Ditch the Dented Plastic and Use Durable Dishes for Kids

By Dr. Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 9 min

In many households, mealtime for kids often means reaching for the stack of brightly colored plastic plates and cups. These items are a staple in homes with young children, prized for their seemingly indestructible nature and ease of cleaning. However, the very material that offers you convenience may also harbor risks, both to our children’s health and the environment. As we become more aware of these concerns, the move towards safer, more durable alternatives for children's dishes becomes not just preferable but necessary.

Families are starting to ditch the dented, scratched, and worn-out plastic ware for options that make certain of the well-being of their little ones. This transition is fueled by growing evidence and discussions around the safety of materials we use daily. It's about more than just dishes. It represents a shift towards mindful and sustainable living, where every choice we make reflects our commitment to safeguarding our children’s health and protecting the planet they will inherit.

About Ahimsa

Founded by a pediatrician and mom of three

Stainless steel is the only kid-friendly material recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics 

We are guided by a Scientific Advisory Council comprised of environmental and medical experts, guiding us in creating the safest products, following the latest science and promoting policy to protect human health and our planet

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The Hidden Hazards of Plastic Dishes

The convenience of plastic dishware for children is undeniable, but beneath the surface of those brightly colored plates and cups lies a web of potential issues. Recent studies have raised concerns over chemicals found in plastic and melamine dishes. These substances can leach into food and beverages, especially when the dishes are heated, posing health risks to our children.

Damaged or dented plasticware, common in households with young ones, is particularly problematic. This issue isn't isolated to melamine alone. Once dented or scratched, various plastics become havens for bacteria and may leach chemicals. The worry compounds when we consider the frequency with which these dishes are used and cleaned, gradually breaking down the material. It's a slow but steady release of substances we'd rather not have on our children's dinner plates.

This growing awareness isn’t just about individual health. It's a broader environmental concern. Plastic dishes, often non-recyclable and prone to quick wear, contribute to the mounting problem of plastic waste. By re-evaluating the materials we use at the dining table, we’re taking a step towards reducing our ecological footprint, aligning our family’s lifestyle with the principles of sustainability that protect our planet for future generations.

Choosing the Right Materials for Kids' Dishes

When it comes to selecting the best material for children’s dishes, stainless steel stands out as the unrivaled option. Its exceptional blend of durability, safety, and environmental sustainability makes it the preferred choice for parents dedicated to providing the best for their children while honoring the planet.

Unmatched Durability

Stainless steel’s robustness is unparalleled, perfectly suited to withstand the high energy and occasional mishaps of children’s meal times. Unlike other materials that might crack, chip, or wear over time, stainless steel maintains its integrity, ensuring that families can rely on it for years without frequent replacements.

Ultimate Safety

The safety of stainless steel is second to none. Its non-porous surface doesn’t harbor bacteria and is free from the chemicals commonly found in plastics. It provides parents peace of mind that their children are dining from the safest material possible. Furthermore, stainless steel doesn’t react with the foods it comes into contact with, ensuring that every meal is as healthy as it is delicious.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

In today’s environmentally conscious world, stainless steel perfectly aligns with sustainable living habits. Fully recyclable, it leaves a minimal environmental footprint, supporting the health of our planet for future generations. Stainless steel's longevity also means less waste, as dishes don’t need to be replaced as often, further contributing to its eco-friendly credentials.

Stylish and Practical

Beyond its practical benefits, stainless steel dishes offer a sleek and modern aesthetic that can elevate mealtime. Easy to clean and maintain, they fit seamlessly into busy family life, effortlessly merging style with substance.

Choosing stainless steel for children’s dishes is more than a practical decision. It’s also a commitment to health, sustainability, and quality that benefits our children and the world they will inherit. With its superior properties, stainless steel is the clear, standout choice for families looking to make a positive impact through their everyday decisions.

The Benefits of Choosing Durable Over Disposable

Selecting durable children's dishes is a key decision for families looking to make a positive environmental impact. This choice reflects a commitment to the planet and offers a range of benefits that extend well beyond eco-friendliness.

Health and Safety First

Durable dishes, free from harmful chemicals often found in disposable options, offer a safer eating experience for children. Parents can ensure that mealtime is enjoyable and safe by prioritizing materials that don't leach toxins.

Economic Efficiency

While the initial investment in long-lasting children's dishes might be higher than buying disposables, the long-term savings are significant. Durable dishes withstand the test of time, reducing the need for frequent replacements and saving families money in the process.

Environmental Responsibility

Choosing durable dishes directly contributes to reducing waste. Each reusable dish means fewer disposables ending up in landfills, helping to reduce pollution and conserve resources. It’s a simple yet powerful way to practice daily sustainable living habits.

Educational Opportunities

Integrating durable dishes into your home provides ample opportunities to teach children about sustainability. Discussions about why your family chose reusable over disposable can help instill eco-conscious values from a young age.

Aesthetic and Practical Appeal

Beyond their practical benefits, durable dishes come in various stylish designs that can brighten meal times. And these more colorful options can enhance children’s experience during meals, possibly leading to their appreciation for the meal and influencing their willingness to experiment with or like new foods. Their robustness also means they’re less likely to break or degrade, making them a dependable choice for busy families.

