This week my toddler, Mr. Parker, has been digging on his new BPA free feeding gear from ThinkBaby. It is a complete stainless steel feeding system encased in safe plastic (polypropylene). It contains a baby bowl with lid, a soup bowl with lid, a bento box with air tight lid, a cup, a fork, and a spoon. They are free of BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, and melamine.
My first impression of the set was that it is VERY attractive and functional. We got rid of the cheap plastic and melamine plates and cups a long time ago and started using regular dishes. But there is just something to be said about pint size dishes that can be tossed around without fear of breakage. I can’t recall if I ever mentioned this before but Mr. Parker has a one inch scar on his cheek from a glass bowl that broke. It was a very traumatic experience so I fully understand why many parents want kiddie dishes instead of adult dishes. I could care less about the expense of broken dishes but I care very much when I have to spend half a day in the hospital having my baby stitched up. :( And I care that he is now scarred for life.
The Thinkbaby Feeding Set is very attractive, it is much more sustainable then pure plastic options, it is sturdy and functional, and much safer than other many other feeding products. BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead, and melamine are deal breakers.
This set is also perfect for travel and packing a lunch. This summer the family will be spending a lot of time at the zoo, the science museum, and picnicking in area parks. We plan on packing lunches in our bento boxes and Parker’s will be packed in this set. If I fill up a Laptop lunchbox for him, I would be wasting a lot of food… the Thinkbaby set is the perfect size for young kids. I think I will buy one for my 5 year old as well. They are not heavy at all so there won’t be extra weight to lug around either. They would be phenomenal for taking food to day cares and preschools.
My favorite piece in this set is the cup. It is the perfect size for my toddler and it has a handle so drinking is easier to master. Since we are not using sippy cups anymore it is the perfect solution. We use the cup more than any other item. The bento box is also great for snacks…either at home or on the go. Parker has been using the bento to eat his breakfast every morning of late… fresh and dehydrated fruit slices, sprinkled with crushed nuts and seeds. If he doesn’t manage to eat it all I just put the lid on it and stick it in the fridge until lunch. The bigger bowl is great for small salads and fresh cut veggies for dipping as well as soup.
I the only things I would change about this set are the utensils. I think they need to be bigger for toddlers and older kids. As they are, they reminded me of baby utensils…which is perfect for babies I guess but not so much for toddlers. I also wish they came in more colors. I would ideally like to have a set for my toddler and my 5 year old and each having their own special color would be awesome and would make traveling with these dishes even easier.
All in all though I think I can safely say this is my favorite set among the BPA free, safer kids dishes and cups. They are a good value for the money and I know we will get a lot of use out them. I would recommend them highly to other parents!
On the menu: Egg drop soup, a green smoothie with spinach and fruit, and sliced bananas sprinkled with dried cranberries, almonds, flax seed, and banana nut granola from Bare Naked.
Watch the video below to see Parker in action. He loved the green smoothie (of course) and the fruit…he would not touch the egg drop soup, he only played with it. He is soooo my vegan baby. ;)
Boon has quickly become one of my favorite companies for kids products. Their BPA free bowls and utensils for kids rock, they have an awesome potty bench that we are using, and the design is modern yet slightly retro. The design mom in me loves them. Oh and they are also sticklers for safe plastics that won’t poison our kids.
They have just come out with some really cute and safe bath toys that are free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates, as have some other companies. Here are some safer bath toy options:
The Scrubble (picture above) – A set of three interchangeable bulbs and textured attachments. For fun, fill the bulb with water and squeeze it out. The toys are easy to keep clean, just unscrew the parts—and they can even go in the dishwasher.
The Original Rubber Duck – This classic has been re-done with a non-toxic spin. All natural materials and hand painted with non-toxic paints.
Green Toys Tugboat – Made by the amazing company, Green Toys and from recycled materials no less.
Water Bugs – Kids can scoop up these colorful critters as they glide across the water. Set includes three floating bugs and a mesh net. My kids would LOVE this!
Remember my post awhile back about toxic nail polish and my search for something better for my daughter. Some of the ingredients of conventional nail polish are scary…Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde and toluene so of course I hesitated to let my daughter polish her nails. But I did find many safe options and just stumbled upon another this weekend, Piggy Paints! They are non-toxic, odorless, and very kid friendly. Their slogan is “natural as mud”. They use natural ingredients that dry to a hard, durable finish. There are no toxic chemicals; it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone. They also have a safe nail polish remover. Piggy Paints are a big hit with my daughter. The nail polish dries pretty quickly (1-2 minutes) with a blow dryer and the color is very vibrant and pretty. I love the suggestions on the piggy paints site for distracting young kids while their nails dry too. While I got my camera my own daughter gave herself a blue eyebrow. They have some amazing colors my daughter is in love with. I like Dandelion Dance and Dragon Tears. In the picture below my daughter is wearing Tea Party for Two and Girls Rule! Piggy Paints get two very emphatic thumbs up from us!
