Non-Toxic Baby Feeding Practices – Utensils, Dishes & More

Green Living expert, Aida Garcia Toldedo shares her insights on the dangers of toxic cooking tools and utensils

little boy eating vegetables on non toxic baby plate

When feeding their little ones, many parents understand the importance of choosing organic baby food to avoid exposure to pesticides and added hormones, but many might not realize that the tools used to cook and serve a child’s food can also be a source of harmful chemicals.

In this article we will go over what to avoid and our recommendations on safer alternatives when it comes to:

  • Baby feeding utensils, dishes, and other dinnerware

  • Cooking tools

Baby Feeding: Toxic Chemicals & Materials to Avoid

Many parents limit themselves to lower quality plastic dishware for children, not realizing that there are many safe, non-toxic and stylish alternatives that are widely available to serve food in.

Generally speaking, for hot or acidic meals you should avoid plastic plates, as the heat (from the baby food itself, as well as from reheating or even from the dishwasher) can cause the plastic to leach chemicals like phthalates, BPA, and other endocrine disrupting chemicals. Similar to plastic dishware, we recommend avoiding the potentially harmful melamine dishes.

Great alternatives to plastic for baby plates, spoons, sippy cups and storage include:

  • Food-grade silicone (dishwasher safe)

  • Wood

  • Eco-friendly bamboo

  • Stainless steel (dishwasher safe)

  • Glass (dishwasher safe; for little kids consider a silicon sleeve to protect glass)

 

Best Non-toxic Baby Utensils & Dinnerware

Below we have listed a few of our favorite organic baby dishware and utensil picks. All of the following baby dishware products are:

  • Not plastic

  • BPA free

  • PVC free

  • Phthalate free

 

Baby Spoons, Forks, and Utensil Sets

EZPZ Tiny Spoon Set in Blue with baby

 

 

EZPZ Tiny Spoon Set

Learning to self-feed is an important developmental milestone, so the Tiny Spoon was designed to help baby learn how to feed independently.

Silikids

 

EZPZ Tiny Spoon Set

$9 – $15

Available in different colors

 

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Miniware My First Cutlery Set

The rounded handles of the My First Cutlery Set are perfectly shaped for little hands to easily grasp. This full shape also gives an ideal weight for little ones to learn balance and control while guiding delicious bites to their mouths. All Miniware cutlery is safe for both baby and the earth.

Silikids

Miniware My First Cutlery Set

$12

 

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January Moon Fork & Spoon Set

With perfect pops of color, January Moon’s Spoon + Fork Sets bring kid-friendly fun to family mealtime. Featuring premium non-toxic materials like bamboo and food-grade silicone, this set includes a spoon and fork that can be used on their own or attached effortlessly to their pacifier clip to keep utensils on hand and off the floor at all times.

Silikids

 

January Moon Fork & Spoon Set

$18

Available in different colors

 

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Baby Plates, Bowls and Feeding Sets

EZPZ Tiny Cup in Grey with girl

 

 

EZPZ Happy Mat

The Happy Mat is an all-in-one placemat + plate that captures your kid’s mess. Another bonus? It suctions directly to the table, making it nearly impossible for tiny hands to tip over.

Silikids

 

EZPZ Happy Mat

$25

Available in different colors

 

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Miniware First Bites Travel Set

The Miniware First Bites Travel Set makes feeding baby on the go clean, safe and convenient.

Silikids

Miniware First Bites Travel Set

$42

Available in different colors

 

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Avanchy Bamboo Suction Bowl & Baby Spoon

Made using FDA-approved food grade silicone and bamboo Avanchy Bamboo Stay Put Suction Bowl & Baby Spoon provide fun and functionality at your tot’s mealtime.

Silikids

Avanchy Bamboo Suction Bowl & Baby Spoon

$19.99

 

BUY NOW

 

EZPZ Mini Mat

The Mini Mat. ezpz’s solution for infants and travel. The Mini Mat is an all-in-one placemat + plate that suctions to the table that makes meal-time fun!

EZPZ

EZPZ Mini Mat

$19.99

Available in different colors

 

BUY NOW

 

Sippy Cups and Baby Bottles

 

 

Silikids Siliskin Universal Sippy Cup Tops

The Siliskin Sippy Top is a universal silicone top that stretches over and grips the top of any size cup while suction keeps the top in place. Newly designed for added stretch and durability. Add the top to any glass or cup of your choice to make it an instant sippy!

Silikids

 

Silikids Siliskin Universal Sippy Cup Tops

$8.95

 

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Thinkbaby Thinkster of Steel

The Thinkster of Steel is perfect for 16 to 48 month olds. It’s durable, safe and gentle on your child’s mouth and it won’t spill!

Thinkster

Thinkbaby Thinkster of Steel

$13.99

 

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Hevea Glass Bottles

Hevea’s Glass Bottles are made from pure borosilicate glass, which is both heat and thermal shock resistant. The glass does not react with the contents of the bottle, and no substances can get into the food. This means that after the bottle has been cleaned, the milk will not taste or smell of previous content.

