Having a toddler means a messy and disorganized house, dirty clothes, hundreds of toys sprawled on the floor, and messy mealtimes.
Parents dread the mealtimes with their babies. They are very well aware of the fact that babies love mealtimes more than playtime. It is not because these toddlers get to eat scrumptious homemade delicacies prepared by their mothers; instead, they find immense pleasure to feed their surroundings with the food that is on their plates.
When babies are made to learn to eat independently, a horrible mess is inevitable. More than eating the food, these naughty toddlers smear it on their clothes, high chairs, table covers, and almost anything within their reach.
Cleaning up the mess after mealtime is a strenuous task for the exhausted parents who run around the clock to fulfil their parental, personal, and professional obligations. The majority of the parents do not entertain the idea of letting the baby feed himself. They are afraid that the baby will remain hungry and feed all his food to his surroundings.
Sure, babies can create a mess when they feed themselves. However, while doing so, they learn plenty of things, such as eating independently, developing a healthy relationship with food, refined motor skills are to list a few.
If you plan to transition your baby to eat independently, make sure you invest in proper items to motivate your baby to feed himself.
Yes, dear parents, we are talking about buying the finest cutlery for your little ones to give them a good dining experience.
In today’s article, we will talk about the types of best toddler plates and how to select the best kids’ plates.
Types of Toddler Plates
1. Toddler Plates With Suction
It is not uncommon to see a clumsy baby tipping away his plates and bowls from the high chair. When a fussy toddler pushes his plate, it crashes on the floor, and the plate's contents create a huge mess.
Suction plates are here to help you if you have a restless toddler who tosses away the items from his high chair tray. These plates have suction cups at the bottom, allowing them to stick easily on the high chair tray or any other smooth surface. Your baby will be unable to pull these plates or make them fall with this unstoppable wiggling.
Once the mealtime is over, you can easily remove these plates by pulling up the quick-release tabs—no need to exert pressure to pull them off from the surface.
Suction plates are microwave and dishwasher safe. Moreover, these are made from hard plastic and won’t break off easily. It means less wear and tear and can be used for a longer time. Some suction bowls in the market also come with a lid to cover the food if you are on the go or want to store the baby’s food in the refrigerator.
2. Plastic Plates
There are many brands that not only sell plates but rather the complete dinner set for babies. The set includes plastic plates, bowls, spoons, forks, and even knives.
These sets come in a fantastic colour range to choose from. Plastic plates are inexpensive and readily available at stores and online. These plates are small-sized, so even if your toddler knocks over the plate, the mess wouldn’t be huge.
If these plates get broken or damaged, you can discard them immediately without giving them a second thought because of their cheap costs. Plastic plates are dishwasher and microwave safe. No extra effort to hand wash the baby’s plate once the mealtime is over.
3. Silicone Toddler Plates
Kids do not like it when their different food items touch. They are more likely to eat their meals if the items are separated and in other sections.
Silicone toddler plates are a perfect choice if you have a picky eater. The divided sections in the plate keep the food items separate from each other. For example, in three sections of the plate, you can add rice in a bigger section, cucumber slices in the second one, and some fresh pieces of fruits in the other.
Silicone toddler plates are easy to clean and prevent the moulding of bacteria. They are also dishwasher safe.
These plates are non-slippery. Some of the silicone plates even have suction cups beneath them to prevent them from falling off and creating a mess. Silicone plates are made from rubber hence; no chance of breakage or rough edges.
Before getting the silicone plates, ensure that they are made from good quality food grade silicone.
4. Food Storage Tray Containers
These plates are not for daily use but ideal during travelling. If you are heading outside and want to pack the snack for the baby, this storage tray is the best option for you. It has divided sections which allows you to keep the items separately. You can easily feed your baby when you are travelling and can cover up the unfinished food with a lid.
These storage trays are microwave friendly, and they have vents on their lids. If the food is overheated in the microwave, you can use the lid vent to cool down the food.
You can also use these storage trays to freeze the baby’s food. The only drawback of these trays is that their lids are not divided into sections, which means that if the tray is tipped over, the food items can get mixed.
5. Hi-Lo Scoop Plate
This plate is ideal for children who have a problem picking up their food from the plates with a spoon or fork. The plate has a unique design. Its front is 0.5 inches high, and then it gradually increases to 1.5 inches at the back.
The increased height at the back prevents the toddler from pushing or spilling his food off the plate. The plate’s size is neither too small nor too big; it has approximately 8.5 inches in diameter, a perfect size for a toddler plate.
The Hi-Lo scoop plate is made from soft plastic material. It has a plastic ring underneath, which prevents the plate from sliding around.