Embracing durable children's dishes is an impactful step towards a more sustainable lifestyle. It embodies a holistic approach to living that values health, economy, and the environment, setting a positive example for the next generation.

durable stainless steel dishes for kids with food

Mealtime Essentials

Practical Tips for Making the Switch to More Durable Children’s Dishes

Transitioning to long-lasting children's dishes is a meaningful step towards nurturing sustainable living habits within your family. Here’s how you can make this shift smoothly and instill a sense of excitement and responsibility in your children toward choosing sustainable options.

Start Small, Think Big

Kick off the change with the essentials: plates, bowls, and cups your children use daily. This phased approach helps ease the family into the new routine without the shock of a complete kitchen overhaul, emphasizing the big impact of small, thoughtful changes.

Involve the Kids

Turn the selection process of new, durable dishes into an engaging family activity. Allowing children to pick their favorite designs or colors can make them more receptive to the switch and open up a dialogue about the importance of sustainable choices.

Teach Easy Care Techniques

One of the perks of long-lasting dishes is their straightforward maintenance. Involve your kids in caring for their new dishes, teaching them simple cleaning and storage habits. This extends the life of the dishes and teaches children the value of looking after their possessions.

Mix It Up

Introducing a variety of different, more durable materials, such as reinforced glass, bamboo, or advanced composites, keeps mealtime interesting and educational. It’s an excellent way to teach your kids how sustainability can be integrated into everyday life.

Lead by Example

Your children will follow your lead, so let your choices reflect your commitment to sustainability. By incorporating durable dishes and other sustainable practices into all kitchen and dining aspects, you reinforce the importance of these values.

Adopting long-lasting children's dishes is more than a simple household change. Think of it as a step towards a lifestyle that places a premium on sustainability and mindful living. With these tips, your family can embrace this change positively, laying the foundation for a lifetime of eco-conscious choices.

Embracing Sustainability with Durable Children's Dishes

Choosing durable children's dishes is a clear move towards embracing sustainable living habits. This decision is much more than a preference—it's a commitment to our planet's well-being and our families' health. By prioritizing long-lasting materials over disposable alternatives, we demonstrate a conscious effort to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact.

This choice reflects an investment in the future and serves as an educational moment for our children. It teaches them the importance of making responsible, eco-friendly decisions from a young age. Durable dishes stand as a testament to the values of sustainability and stewardship we hope to instill in the next generation.

Embracing durable dishes for children is a meaningful action towards creating a greener, cleaner earth. It's a step that underlines the power of individual choices in contributing to a broader cultural shift towards more sustainable living, ensuring a healthier planet for future generations.

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi

Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a board-certified pediatrician whose dedication to children’s health drove her to launch Ahimsa, the world's first colorful stainless steel dishes for kids. She was motivated by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ findings on harmful chemicals in plastic affecting children's well-being. Ahimsa has gained widespread recognition and been featured in media outlets such as Parents Magazine, the Today Show, The Oprah Magazine, and more.

Dr. Mantravadi received the esteemed “Physician Mentor of the Year” award at Indiana University School of Medicine in 2019. She was also named a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur in 2021, with her inspiring story showcased on Good Morning America. She serves on the Council for Environmental Health and Climate Change and the Council for School Health at The American Academy of Pediatrics. She represents Ahimsa as a U.S. industry stakeholder on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for the Global Plastics Treaty, led by the United Nations Environment Program. Dr. Mantravadi leads Ahimsa's social impact program, The Conscious Cafeteria Project, to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard student health as part of a national pilot of the Clinton Global Initiative.

She is dedicated to educating and empowering people to make healthier, more environmentally friendly choices at mealtime. Her mission remains to advocate for the health of all children and the one planet we will leave behind for them through real policy change within our food system.

More Mealtime Essentials

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use stainless steel instead of plastic? Is stainless steel better for health?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report in July 2018 suggesting ways that families can limit exposure to certain chemicals at mealtime, including “the use of alternatives to plastic, such as glass or stainless steel, when possible.” The report explained that “…some additives are put directly in foods, while “indirect” additives may include chemicals from plastic, glues, dyes, paper, cardboard”. Further, “Children are more sensitive to chemical exposures because they eat and drink more, relative to body weight, than adults do, and are still growing and developing.” While stainless steel items meet the recommendation to avoid plastic products in children, Ahimsa® products have the obvious advantage of not breaking like glass.

Is stainless steel better for the environment than plastic?

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, steel can be recycled over and over and over again without losing its integrity and requires less energy to recycle than to make anew. Most plastic unfortunately ends up in landfills and it is estimated to take 700 years to decompose. Our special coloring process that allows Ahimsa® products to be fully metal is environmentally friendly, so it does not produce toxic run-off into the ecosystem.

Will Ahimsa products break or peel?

No. Our steel is durable, so it won’t break or shatter with everyday use, like glass. And it won’t peel, like other colored stainless steel products you’ve seen. We use a special process that allows the colors to naturally occur in the metal.

Which Ahimsa products are best for my little one(s)?

Our products are meant to last, you can use Ahimsa at ages 1, 8 and 18! We thoughtfully design our products to be safe for little ones and our planet while reducing consumption. Once your child outgrows the Starting Solids Set  and can use regular cups and utensils, the training cup is the perfect size rinse cup in the bathroom, the infant spoon doubles as a tea stirrer and the bowl is great for snacks or as an additional compartment to our modular divided plate. Our plates are great for any age as they encourage choosing a variety of healthy foods at each meal and help visualize portion sizes easily. It’s the lasting beauty of stainless steel - grows with your child and reduces waste.

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