Girls everywhere and some boys too, love to play with dolls. Just take a stroll down the doll aisle at WalMart and you will see what a big business it is…Barbies, Monster High, Cabbage Patch, dolls that swim , and dolls that eat…there are so many options. What most parents may not consider when walking down that aisle is that many of these dolls are toxic. They are often made of dangerous plastics that have PVC and/or Phthalates which can cause numerous health issues. They are often times not recyclable and for something with a short life span as far as quality goes, this is a sad thing. Add to that the fact that advertisements are convincing our girls that they have to have ALL these dolls you could end up with dozens of dolls that are neither safe or planet friendly. So how can we do better? There are many cloth options, organic options, and safer plastic options so there is something for everyone. Here are a few of the ones I discovered in my research.
But here are some questions to ask yourself. Is this doll made of unsafe plastics or vinyl? Can it be recycled or composted eventually? If it is made of cloth what type of fill is it stuffed with? Plastic or cloth based? Is this a quality doll that will last or one that may need to be discarded a year or two from now?
A much more affordable alternative would be the soft Haba dolls. They are sooo cute and colorful I think I want one. Fay’s kimono style clothes are removable for pretend play fun. She has beautiful long brown hair that can be tied up or left down (comes with a flowered hair band). Her facial features are very nicely stitched on. Fay also comes with a cape and a basket full of flowers. She also has some cute friends like Souri, and my personal fave Lilli. You can see a picture of them at the top of this post. Available for $35-65.99.
Another good option is a Waldorf inspired doll like this Waldorf Fortune Fairy Flippippi and her friends. Waldorf dolls are all made of natural materials such as wool, cotton stockinet and quartz sand. Available for $85.99.
Planet Pixies are soft dolls as well. Kayla looks kind of like Tinkerbell with blondish-pink hair. My daughter would love her. Planet Pixies are made with all natural and organic cotton fabrics and packaged in 100% post consumer recycled packaging. They also have a great story to go with them and in fact NEED your help as Pixies everywhere are losing their homes due to pollution, deforestation, and global warming. ;) Check out Maya too. Planet Pixies are available for $24.99.
Another soft doll that is just adorable is the Corolle Babicorolle Sorbet Melodie. I have a pink hair thing I think. Yes, I have always wanted pink hair. ;) Melodie is pretty in pink, soft, and a perfect gift because she comes in a shoe-box style package could then double as her bed. Available for $26.99.
For small dolls that you can put in doll houses there are not plastic options like this Doll Family by Plan Toys. The family has solid wooden heads and soft wire bodies that can bend and flex into any position. With movable arms and legs, they come dressed in colorful clothes. The doll family includes father, mother and two children and they are made of natural, chemical free recycled rubberwood and finished with non-toxic water based dyes. There are also several ethic families too. The doll families are $18.99.
Magnetic dolls are a new favorite in our house. We have several Melissa and Doug sets of Magnetic dress up dolls including Nina Ballerina and Princess Elise. They are wooden dolls that can be dressed in magnetic clothes… shoes, hats, dresses, skirts, ect. They are a lot of fun. Woodkins are also very similar.
I hope this list gives you some options for safer and more natural dollies for your little ones!
Yet another great family owned store giveaway! The Soft Landing is a store dedicated to healthy, non-toxic products for the whole family. With all of the conventionally available products, and especially feeding items that are made of toxic plastics, Alicia Voorhies (a former RN) decided to give parents a better alternative. You will not find products with Bisphenol-a (BPA), phthalates, and PVC. What you will find are safe baby bottles, teethers, sippy cups, feeding gear, water bottles, lunchboxes, and much more. The site is also a great resource for finding out exactly why some plastics are dangerous with all the latest research and news about the topic.
What I love the MOST about this store is that they have amazing sampler packages where you try different brands. You don’t have to buy a six pack of one brand and then find out you don’t like them, you can buy several different products in one package and then see what works and what doesn’t. This feature is a huge time and money saver for parents.
If you want to stay up to date on the latest “safe” products and research into the not-so-safe ones, I suggest you sign up for the Soft Landing newsletter on left side of their web site. And now on to the giveaway! Alicia and her team at The Soft Landing have been gracious enough to giveaway an awesome prize pack to my readers and it is just in time for cold weather! Imagine drinking your coffee and tea in safety and style with these gorgeous Thermos containers. A $67 dollar value!! Great for you or for Christams gifts. ;)
The Thermos Stainless Steel Coffee and Tea Prize Pack:
1 – SS 12oz Tea Tumbler w/ Infuser – Espresso $23.00
1 – SS 18oz Grande Coffee Tumbler – Espresso $26.00
1 – SS 16oz Coffee Tumbler – Metallic Blue $18.00