6. Bamboo Plates
Bamboo plates have gained popularity because of being environmentally friendly. These plates are BPA-free as they are made from wheat, corn, or other crops’ fibre and bamboo fibre.
The bamboo fibres may contain traces of melamine resin which are entirely safe. However, these plates are not safe for dishwasher use. Many bamboo plates in the market have a silicone suction underneath them to prevent slippage of the plate.
Bamboo plates are not strong like plastic plates. They will get cracks and splits if they fall or hit a hard surface. Moreover, washing the plates will make their surface rough over time; regular waxing would be required to keep them smooth. These plates need more maintenance than any other plate on this list.
7. Ceramic Plates
Ceramic and porcelain plates in your kitchen are not the best toddler plates. These plates are fragile, they can easily break, and their edges can chip, making it unsafe for the baby.
These plates are dishwasher safe, which means you don’t have to spend extra time washing it manually.
Ceramic plates that are painted and glazed often contain lead and calcium particles which are toxic and unsafe for your baby. Before buying a ceramic plate or bowl for your toddler, ensure that they are lead-free and safe for your little angel.
8. Stainless Steel Plates
Stainless steel plates are the toughest ones and can last you for years. These plates are easy to wash, and there is no chance of getting splinters or cracks.
Steel plates are not microwave friendly. The only drawback of these plates is that they aren’t colourful or have printed cartoon characters to look attractive for the kids.
Things To Look For When Shopping For The Best Toddler Plates
Shopping for kids is no longer a simple task like it used to be in the past decade. Previously, parents used to buy the things which were readily available in the market. However, in present times, people research the product, read its pros and cons and ensure that it is safe for their children.
Buying plates for a toddler shouldn’t only be based on the plates' shape, color, or texture. Keep in mind the following things for buying the best kids’ plates.
You don’t want to run to the shop to grab new plates every week, right? Invest in durable and hard plates that will not sustain any cracks or breakage if thrown by the fussy toddler.
If the plates are strong, they can be used for a longer time and even passed down to younger siblings or children.
Steel and silicone plates are the most durable. They are made from hard material and will not break. On the other hand, bamboo and ceramic plates are not strong. They will be shattered into hundreds of pieces if the little one throws it or knocks it over from his high chair tray.
It is the most important thing consider when buying toddler plates. If the plates do not stay at the surface and move around, your little ones will be more interested in playing with the plate rather than concentrating on their food.
Suction plates and bowls are the best choices of plates. They stick to the high chair tray or any smooth surface. Your baby will not have to hold the plate while eating and make a mess. Suction plates and bowls are highly recommended for parents whose babies are clumsy and wiggly at mealtimes.
3. Easy To Use
The reason for buying toddler plates is to teach your child how to eat independently without spilling or dropping his food from the side. Refrain from purchasing plates that have a slippery surface or large diameter. It becomes difficult for babies to pick up the food from a large plate as it slips and falls out of their plates.
Buy small or medium-sized plates. Opt for the ones with different sections so that the various food items don’t touch or mix up.
4. Attractive For Your Baby
You might want to buy the toddler plates that match your other cutlery or the table cloth. While this may look attractive to you, your little one will not feel the same about plain plates. Look for the plates that come in different shapes or have the pictures of your baby’s favourite cartoon characters printed on them.
Your baby will be more interested in having his mealtime if he is served on a colourful plate, or the one that has the shape of an animal or car, etc.
5. Easy To Clean
As a parent, your hands must be pretty full with numerous chores. Do not add extra duties to your busy schedule by buying the plates that need hand washing.
Check the labels of the plates to ensure if they are dishwasher friendly or not. By purchasing dishwasher friendly plates, you can wash all the plates together in the dishwasher.
Similarly, do not buy plates that need high maintenance, such as bamboo plates that require frequent waxing to avoid getting its surface rough and splintered.
6. Travel Friendly
If you frequently travel with your baby, make sure to buy the hard, compact plates with secure lids.
You can easily store the baby’s food and take it with you while travelling, heading out to a restaurant, picnic, or a friend’s house. You won’t have to worry about your baby’s mealtimes while you are outside the home.
There are many plates in the market that contain lead and other toxic elements. These elements are highly unsafe for your little one’s body. Before adding the plates to the cart, read the label to ensure that the plates are 100% BPA-free.
Transitioning your kids from semi-solid food to solid food is exciting for parents. They love to see their munchkins growing up and becoming independent.
To make mealtimes more fun for baby and less messy for you, buy the plates that will enable your child to eat his food without making a huge mess.
There are numerous toddler plates available in the market in different colours, shapes, designs, and material. Buy the ones which are durable, non-slippery, and BPA-free.
Which type of plate does your toddler use? Please share it in the comments below. We are looking forward to hearing from you :)