Not all plastics, but some.

The plastic plates my kids (and the daycare kiddos) eat from are probably 4 years old.  Dishwasher safe, sturdy and durable, I’ve been really happy with them. 

But as they age, they get scuffed and scratched and I don’t like the idea that tiny plastic particles are getting into their food.  That can’t be very good.

Sippy cups.  My own kids don’t use sippy cups anymore, but many of the daycare kiddos do.  I use these cups- LOVE them. 

Well, used to love them.  What I originally liked about them is that they don’t have a big ‘ol spout for the kids to put their mouth around, so I think they are a better cup for teaching kids how to drink out of a regular cup.  

What I don’t like about them- “Munchkin” doesn’t make this style anymore so I can’t replace them.  I bought several packs when I first opened the daycare and I’ve gone through them all.  My latest batch are nearing the end of their life- getting chewed up, warped, etc.

Even if the manufacturer still made them, I’m not sure I would buy them again because they do NOT dry in the dishwasher- even with the heated cycle on because all the grooves and curves hold too much water, which also prevents OTHER dishes from drying.  Did you know that the more plastic items you have in the dishwasher, the less likely your dishes will DRY?  About 70% of my top rack is plastic dishes!

Back to the cups…

The curved lip on the cup and the curved lip on the lid (which really DO help make the cup a spillproof cup.  I did like that.) hold a lot of water in them after washing:

So now I’m on a mission to replace our current lunchtime cups. 

And buy non-plastic non-breakable plates for the little kids.

Plates first.

I was originally thinking Corelle.  But I’ve read that although it’s fairly resistant to breaking, when it does break it usually shatters into thousands of pieces.  Plus glass plated (even Corelle) could be a bit too heavy for 2.5 year olds to carry to and from the table.  And what about tossing them in the sink?  The kids can barely reach the counter…I don’t want them dropping plates into the sink with no abandon.  No Corelle.

I started shopping childcare supply websites and looked for articles on durable childcare lunch plates and saw several recommendations for Melamine plates.  As luck would have it, Target has some simple square white plates for under $2.00 a plate, so I stocked up on 10.

So that problem has been solved.  I showed them to Riley and Brooke and they seemed excited.  (See, in our house we use Fiestaware dishes.  Fiestaware is REALLY heavy.  Trevor is the only child who has graduated to Fiestaware dinner plates.  The girls still eat off the plastic.  I suppose Riley is ready (at age 8) but probably not Brooke.)

I picked up white, because well- white goes with everything and doesn’t make the food on your plate look weird or unappetizing.  (The other color options were vibrant red, black or cobalt blue.)

Now on to the cups.  Everyone in my daycare (up to age 5) has a water cup that they have access to all day long.  It’s only used for water and washed every couple days.  Totally spillproof.

I thought about emptying those at lunch and putting milk in them, then rinsing them out after lunch to refill with water, but I’m not so hip on that idea.  Added work, diassembling the ‘spill proof’ valve, etc.  So we just keep those filled with water.

I was using the Dora and Diego cups above for everyone’s milk.  Everyone under age 5 that is.

This week I switched to regular plastic cups for all the kids over age 2.  I only fill them 1/3 full (if that) so that when they spill (because they DO spill) there’s not so much to clean!  And of course they can get seconds if they want more to drink.

But I still need a solution for the 1-2 year olds.  

I have these:

But as you can see, they really don’t stack/nest.  Whatever I buy, it needs to nest.  And be spillproof, because the toddlers are really good at dropping their cups on the floor.  At least once a meal.

I’m considering buying the Tupperware tumblers with lids- they look like they’d be a good solution for the little kids and since they are stackable they would be a good fit for my cupboard.

Another option would be to use those cup/lid/straw combination you get at restaurants (Red Robin, Papas Pizza, etc.) 

I have TONS of those.  (We started taking them home after we learned that the restaurants don’t re-use them).  But I’m leery of using straws with the littlest kids.  A dropped cup will leak from the straw AND the straw hole.  And the straws that come in the cups are hard to clean, get chewed up and split on the top….so I guess those are out.  Still good to have on hand for our summer smoothies (with regular straws), but not practical for the babies.

See, after dumping this all on paper my laptop it looks like the clear winner would be to pick up a set of the Tupperware tumblers.  Easy to use, stack, clean and store. 

Thanks for following along this journey!