You know those miracle melamine bowls parents love using for kids? They never break and they've often got your kids' favorite cartoon characters splashed all over them. I grew up eating out of melamine.
Well guess what. You know what's coming, right? THEY'RE TOXIC. Melamine has been linked to kidney stones among other things, and you remember the horrible melamine in baby formula scandal. In a recent study, researchers served people hot noodle soup in melamine bowls. Then they studied their urine to see how much of the melamine had leached out of the bowls. They compared this with people who ate hot soup out of ceramic bowls. The result? Hot soup causes chemicals to leach from melamine bowls.
So now you know. Temperature is a key factor, so I think it's probably still safe enough to use melamine bowls for cold cereal. But forget soup! Researchers wouldn't say how dangerous the levels of melamine they found are.
So now I'm scrambling to remember if I've ever served my son food in melamine ... I prefer ceramics (durable diner china, FTW!) and glass in my kitchen, but it's hard to keep those cheap melamine and plastic dishes away. Grandparents send them, they come free with other stuff. Even if I did use melamine for my son at some point, it was probably just for cold foods and drinks since ceramics keep hot foods and drinks warmer longer.
I won't ever use melamine bowls for hot food in the future, though, that's for sure. And if my son weren't so freakin' attached to his one stupid melamine Halloween tumbler with the built-in straw, that would be going in the garbage right now. (Seriously, that thing is so ugly, I'm just looking for excuses to get rid of it.) But he doesn't use it for hot chocolate, so I'll let it slide. New rule for us: No new plastics or melamine in our kitchen, period.
Do you ever serve your kids warm foods or drinks in melamine dishware?
Image via GranniesKitchen/Flickr