designed with the creators 18 month old twins in mind. Faisal wanted a product that was both eco-friendly and safe for his kids. From this Avancy was born. Avanchy aims to provide families with sustainable baby dishes to match their environmentally aware lifestyle. Avanchy offers bowls, plates and utensils in a variety of materials, colors and configurations.
Material: Combination of silicone with either bamboo or stainless steel
Price: starting at $25
Love it: Simple clean lines and design. Eco-friendly and safest materials to eat off of. The variety of material, size, and configuration ensure there is something to fit your child’s needs.
Not so much: Bamboo products are hand wash only. Even when positioned away from tiny fingers as directed, kids seems to release the suction without much effort.
What are moms saying?: “The bowls are eco-friendly, safe to eat off of and suction” - Abby D. “We love Avanchy. The suction doesn’t work for my boys but [we] still love them.” - Liz A.
Bottomline: These are a brand of eco-friendly dinnerware that is a bit more accessible. It is found at more retailers (Amazon), and is less expensive than bamboo competitors.
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