Hevea Glass Bottles

Hevea Glass Bottles Set

$26

 

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Suction Plates For Toddlers

little girl sitting in highchair looking at bowl

Miniware Dish Set of 5

This set of 1 cereal bowl, 1 snack bowl and 1 sandwich plate comes with 2 removable suction feet to keep food going to little ones mouth instead of everywhere else. All Miniware dishes are made from natural bamboo, making it safe for both baby and the earth. When Miniware meets the end of its lifecycle, its safe to burn or break down in soil just like plants.

Miniware Dish Set of 5

Miniware Dish Set of 5

$65

 

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Avanchy Bamboo Suction Plate & Spoon

The Avanchy Bamboo Stay Put Suction Plate and Spoon won’t be knocked around or flipped by little hands. The small vacuum relief lever is childproof, especially when aligned on the backside of the bowl, away from the child. This stylish and sustainable plate is biodegradable and free of harmful materials.

Avanchy Bamboo Suction Plate & Spoon

 

Avanchy Stainless Steel Suction Plate & Lid

$19.99

 

BUY NOW

 

Baby Food Storage

Silikids Siliskin Reusable Snack Bags

The reusable snack bags are silicone snack and sandwich bags perfect for replacing disposable, plastic bags! Perfect for steaming veggies, taking to school or work and everyday use and storage.

Silikids Siliskin Reusable Snack Bags

 

Silikids Siliskin Reusable Snack Bags

$11.95

BUY NOW

 

We Might Be Tiny – Bunny Snack

We Might Be Tiny Snackies are perfect for transporting snacks to the park or for extra fun at mealtime. With a lid that doubles as a plate, Snackies are made from non-toxic, food-grade silicone, are non-slip and dishwasher safe.

We Might Be Tiny - Bunny Snack

 

We Might Be Tiny – Bunny Snack

$28

 

BUY NOW

 

Explore our entire selection of safe, eco-friendly mealware.

 

Cooking Tools: What to Avoid

Non-stick

Non-stick cookware is a staple in the majority of kitchens across the world today. While the convenience of non-stick is clear, the technology behind it is not so clear.

Non-stick teflon pans: Up until recently, the go-to chemical used to make non-stick pans was the ‘Teflon chemical’ (Perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA for short). This chemical is so toxic that the company that makes it agreed to phase it out of its products. It is a carcinogen (causes cancer), and prenatal exposure to perfluorinated chemicals may affect the immune system in early childhood.

If you have older non-stick pans at home they probably contain PFOA. Stop using these pans to cook or reheat your children’s meals. If you have to use them, make sure you use medium to low heat, since the higher heat temperatures are what cause the chemical to be released into the air and food. Also, make sure the pan has no scratches.  Once it is scratched you should throw the pan away immediately.

New non-stick technology: There are various new chemicals and technologies being used in newer non-stick pans. Because these technologies are so new, proper long-term studies are needed to confirm if they are, indeed, completely safe. When cooking for a younger child, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution and avoid anything that has not been proven to be completely safe.

Aluminum

Due to its physical resemblance to stainless steel, aluminum is often mistaken for a safer cooking material. Unfortunately, pans made of aluminum can release heavy metals into food- aluminum is considered a neurotoxin (high exposures to it has been linked to Alzheimers).  Acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, high heat and wear and tear cause more aluminum to leach from this cookware into the food.

Although the amount of aluminum that a pan would give off is actually very low, as always with young children I prefer to err on the side of caution and when possible simply choose a safer option.

Safer Cookware Options

Lucky for parents everywhere, there are many tried and tested pots and pans that will not leach chemicals into your family’s food:

  • Cast iron: When properly seasoned, cast iron is virtually non-stick. An added bonus is that cast iron pans add iron to the food you are cooking and can last decades, making them a great investment.

  • Stainless steel: Widely available, stainless steel is another great option for cooking that will not leach any chemicals into your tot’s meals.  Many stainless steel pan users complain about their food sticking to their pans. However, although it does take a bit of practice, there are easy ways to avoid having your food stick when cooking such as ensuring you are cooking on a high heat to seal the food so it doesn’t stick and ensuring the pan is properly oiled and seasoned just before adding the food. An extra bonus is that stainless steel is dishwasher safe!

 

Choosing Safe Baby Products

 

Babies are far more susceptible than adults to the dangerous effects of toxins and chemicals. Because they spend so much time exploring their new environment, babies spend a lot of time crawling on the floor and putting all sorts of things in their mouths. As they a result, they will naturally absorb and ingest whatever is around them. By switching to safer baby products, from clothes and toys to meal time, personal care and cleaning products, you will lessen their exposure some potentially dangerous chemicals that can have serious long-term health effects.

We know that choosing safe and non-toxic baby products can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many issues to consider – BPA-free, lead-free, toxic dyes, flame retardants, organic cotton vs. regular cotton, so our Tot Expert & Green Living Consultant, Aida Garcia Toledo has answered some of your pressing questions about choosing safer products for your family in The Tot Q&A on the best non-toxic baby products.

Continue exploring

  • Much thought is given to making our homes non-toxic, but how about daycares and pre-schools? Green Living expert Aida Garcia-Toledo shares her tips on how to advocate for change in pre-schools. 
  • Arts & crafts are a wonderful way to help encourage and develop your child’s fine motor skills, imagination and creativity. But what if the supplies they’re using are toxic and potentially harmful? Health expert, Katherine McMackin, shares her tips on how to choose non-toxic art & craft supplies.