The Toxic Truth About Cute 'Kiddie' Bowls & Dishes

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melamineYou 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

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corri... corrinacs

Does this include Munchkin brand tableware?  My children use thier bowls and plates....but they don't resemble the ones that pop up on a google search.

Maias... MaiasMommy619

I have..but not for hot foods so I think we are good..but will start to limit them even more now.

handy... handy0318

I've drummed it into my kids over and over that they should only use ceramic and glassware for anything hot.  We used to have a couple of the melamine bowls and cups, they were gifts from their grandma, but I only allowed them to use them for raw veggies, chips or popcorn... I didn't even like them using them for cereal, but that was probably me just being a bit OCD about it.

JessL... JessLogansMommy

Ikea has a line that is polypropolene,  not melamine and  is BPA free.  Called Kalas i believe.  I still do not use them for hot foods, i save that for ceramic only.  

nonmember avatar melissa

I have never let my kid have plastic or anything other then ceramic/glass. Even as a young child she used glass/ceramic. I've never trusted what they put into those cheap kids dishes. She's begged and we've had to give away some gifts. But I refuse to let this one go.

dirti... dirtiekittie

i'm with other posters - we use glass/ceramic for anything hot. my kids have had a couple of the melamine plates/bowls in the past, but they were mostly used for snacking / cold lunches. 

momav... momavanessa

We have the Kalas collection from Ikea but I use them for snacks, cereal, and other cold stuff. The Ceramic is for hot foods.

nonmember avatar Suzi Sena

This is great info. What ceramic/glass bowls do you recommend for toddlers? My twins are almost two and I need something that will not break.

nonmember avatar Ana Dimas

Well, yes, almost all the time :( I've tried the glass and ceramic but they just keep ending up broken from being dropped, but from now on ill just have to deal with it, any suggestions? I havr major cereal monsters so the bowls have to stay :/

Tressa1 Tressa1

This stuff is terrible. I had some plates that my daughter loved but she eventually told me that her food tasted bad and stopped eating. Just thought I was going through picky toddler stage but I got fed up one night and told her I'd try her food to show her it wasn't bad and her food on that plate tasted of chemicals and dish washer detergent!!! They all want into the trash that evening!

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