We’ve all been there. You’ve made your kid’s favorite breakfast — a delicious plate of eggs, turkey bacon, and berries on their favorite silicone plate. One of those surefire meals that you know your kid will gobble up. However, this time, they take one bite, make a cringey face, and throw the entire plate on the floor.
Once the shock of the mess wears off — don’t panic. There’s a good chance that it’s not your cooking or a sudden change in preference to blame for this food battle. It might be the silicone plate you’re using that is changing the taste of food.
Why does my child’s silicone plate taste soapy?
If you’re keen on using silicone kitchen wear to cook and prep your kid’s food, there’s scientific evidence that backs up the notion that the silicone might be to blame for your kid’s sudden disinterest — because silicone can change the taste of food.
If you try a bite of the food your child refused, you might notice it has a soapy taste. According to Food Network, strong dish detergents and soaps are often absorbed into silicone and can affect the taste of whatever you are storing.
After seeing a TikTok from one mom claiming that silicone plates could alter the taste of food, one mom put this to the test.
“I tried delicious fluffy eggs off of this plate,” The Stringy Mama said while holding up her child’s silicone plate.
“They were foul. They tasted like I cooked them with sludge, like I blended them in my garbage disposal and served them on a plate. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Disgusting. No wonder my baby throws food on the floor.”
Do silicone plates change the taste of food?
There is also evidence that over time, silicone mats and pans can start to smell, look, and taste “off” because of their non-stick, heat-resistant coating.
According to Tasting Table, as the cooking materials heat up, the silicone molecules expand and absorb the oils from whatever is being cooked with them. Once they cool down, that absorbed oil — along with its smells and tastes — seeps into the silicone material, making it start to look oily or sticky over time and creating the possibility of old, musty flavors leaking into whatever you make next.
Could this happen with silicone plates, too, even if they aren’t used for cooking? It’s unclear, but some types of low-grade silicon might smell or taste like plastic, and that could translate to your kids food.
While silicone plates are having a moment with mom and parents — it’s a replacement for plastic plates, which are worrisome, not to mention that they can be durable, non-toxic, and easy to clean — they might not be perfect. Especially cheaply-made ones. The best way to test your plates might be to try to eat some hot food off of them and see how it goes. Also, always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions.
Does cooking with silicone change taste?
There’s no reason to run and throw away your silicone cook wear right away. High-quality silicone spatulas and rubber scrapers are amazing tools to have in the kitchen for cooking. High-quality, food-grade silicone cookware is said not to affect the flavor of food.
Just look out for silicone products that smell or taste like plastic when it's brand new out of the packaging. There’s a good chance that cooking with utensils that smell like plastic may lead to food that tastes similar which results in your kid’s food on the floor.
How do you get rid of the taste of silicone?
Some of the most popular silicone cook wear brands like OXO and Stasher have certain cleaning recommendations to try and ensure their cook wear does not end up making food taste soapy or like plastic.
OXO recommends dampening silicone products with water and scrub a generous amount of baking soda onto the product to form a paste. Then, leave the paste to dry and rinse the product with hot water a few hours later.
Stasher recommends filling the inside of your silicone bag with a solution of 1/4-cup vinegar, one to two tablespoons of salt and 1/2-cup of hot tap water. Close the bag and carefully give it a shake. Let it sit for more than an hour and then wash the bag with soap and water.
Alternatively, Stasher says that you can bake your Stasher bag on an oven-safe pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for around 20 minutes and allow your bag to cool.