Not the Good China - Tableware for Toddlers
September 15, 2009 2:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in a nice set of tableware for our 15-month old.

I got our daughter this set from Sugar Booger (oh, how I hate that name) and it comes with a covered bowl, a fork, and a spoon. But now I realize that as it's melamine, it can't be microwaved and that's a deal-breaker for me these days. So back it goes to the store. As corny as it sounds, I'd like to find something cute that can hopefully be a keepsake too. We have the feeding spoon my MIL used for my husband and it's a really nice memento that I don't think the Take and Toss stuff we have can really live up to. We have a lot of stuff that's obviously already usable for her meals but I'd like to find something that is:

Hard to break, if not totally indestructible
Has a bowl with a suction cup on the bottom for stability
Probably comes with utensils but I'm not super concerned about that. I did like the fork that the SB set came with as the tines were pointy but not super pointy.
Is somewhat attractive/worthy of keeping as a baby memento

That's about it. I've looked at these Boon bowls and while they're okay, they don't totally do it for me and I don't particularly like the fork/spoon set that you can get from them.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Bunnykins is what I grew up using, and still remember it fondly. They have stuff that isn't melamine. The set that I had lasted until I was 13! If it hadn't eventually broken, I'd probably still be using 25.
posted by just_ducky at 3:36 PM on September 15, 2009

[Bunnykins comes in breakable china or non-microwaveable melamine and that's it.] Can you prioritize your list of dish wants? I don't think suction cup bases are ever microwaveable -- you can remove some, but what a pain.

We have a little set of silver cutlery from Birks that will make a nice hand-me-down; pricy tho. And if you like Barbapapa they have some pretty sharp barbadishes -- but, sadly, melamine.
posted by kmennie at 3:51 PM on September 15, 2009

Response by poster: The suction cup isn't a huge deal but would be nice. Non-skid is probably a good middle-ground. Mostly I like it to be non-toxic and something that you'd want to keep to pass on.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 3:58 PM on September 15, 2009

FYI, at 19 months we seem to be through the worst of the plate-overturning and flinging. He mostly eats like a real person now! Utensils and everything. He will still flip a plate at the end of a meal, if he gets bored, but a minor amount of attention can prevent that. I think we saw dramatic improvement about a month or so ago, maybe a little longer. So I would say that the suction cup is a short term need. We never had any bowls with them and only lost a couple of bowls of cereal to gravity, and none in the last couple of months. We use our regular plates and bowls now, and I would have called that crazy talk 3-4 months ago.

Maybe consider small-scaled stuff that can be used through childhood? That way it will be a memory for your kid as well. Corelle is the hardest to break non-plastic dinnerware that i'm aware of, though it isn't exactly cute. Some of the square stuff isn't bad.
posted by pekala at 5:05 PM on September 15, 2009

Another cool thing that you could do if you got a 'real' set (like a Corelle service for 4) is that it could eventually be used in your daughter's first apartment. Mementos can take lots of forms... I always like finding little things that I remember from childhood in my kitchen (odd sets and castoffs from my mom).
posted by pekala at 5:17 PM on September 15, 2009

Not microwaveable, but I'll still toss out this Tantalyn steel set and this wooden one just to give you more options to ponder -- they are at least certainly non-toxic and nice to pass on, I think.
posted by kmennie at 5:42 PM on September 15, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah after another afternoon of web surfing, I've come to believe that my perfect option doesn't exist . Do you hear that internet? Please fill the void and make some pretty, non-toxic, keepsake-worthy, durable, microwaveable dishes for toddlers!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 7:15 PM on September 15, 2009

A plastic suction cup won't age well. Dishwasher, air exposure, soaps, time will all contribute to it turning yellowed and stiff and (eventually) cracked and nasty.

I'd go for one of the cool sets above and glue a suction cup to the bottom. Pry it off when she's older. I'm partial to the Bunnykins sets above (go for the non-plastic ones; the cereal bowls might be china but they're nearly indestructable).
posted by variella at 7:37 PM on September 15, 2009

Fiestaware has some children's sets (although I think the patterns are not so great.) You could make your own set by combining a bowl, salad plate and tumbler. The dishes are microwaveable (although I find they do get hot) and fairly indestructible. And the bright colors are pretty appealing to kids.

Here are some cute made in the USA pottery sets you can even have personalized: Emerson Creek Pottery.

Or go for totally chic (and spendy): Heath Ceramics kids set (it includes flatware!)
posted by vespabelle at 9:06 PM on September 15, 2009

I'm in love with these adorable utensils from elsewares.
posted by infinityjinx at 9:09 PM on September 15, 2009

Response by poster: Oh right, I forgot about the Heath set. I've actually seen that at the Sausalito store AND have a $250 gift certificate to use there!
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:37 PM on September 15, 2009

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