Can Rainbow Plates Be a Tool for Healthy Eating Education?

By Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 7 min

Using Stainless Steel Plates as a Healthy Eating Education Tool

As a pediatrician, my commitment goes beyond just treating illnesses; it extends to empowering families with the resources and guidance to keep you and your children healthy. This commitment inspired me to embark on a unique journey—to design the first rainbow stainless steel plates and dishes. I had three main reasons behind my decision to create these dishes, and I am going to outline how they serve as more than just plates, but as tools for healthy eating education, engaging children during mealtime, and prioritizing quality.

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

Want to know more? Check out our story and our products

1. Rainbow Plates as Tools for Healthy Eating

Nutrition plays a crucial role in a child's development, and as a pediatrician, I wanted to create a product that goes beyond the conventional notion of a plate. Ahimsa dishes are intentionally designed to be real tools that encourage and simplify healthy eating education and practice. These plates serve as a roadmap, guiding both parents and children toward a balanced and nutritious meal, with each section of the rainbow plate designed to hold an appropriate amount of each of the food groups.

In the realm of pediatric healthcare, prevention is just as vital as treatment. By instilling healthy eating habits early on, using the rainbow plates as the basis of a healthy eating education, we lay the foundation for a lifetime of well-being. The design of Ahimsa dishes aids in age-appropriate portions, ensuring a balanced intake of essential nutrients. It educates children about the importance of including different food groups in their meals, fostering a holistic approach to nutrition.

Moreover, these recycled stainless steel dishes serve as a practical tool for parents, offering a visual guide to creating well-rounded meals. The compartments are strategically placed to accommodate the main course, vegetables, fruits, and other food groups. This intentional design empowers families to make informed choices about their dietary habits, promoting a healthier lifestyle.

2. Rainbow Plates for Engaging Children During Mealtime

One of the challenges parents often face is getting their children to eat nutritious meals willingly. Ahimsa dishes help this issue tremendously, aiding in engaging children during mealtime. Drawing from both scientific principles and personal experience as a mother of three, I understand the significance of making mealtime an enjoyable and interactive experience.

The shiny mirror finish and vibrant colors of Ahimsa rainbow plates and dishes are not just aesthetic choices, but are rooted in a science-based approach to children's development. The engaging design captures the attention of little ones, turning mealtime into a fun and enjoyable activity. Kids are naturally drawn to the vibrant colors and the mirror-like surface of the plates, making them eager to use Ahimsa dishes over any other conventional options.

Ahimsa dishes offer a modern, colorful twist on a traditional Indian classic. By combining the practicality of the design with visually appealing elements, Ahimsa dishes turn mealtime into a positive experience for both parents and children, promoting a balanced diet for kids without the sense of force that can turn kids away from the table. The engagement factor significantly contributes to a child's willingness to try new foods and develop a positive relationship with healthy eating.

3. Prioritizing Quality in Rainbow Plates

The third and equally important aspect of creating Ahimsa dishes was prioritizing quality. In my exploration of the manufacturing processes of typical stainless steel dishes, it became evident that not all processes adhere to the same stringent standards. This realization led me to prioritize quality in every aspect of Ahimsa dishes, from the materials used to the manufacturing process and even the packaging.

Ahimsa dishes are crafted from 100% high-quality recycled stainless steel. This choice aligns with my commitment to creating a clean and green product, free from harmful chemicals. Unlike conventional stainless steel dishes, Ahimsa recycled stainless steel dishes undergo a regulated manufacturing process, ensuring that they meet the highest standards of safety and quality.

The decision to use stainless steel eliminates the need for plastics at any point in the Ahimsa dishes' production. Plastic-free packaging complements the eco-friendly ethos of the product. By focusing on sustainability and quality, Ahimsa dishes not only contribute to a healthier lifestyle for families but also to a healthier planet.

Ahimsa’s rainbow plates are a great first step toward a healthy eating education, but as with our business, the plates are the first step. We also offer rainbow bowls, containers, and full rainbow dinnerware sets

Mealtime Essentials

The journey to create Ahimsa dishes stemmed from my passion for pediatric healthcare and the belief that fostering healthy habits starts with the choices we make, even down to the plates we use. These dishes are not just pieces of stainless steel; they are tools that promote healthy eating, engage children during mealtime, and prioritize quality and sustainability.

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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