Choosing the right utensils for your baby!
Feeding a newborn is unquestionably a difficult task. So now is the time to discuss feeding products and accessories, including utensils, plates, bowls, bibs, and the works. Have you ever gone down the baby store's spoon aisle and felt your head explode from the sheer number of options? Have you ever found yourself scrolling aimlessly through pages and pages of dishes and bowls on the internet? When the market is flooded with options, narrowing down the best feeding accessories and feeding supplies for your infant can be challenging. You may consider how each is made in addition to looking at lovely little animal-shaped plates. For example, should you buy plastic or silicone? Or bamboo because it's so environmentally friendly? Sheesh! So, here's some respite and a way to stop your head spinning!
Which is the best feeding accessory: bamboo, stainless steel, plastic, or silicone?
Silicone, stainless steel, bamboo, and plastic are the most preferred materials for baby feeding equipment. As a result, it might be difficult to feel confident that you are making the best decision possible. Let's take a closer look at each choice.
Since chemicals like BPA and phthalates have been identified as dangerous, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued recommendations on using plastic utensils, containers, plates, and bowls. Many items still contain phthalates, which can have harmful effects on the endocrine system, although considerable progress and regulation have been made to make them safer by removing BPA... many products still contain phthalates, which can have negative effects on the endocrine system. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics advocates avoiding plastic in all products that comes into contact with food if at all possible. Understandably, eliminating plastic isn't always possible or practical, and that's fine! If you decide to use plastic, make sure it's BPA-free (and preferably phthalate-free); avoid using it in the microwave or dishwasher to avoid any damage to the plastic that can compromise the quality of the food served. Examining the recycling codes on a product or its packaging is an easy approach to ensure you're not using plastics that contain dangerous chemicals. Codes 3, 6, and 7 indicate that the product is dangerous. Codes 3 and 6 do not contain BPA; however, they contain other chemicals that we should strive to avoid, whereas code 7 contains BPA and other dangerous additions!
Bamboo is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly solution, one of its best qualities. It is also created without the use of any chemicals. It's rather easy to clean, plus it's naturally antimicrobial! The only drawback is that it can't be put in the dishwasher because the wood expands when exposed to excessive heat (and it can't be microwaved either) – but aside from that, it's a favorite among feeding accessory materials.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends stainless steel as a good alternative to plastic. It's sturdy and unbreakable for those little ones who enjoy hurling anything they can get their hands on while learning to eat at the table. It is also resistant to wear and tear and, like bamboo, is environmentally friendly. As a result, you may feel good about helping the environment.
Some substances found in stainless steel, such as iron, nickel, and chromium, have been suspected of leaching into food and causing harm when consumed. The good news is that the amounts that could be leached into your food are not dangerous at all they may be advantageous because those substances are required by our bodies.
Silicone has quickly grown in popularity as a material for feeding attachments. It won't react with meals or liquids, can be used to serve hot foods, and is also microwave and dishwasher safe! It's stain-resistant and non-stick, making it ideal for baby-led weaning because it's so simple to clean when things get messy! Silicone is used in a large number of my favorite products.
Plates and bowls:
Look for bowls and plates that are easy to clean, stick well to the highchair so they don't move around (or get thrown off), are durable in the sense that they're sustainable, resist wear and tear, is dishwasher safe, made with non-toxic materials (no BPA), and are age-appropriate. There are some advantages to using a divided plate, especially when serving something saucy/soup-like that will mix with other foods a lot, but in the end, an open plate or a divided plate are both fine. PS: When you first start, you can also put food straight on the highchair tray (no plate needed).
When it comes to bibs, the best options are those that provide the most coverage, are easy to clean, and can be adjusted. Fabric bibs that need to be washed in the machine after each meal are a nuisance! Not as convenient as something that can be immediately wiped or rinsed off and air-dried before being reused.
When it comes to cups, open cups are always preferred because they aid in the development of a balanced face muscle structure. However, open cups aren't always practical when traveling or out and about, so straw cups are a fantastic alternative! Apart from choosing between an open cup and a straw cup, consider how easy they are to disassemble and clean, and the materials they are composed of.
When it comes to utensils, the decision is more difficult because it is ultimately determined by your baby's age and development with solid foods. Although no special baby-led weaning utensils exist, there are some qualities to look for to aid in the development of their feeding abilities.
Find the best cups and cutlery for babies here!
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