Founder with Sustainable School Trays

2021: Year in Review for Ahimsa Stainless Steel Dishes

By Manasa Mantravadi



Time to Read: 6 min

The Year in Review for Ahimsa Stainless Steel Dishes

As a new entrepreneur, I had no idea what this journey would be like - all I knew was that it was a journey worth taking because it involved solving a significant problem that faced children’s health.

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

Love for Our Products

This year has brought so many amazing things for our small business with a BIG mission. From prestigious awards and lists like The Good Housekeeping Parenting Award and The Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneurs to publications in major press outlets like The Today Show, Parents Magazine, Oprah and Real Simple - I am truly humbled and honored to have received such love for our products and our purpose. From famous celebrities and renowned scientists to everyday families like mine - people express their love for Ahimsa routinely. Above all, knowing that children love our products is what gives me as a founder, the most fulfillment and joy.   

Ahimsa Stainless Steel Dishes Must-Haves

Schools Launch

Our biggest achievement this year has been launching a cafeteria line for schools. My passion has always been to change the bigger system and make a real impact for all children across the country. We launched our stainless steel trays in a pilot school in Indianapolis, the home base for Ahimsa. The response from the staff, parents, and most importantly, children was unbelievable. They loved having safe sustainable materials in their lunchroom and the younger students loved being able to see their reflection in their tray!   

Growing Our Team

Our team is growing and I could not prouder of each member of Ahimsa. Every single day they work hard for our mission: to keep our kids and our planet healthy. It what drives us - we don’t consider Ahimsa a job or a business but rather a purpose and opportunity to change the world for our own kids and kids across the globe. We always end each meeting by saying “do it for the kids!”  

Ahimsa Chief Operating Officer Johanna Mooney and Webmaster Kristin Westfall.  

Kristin (Webmaster), Robin (Finance), Johanna (COO), Manasa (Founder), Whitney (Customer Service), Mark (Operations)  

We’ve partnered with a local female founded fulfillment center right here in Indianapolis and working with local businesses across the city to help us achieve our mission while staying true to our hometown roots. We are happy to say goodbye to packing boxes ourselves!   

Shipping Updates

We’re growing up - Langham Logistics now will ship products to you!    

Our newest partners are The Harmon Brothers - the marketing geniuses behind Purple Mattress, Squatty Potty and Lume Deodorant. I’m pinching myself that this team of successful, hilarious and unbelievably kind people are here to help us spread Ahimsa’s message!    

And of course, near and dear to my heart is our commitment to the health of all children … no matter their zip code. We continue to partner with The Patachou Foundation - a local Indianapolis organization that serves healthy meals to children facing food insecurity. While getting plastic off the table is important, we realize that getting healthy food on the table is more of a priority for many families. As a pediatrician I have seen this first hand and remain committed to using Ahimsa’a success to always give back to those without opportunities and resources they deserve. This year we helped the foundation serve more than 60,000 meals to local Indianapolis kids! 

As a small business owner, pediatrician and mom - thank you for the most amazing year in our effort to keeping our kids healthy at the dining table. None of this is possible without YOU - our Ahimsa family. May 2022 bring each of you happiness, health and endless smiles at mealtime and beyond … cheers to the kids!    

With love and Ahimsa,  Dr. M

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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