We know getting kids to eat at meal times can be a challenge, and that a lot of kid-friendly dinnerware is made from melamine. Why is it so hard to find a fun kid dinnerware that isn't made from harmful materials?! We shouldn't have to compromise health for functionality, which is why we rounded up our top 9 melamine free children's dinnerware! These plates, dishes, and utensils are all durable enough to withstand a temper tantrum but are made from safe materials like silicone, stainless steel, or tempered glass. Your kids will love the fun shapes and colors, and you'll love how sturdy they are!
We're all guilty of just letting our teething baby chew anything they can get their hands on. What's the harm as long as it's not a choking hazard? A little dirt is good right? Turns out, there are some common household items that you definitely don't want your kids to chew on because they contain toxic chemicals or substances like lead and flame retardants. Having a safe teether made of silicone or wood is your best bet for your baby's health. Check out our 9 favorite options that will give your little one some relief and will also make for some cute photos!
A look into the safety of one of America's most popular cookware materials
Remember when we found out that the BPA in plastics were actually endocrine disruptors that could lead to all sorts of yucky health effects like early onset puberty, mess with our hormones and even cause cancer (1)? Since that news, we've seen an abundance of BPA-free cookware, drink ware and bakeware populating the marketplace. Some are even ditching traditional plastic products altogether. One of the most popular materials among industry and consumers alike is silicone. But have you ever wondered just how safe silicone is? We're breaking it down for you below- the good, the bad, and everything in between so you can make the safest choice!
Five Reasons to Love Silicone
- Heat stable: Silicone can usually be used up to temperatures of 400(F) and can withstand going from extreme heat to extreme cold (2). This makes it a kid-friendly option, but is also great for busy adults who love to cook and leftovers freeze easily in silicone dishware. And when you're done, the silicone dishware can just be tossed into the dishwasher without any fear of it coming out melted after a high heat wash (2).
- Flexible: Smash it, drop it, squeeze it, silicone will survive basically anything (except maybe an apocalypse) (2).
- Degrades into large pieces: Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing! Because silicone products degrade into larger pieces, they are not as readily ingested by marine life, animal life and consequently, by humans as well (4)!
- Durable: Compared to plastic that can crack, or glass that can shatter, silicone products are a great alternative that last basically forever (hurrah for our budgets!) (2).
- Recyclable: Silicone can be down-cycled into other products (4). Once you're done with them, silicone products can be recycled into petroleum products that can be used again (4).
Five Reasons to be Wary of Silicone
- Unknown long-term safety: Silicone products are fairly new to the market. Therefore, there have been very few studies conducted on the safety of silicone products and even fewer on the long-term health effects of using silicone products (6).
- Chemical fillers: Depending on the quality of the silicone product, it may or may not contain chemical fillers (2,4). Generally, the higher the quality of silicone, the less likely it will contain chemical fillers (4).
- Migration of chemicals into food: Studies have found chemicals in silicone products passing from storage containers, cookware and nursing teats (3,5).
- Migration of chemicals into air: When silicone products are exposed to high temperatures (think baking), the chemicals in the product can be released into the air (2). The released particles tend to persist in the air and pose a health hazard to the lungs (2).
- Special recycling process: In order for silicone to be down-cycled, you will need to bring products to special recycling centers (4).
What You Can Do to Keep Yourself Safe (Because Silicone Cookware Really is Awesome!)
- Look for medical grade: Medical grade silicone should contain little or no chemical fillers (4). By purchasing medical grade silicone, you are ensuring you're getting a product that is as close to 100 percent silicone as possible.
- Avoid chemical fillers: A quick tip to check for chemicals on a colored product is to pinch the silicone surface (4). If you can see white in the product while pinching, then a chemical filler has been used (4). A pure silicone product shouldn't change color at all (4).
- Wash before using: Make sure to pre-clean all silicone products before using - this will decrease the amount and likelihood of chemicals getting into the food or air (2).
- Adhere to maximum temperature: Always look to see what the maximum temperature a silicone product can withstand and don't exceed the temperature (2).
A refreshing family friendly treat, without added food colorings, cane sugar, or plastic packaging.
Popsicles are such a fun treat for adults and kids whenever it gets hot outside! We put together a fun graphic where you can make your own recipe for a healthy homemade popsicle, using whatever you have on hand. We make all sorts of popsicles from leftover fruit, veggies, juices that we have laying around. It's a great way to use up that half of a banana or browning avocado that your kid didn't eat. And instead of becoming food waste (which is a huge contributor to climate change), it gets new life as an amazing treat. We like these silicone or stainless steel popsicle molds, cause they are super durable and we generally try to avoid plastics and food. Making your own popsicles is a great way to have fun, while being non-toxic. Many store bought popsicles contain load of cane sugar, food colorings, other additives, and plastic packaging. So pick one up a popsicle mold, choose a combination of tasty ingredients, blend, freeze, and enjoy!
In case you need some ideas to get started, here are some of our favorites:
Chocolate Fudge: Cocoa powder, avocado (or banana), coconut milk, and honey/maple syrup
Watermelon Strawberry Mint: Watermelon, Strawberries, Coconut water, and Mint
Spinach Blueberry Yogurt: Spinach, Blueberry, Banana, and Yogurt
Creamy Zucchini Pineapple: Zucchini, Pineapple, and Coconut milk
*A special tip on mixing colors. Mixing leafy greens with red or orange fruits/veggies (like carrot juice or strawberries) makes for a pretty brown popsicle. It will still taste good, but might not look as appetizing!
Made with safe materials and zero-waste friendly
Tired of changing and throwing away tampons or pads every month? Want a zero-waste alternative for your period? Heard of menstrual cups and period underwear, but not sure which one to pick? Well, look no further! We rounded up the 9 best-reviewed non-toxic menstrual cups and organic period underwear options for you to try out. All of the menstrual cups are made of a flexible medical-grade silicone that collect fluid instead of absorbing it. The period underwear options we found are made with organic cotton, and can be washed.
No fragrances, dyes, chlorine, pesticides, and are all well reviewed
Your vagina is one of the most absorbent parts of your body. That means they are very good at helping all kinds of chemicals enter your body, and often that they are pretty sensitive. You need a tampon that won't leak and is comfortable. Not one made with fragrances, dyes, chlorine, and pesticides. So, when you can, opt for products that are organic and free from other unknown and non-disclosed ingredients while still doing what they were designed to do (including when it comes to sex).
our favorite reusable items for packing lunch for the kids (and yourself!)
As all the kids are going back to school, it's time to get ready to start getting creative when it comes to packing lunches. While plastic sandwich bags may be convenient, they aren't the healthiest and are only adding to the plastic problem in our oceans. Instead, stock up on some of these lunchbox essentials. They are reusable, washable, and healthier than a bag full of plastic containers. We also have a roundup of general food storage containers you might want to check out.
We scoured the internet finding an assortment of safe, non-toxic, and good for your health ways to keep your leftovers fresh and looking good, may we add. All of these options are sustainable, have many glowing reviews, and are easily available. We also have a roundup more specifically for packing lunch you might also want to check out.