As part of my family’s health and wellness journey, we knew we wanted to eliminate plastic use. This process actually started before we had kids, but when it was time to have kids and for our littles to start drinking and eating (even from the bottle stage) this momma went into full research mode.
Today, I am going to take you in my kids cabinet to see the types of things they use at mealtime. (hint hint – none of it is plastic!)
The main materials my kids use are wood, glass, stainless and silicone. Let’s start off from the baby stage and work towards school aged.
Baby’s first bottle. Man on man did I spend WAY TO MUCH TIME researching this! I was so nervous as a first time mom, as we all are – am I right?! What if I pick the wrong bottle? What if the nipple doesn’t work? I went back and forth on a few different brands and I will spare you the details of this, but we ended up with Lifefactory. This is a glass bottle, available in 9 or 4 oz, with a silicone sleeve. By default it comes with two nipple sizes but I also was able to find other nipples on the market to switch out if needed. The thing I loved about these bottles, besides the basics that they were glass, is they could grow with the kiddo. They have a sippy lid (with a removable adapter to add in another transition stage) and then a flat cap for when they get older. But won’t glass break? Sure, that is of course a risk, but I have lasted through three boys and just broke my first one and it was mom’s fault not theirs. And that even includes dropping off the highchair to the floor. Of course I can’t guarantee that for you though 🙂
Con: expensive, risk of breaking, hard for baby to hold their own so this happens much later
Straw / Sippy Cup. I mentioned the Lifefactory bottles transition to a sippy cup, but I also got this Green Works cup that we have loved for all three kids. This is a glass bottle, encompassed with a plastic shell. So basically the liquid never touches the plastic, but there is plastic around to decrease risk of breaking. It comes with a sippy and straw adapter which are both silicone.
Bowls and plates. We opted for silicone here and chose divider plates, bowls and cups from a company called Kinderville. They have lasted us through the years. They are dishwasher, freezer, microwave-safe, although I personally have chosen not to do these things. There is still some debate about silicone and heat so just figured I could handwash. It appears this company has gone out of business but you can still buy the products online.
Snack cups. When it comes to snack containers, we have an on the go version and a small bowl we use at home to help them work on portion control as they get older. The on the go snack up is stainless steel with two different silicone lid options. It has handles so is great for on the go and beginners learning to hold onto things. My kids still to this day call it their “owl bowl” because the first one we bought had owls on it. The one we use is from Eco Vessel and is their Gobble n Go cup. It doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon at this time, but does appear to be on their site. Here is another similar option + here are the little wooden bowls that we love for at home.
On the go. Lunchskins has been our favorite on the go reusable option. They have a snack size and sandwich size and come in a ton of colors. While the color has worn after three kids and many years later, the velcro adhesive has held up great. I personally hand wash mine but these are dishwasher safe. They also have recently come out with a disposable non plastic option if that is of interest
Water bottle. The brand we decided on for my kids (and our own personal) water bottle is Hydroflask. We have loved them and really appreciate they offer a lifetime warranty – of which we have taken them up on for lid replacements and even one bottle that had an issue. With three boys, finding durable water bottles was important for us and we loved this stainless steel option.
School Lunch. We did end up spending a little bit more money on our lunch box because we heard such great things. I have been very happy with our decision to go with PlanetBox. They have a few different sizes but the one we use is the Rover. For school snacks we have Lunchbots and then also use our Lunchskins as well.
One other thing to note. Once our kids master eating and are at the table with us they aren’t getting kid plates and cups. They get the same thing as the rest of the family and that includes glass mason jars for drinks. We start them early so they learn to be careful, but that of course doesn’t mean we haven’t had a break over the years. Maybe just don’t give them your fine china until you know they can handle it!
PS – Check out more options here.