Plastic-free. What started as a thing just for the eco-conscious has now exploded, becoming a huge trend, that's, well, pretty much everywhere and being embraced by everyone. Supermarkets are reducing packaging, carrier bags are (hopefully) on the way out and we're all a lot more conscious about what we eat and drink from. Stainless steel drinks bottles and bamboo food containers are everywhere for adults and this trend is becoming big news for little ones too.
It's good news for the environment and good news for us too as as there's now so many cool plastic-free products out there changing the game. So, if you're considering making the switch, here's our pick of some great plastic-free dining kit for each stage of their culinary life.
Plastic-free newbies - 0-6 months
Obvs breastfeeding means there's no plastic in sight, but there's also good news if you're bottle feeding too. Banish the plastic from day dot by swapping the traditional plastic bottles for stainless steel ones instead. Pura Bottles are made of stainless steel (think Swell bottles for newbies 😉) and come in 5oz, 9oz and 11oz. They offer a range of silicone teat sizes and by changing the top you can turn them into sports bottles, sippy cups or snack pots meaning they are for, well, life, not just bottle feeding.
Alternatively, go down the glass route. These Lifefactory 4oz Glass Baby Bottles are the right size for newborn feeds. Made of thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass, they can be frozen, then popped straight into boiling water without the risk of breakage. Great for storing and quickly defrosting expressed milk. Like Pura, they've also been designed to fit a range of teats and lids meaning they grow with your child too. Oh, and there's also a silicone case to protect against the occasional drop.
Plastic-free novices - 6-12 months
Yep, it's totes possible to keep them plastic-free when they start their culinary journey 👌. Just pick stuff that's made of silicone. It's food grade safe and free from BPA, phthalate and PVC, making it great for your little one as well as the environment. #bonus. Alternatively KIDLY best seller, the EZPZ Mini Mat is a great option for finger food days. Oh, and it also sticks to the highchair tray. No more throwing plates on the floor! #doublewin.
Want to give them a sippy cup that's plastic free? Introducing the Munchkin Stainless Steel Miracle Cup. Made of double walled, vacuum sealed stainless steel, this sippy cup will keep liquids fresh all day. Light-weight and durable, the 360 rim also supports kids' dental health and won't leak either. Bonus.
Plastic-free practisers - 12 months plus
Now the plastic-free fun gets a lot more stylish. That's right, non-plastic kit is pretty awesome looking. Once they've mastered the art of spoon feeding (eek), hand them this bamboo beauty. In a range of crafted animal shapes, the Donkey bamboo spoon is chunky enough for little hands and a great way to get them chowing their grub too. Team it with a Plentimals bamboo plate and cup, which are both shatterproof too, and there's your plastic-free dining kit for a tot right there. Oh, and in case you missed it, bamboo kit is pretty on-trend right now. #justsayin'.
Plastic-free perfect - 18 months plus
Your little Captain Planet has probably now got to grips with their fine(ish) dining skills, meaning you can grow that plastic-free crockery collection a lil' bit more. Add to their sustainable tablewear with this Liewood Aura Cat Placement. Made of sustainable materials, it looks great, is super hygienic and you'll love the animal design probably more than the kids. Alternatively, this Koodi Silicone Bowl and Spoon, which is a great way to get them eating from a bowl that's environmentally friendly.
Plastic-free pros - Preschoolers
Once they hit the pre-school age, the plastic-free dining world really is their oyster with a whole host of cool stuff cropping up. We love this Ekobo Bambino Kids' Set, which is a great plastic-free all-rounder for older kids.
Plastic explained: BPA and Phthalates
Obviously there are environmental reasons to avoid plastic. However, if safety is of worry, here's what you need to know.
Plastic can contain toxic materials such as BPA and Phthalates. These are a family of industrial chemicals used to soften PVC plastic so it can be moulded into well, whatever shapes and sizes. However, that doesn't mean you have to shun plastic baby toys or dining sets. Just look for BPA and phthalate free toys and baby bottles, which mean that they are free of chemicals that can be harmful for babe. In most cases these toys and other baby products are lead and toxin free too. As they say, 'always check the label'.
So there it is folks, a definitive guide to plastic-free dining. We won't tell if you decide to use some of this cool stuff for yourself. Honest 😉.