Looking for the perfect baby bowls and toddler plates for mealtime? We can all agree that feeding your baby is no easy feat, nor is it one your kitchen can come away from unscathed. It ranks right up there with folding a fitted sheet or getting your husband to help wash the dishes. Long story short, some days can be easy while others can feel impossible. Your baby’s mood is constantly changing. They could be a little angel for snack time, but when it comes time for sitting down for dinner all bets are off their food is staying on the table. 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.
Just like high chairs, baby monitors, and foldable cribs, 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! bowls that stick!), choosing the best baby bowls and plates has more to do with your personal preferences and your lifestyle than anything else.
What are the best baby bowls & plates?
“Functional and easy to clean!” says Dr. Chelsea Johnson, Associate Lead of Pediatrics at K Health. And of course, safety is the top priority. “The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding plastics with BPA and phthalates as they can be harmful to babies when the chemicals leach into foods when heated.”
She adds that some features to consider are whether you want plates and bowls that have a suction cup bottom, which makes it harder for little ones to pick up and throw — it also keeps the piece firmly in place as they practice their coordination. Also, decide whether you want items that are dishwasher and/or microwave safe, and be sure to check each product before purchase (you may be surprised which materials can and cannot be put in the dishwasher or microwaved!). Other things to keep in mind are whether you want items that are eco-friendly and if you want bowls and plates with sections that separate different foods.
Dr. Johnson notes some popular materials that are suitable for toddler tableware, plus their key attributes:
- “Bamboo has become a renewable and beautiful alternative, but don’t throw it in the dishwasher. Hand wash with soap and water and let completely air dry.” Also, note that these are probably not microwave-safe.
- “Stainless steel is a good alternative to plastic due to strength and durability, [it’s] easy to clean and sustainable.” H0wever, it’s “best suited for toddlers moving away from suction plates and into more real tableware for your toddler to practice with.” Of course, these cannot be put in the microwave.
- “Silicone is becoming widely popular too. Microwave and dishwasher safe, stain-resistant and non-stick, and doesn’t react with foods or liquids.”
When should I buy baby bowls & plates?
“Baby tableware can be started when your baby is at least 6 months old, able to hold their head steady, and sit in a 4-point restraint chair,” says Dr. Johnson. “There is no right or wrong way to start; [you can use] just the high chair tray or immediately have baby plates or bowls, whether suction cupped or not.”
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!
Best Baby Suction Bowls
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Baby Suction Plates
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.
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.
According to the description, this plate is “tantrum-proof” (if only), but at least it’ll stay put, should a tantrum occur. A built-on silicone base helps this dinnerware stay put, whether you’re kiddo is a thrower or trying to (clumsily) feed themself. Individual sections help make mealtime easier, too. OXO Tot also has a suction bowl, so you might as well grab them both in the bundle.
Best Plates For Toddlers
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?
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!
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.
This sectioned plate has a suction on the bottom, so it ain’t going anywhere, no matter how enthusiastic and energetic your little one is. The super safe silicone material the plate is made from is durable *and* stain resistant, so no need to worry about that red spaghetti sauce.
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.
Best Baby Bowl Sets
Open up that recipe for homemade baby food you saw on Pinterest—because you finally have an easy way to whip it up, with these bowls that double as a baby food maker. They’re microwave-safe and come with a masher that can be used to mush up steamed fruits and veggies right in the dish.
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.
This 3-piece set includes Olababy’s innovative steam bowl, which allows you to store, steam, and serve Baby’s food. Fill it up with produce or soup, pop out the perforated bottom, and place it in a pot to boil for even heating (just make sure it’s cooled down enough by the time you offer it to your little one). This set also comes with two spoons: One long for feeding, one short for little hands to feed themselves. In addition to being made with toxic-free food-grade silicone, you’ll love that Olababy’s minimalist feeding gear looks great on your dining room table.
If you’re looking for a cute plate and bowl set your baby will love well into their toddler years, it’s all about this Minnie Mouse 4-piece set, which includes a fork and spoon. Made without BPAs, all pieces are safe to go in the dishwasher.
If your little one isn’t into Minnie Mouse, there are other Disney characters to choose from too! (Mickey Mouse, Lightening McQueen, and more).
Want to make every moment as easy as mealtime? Check out the rest of our favorite baby gear.