Non-Plastic Utensils for Kids
I would imagine that most parents can remember a time when you've resorted to occupying your child with a spoon, while waiting for your food in a restaurant. The options though, were not usually the safest. Of course, plastic is the most readily available and then there's adult-sized low-grade stainless steel. Ouch! Could be painful for little gums.
A relevant blow to plastic cutlery was the addition of styrene to the US Health Dept. List of Carcinogens. Styrene is a chemical in polystyrene plastics and often used to make plastic forks, spoons and knives and is prone to leach into hot foods and those with a high fat content. In addition to being an endocrine disruptor, prolonged exposure to styrene has been found to be toxic to the brain and nervous system.
Luckily, there are some alternatives to be had. Bambu, the fabulous makers of bamboo kitchen wares has some great options, safely made only from bamboo that is sustainably harvested and free of fertilizers or pesticides. And naturally, they use only water-based formaldehyde-free adhesives and finish with a natural food-safe oil. The bamboo baby utensils come in a set of 2 spoons and 2 forks, perfect to keep a set for on-the-go. They are lovingly designed for small mouths and hands and the hard smooth surface provides terrific teething comfort in between bites! Also available is the bamboo spork, a fun economic choice if you want the combination of the two, kind of like the skort is to a skirt and shorts, but not dorky.
Lastly, as an upgrade to the chemically laden plastic utensils made with all sorts of kid-enticing figurines, this "first set" is adorned with the happiest of dinosaur faces, made to easily accomodate a little independent hand. The Bamdino bamboo utensil set is perfect for home or a trip to the park. By using only Certified Organic bamboo, these utensils are free from dyes, bleaches and other chemicals. Throw them in the composter; they're fully biodegradable within 4-6 months. They're even fun to hand-wash!
If you're looking for a to-go bamboo utensil set that comes with a carrying case, this RePEaT set is perfect to throw in (or clip on) to your backpack. A lightweight but strong fork, spoon, knife and chopsticks are included! Great for adults to share, too.
Another great option for babies, toddlers and kids are the high-grade stainless steel utensils made by Ginkgo. There are different sizes for the growing stages, starting with a baby feeding spoon and evolving to the "first set" with a 3-piece toddler set. Eventually, your child will be ready for the 3-piece or 6-piece utensil set. And after your babies have grown, the feeding spoon certainly makes for a great ice cream or yogurt spoon! Another great perk besides being free of unwanted chemicals, these can go in the dishwasher.
What are your favorite kid utensils?