When it comes to life’s biggest challenges, trying to feed your baby without making a mess ranks right up there with folding a fitted sheet or getting your husband to help wash the dishes. A.k.a. it’s frustrating at best and impossible at worst.
And while we can’t help you convince your little one that yes, vegetables really are important (and no, they don’t belong on the floor), we can help you pick the best baby bowls and plates to make your next meal a little more manageable—and a lot less messy.
What to look for when selecting baby bowls and plates:
Just like high chairs and baby monitors, there are so many options when it comes to your child’s dishes. Whether it’s the material (stainless steel vs. silicone, for instance) or the added features (easy-grip handles! leak-proof lids!), choosing the best baby bowls and plates has more to do with your personal preferences and your lifestyle than anything else.
One thing we—and many parents—do love though? Suction bowls and plates. They adhere to most surfaces and prevent the nightmare that is tipped-over dishes and food flung everywhere.
No matter what type of dish you want—or what type of messy eater you have in your own home—we’ve rounded up the best baby bowls and plates below— from the most eco-friendly to the most stylish. Bon appetit, baby!
Is it a placemat or a plate? The correct answer is BOTH. This genius all-in-one mat suctions to any flat surface (and is the perfect size for most highchair trays) to prevent tipped-over dishes. It’s microwave-safe so you can take it right from the kitchen to the table. And while it’s made of sturdy silicone, it’s also light and flexible so you can easily tote it around if you dare to leave the house.
Spills? Psh, not in your house thanks to this popular suction bowl which adheres to any flat surface with just a simple press of your hand. It even comes paired with a matching bamboo spoon that has an ergonomic handle specially designed for little hands to scoop and stir comfortably.
Talk about a win-win: These pretty plates are better for your baby and for the environment. Made of recycled milk jugs, they’re free of all those not-so-great materials like BPA, PVC, and phthalate and are dishwasher-safe so you can just toss them in after dinner. Another perk? The plates themselves can be recycled again once your toddler grows out of them!
Behind every good (and mess-free) meal is an even better plate. Like this suction one from Bumkins which has over 1,000 glowing reviews on Amazon. The divided plate is perfectly portioned for toddlers and has a flat edge that makes it easy for them to get closer to their food—so it ends up in their mouth, instead of on the floor. Well, sometimes.
Open up that recipe for homemade baby food you saw on Pinterest—because you finally have an easy way to whip it up, with this bowl that doubles as a baby food maker. It’s microwave-safe and comes with a masher that can be used to mush up steamed fruits and veggies right in the dish.
Imagine how satisfying it will feel when your toddler goes to throw their bowl on the ground—only to find it glued to the table (ha, take that!). While this suction bowl sticks firmly in place, it also has an easy-release tab to make cleanup quicker and comes in three sizes for everything from single servings to shareable snacks.
Who said stainless steel was just for pots and pans? Not us. The popular material makes for durable, non-toxic baby dishes, too, like this divided plate. It even comes with a stay-tight lid that you can pop on so you can take your baby’s lunch with you on the go.
If you’ve been feeling more maid than mom lately, give the paper towels a break by opting for these stay-in-place bowls. Not only do they suction firmly to your table (or highchair tray) but they’re also BPA-free and come with snap-on lids so you can store whatever your baby doesn’t eat in the fridge afterwards.
There’s always room in your cabinets for one more set of stackable baby bowls (and if there isn’t, make space!). The rainbow-hued bowls have easy-grip sides that are perfect for little hands and come with spill-proof—and leak-proof—lids so you can toss them in your bag as you go about your busy day.
Looks like an adult plate, feels like a baby plate. That’s what you’ll get with these dishes, which are as fashionable as they are functional. Made of natural bamboo, they’re both eco-friendly and scratch-proof and come in chic neutral colors so you won’t feel embarrassed stacking them up on those trendy open shelves.
Even the most well-behaved babies can’t avoid knocking over the occasional bowl of cereal (which yes, is the only time it’s acceptable to cry over spilled milk). That’s why so many parents are obsessed with suction bowls. The silicone dishes stay in place on any surface in your home and can easily be released (by parents only!) by pulling the tab.
Meet the plate that changes as your child does. The outer ring—which keeps food on the plate and off the floor—can be removed once your little one masters the art of feeding themselves. A.k.a. you can buy one plate to last. I mean, who throws out OXO products anyway?
Want to make every moment as easy as mealtime? Check out the rest of our favorite baby gear.