Responsible Gifting: The Way We Gift Matters

By Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 6 min

Responsible Gifting

I can’t believe it’s already time to think about holiday gifts! Living through almost two years in a pandemic has changed literally everything - from what we do on a daily basis to what we think about as parents. Since I now wear multiple hats (pediatrician, mom and now business owner) the way I think about my holiday shopping is shaped by my experiences in those roles. This year, I am committing to deeper reasons and intentions behind my purchase behavior. The little things we do every day matter - for our children and our planet. And as we enter the holiday season, I wanted to highlight responsible gifting and why and how the way we gift matters.

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

My pediatrician hat: 

Children’s Health 

Chemicals in plastic can actually affect your child’s hormones, growth, and development - the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Endocrine Society and The World Health Organization have all raised the red flags warning about the seriousness and magnitude of this problem. I prefer choosing gifts that have high safety standards and seals of certification from organizations like Made Safe, EWG and JPMA for example. 

The Power of Play

Simple play and imagination helps to build thriving brains, bodies, and social bonds - so simple wooden blocks and a parent to play with are just what the doctor ordered! I prefer not having the bright flashing lights with loud sounds blaring from toys to fill up our playroom so that children can use their innate skills and curiosity with simple and/or educational toys/games instead. KiwiCo is one of my all time favorite brands for this reason - learn through play!

My small business owner hat: 

Supply Chain Trouble

With COVID related labor shortages, significant international shipping delays and increasing prices from low supply of raw goods - I know that this year I want to think outside of the box (of toys) for practical purposes: I need it to physically be here so I can wrap it!

Commitment to safe products and fair treatment

As a founder of a brand that cares immensely about the quality and safety of our products, manufacturing process and our people on our team I have been fortunate to meet other founders of brands that strive for those same goals. I have committed to support those brands who are doing more than selling a product - but rather trying to make the world a better place. 

My mom hat:

Kid Approved

I want children to love the gifts we are giving. When kids are excited about them, they are less likely to end up in the corner pile of the playroom. 

Better for Mother Earth

I know that it’s my job to take care of the planet I will leave behind for my children and generations of children after them. Did you know that less than 10% of plastic is actually recycled? Whether it’s a plastic toy or gift packaged in plastic it most likely will end up in a landfill. I’m being intentional about what I buy this year so that what’s left behind after that unwrapping session … doesn’t harm the planet (or at least as minimal as possible to be more realistic).

Of course, I think Ahimsa makes a perfect gift. But I didn’t always know this … when I set out to create a product I did it for the health of children and the planet. I had no idea how much kids would LOVE the products. It is the greatest return on my investment of time, money and sweat I have put into Ahimsa … the satisfaction of children being obsessed with their dishes and eating healthier because of their “wainbow or meeror” (common names assigned to Ahimsa by kids) dishes. Now that is a big win for me as a physician, mom and small business owner!

So, yes that’s right. You heard it here first. Dishes make AMAZING gifts. Who knew kids could love dinnerware so much? Then again, who doesn’t love to eat from a rainbow? 

We are the leading choice among Physician Parents for their own children. A safe non-toxic product that entertains children at the dining table (and encourages them to eat their veggies too). Plus, parents are saying they’re the coolest dishes on the block. 

So consider us for your holiday gifting this year but most importantly - consider the above points to drive your more intentional purchasing this year. I invite you to be a more conscious consumer and support brands who are trying to create a better future for all children (and of course, offer a winning product that gets kids excited!). 

Ahimsa Gift Ideas

Gift safe. Gift smart. Gift sustainable.  Gift Ahimsa steel this holiday season. 

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 Ahimsa Gift Ideas

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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