Plastic is EVERYWHERE, and there are a few things you ought to know about it especially when it comes to your health and that of your little ones. Once you realize the potential dangers of BPA and BPA-free plastics I think you’ll love my recommendations for plastic alternative tools for kids.
What is BPA
BPA (Bisphenol-A) is a chemical found in hard plastics and in coatings of food and drink cans.
Certain children’s toys, medical devices, tupperware, canned goods, receipts (that’s why I never let my kids touch receipts!), plastic plates/cups, sippy cups, and water bottles can contain BPA.
Why is BPA and plastic bad for me?
BPA closely mimics the structure and function of the hormone estrogen. Because of its shape it can link to estrogen receptors and disrupt cellular activity. Hormones are the messengers that tell cells what to do and your body as a whole has a very well coordinated communication system. When something comes in and throws it off, the message to our cells can be altered.
“93% of surveyed Americans over the age of 6, tested positive for BPA. If you don’t have BPA in your body, you’re not living in the modern world.” ~TIME Magazine
BPA can provoke hormonal imbalances, and some studies show a link between BPA and asthma, obesity, breast cancer, hypertention, infertility, low sperm count, early puberty, and childhood neurological disorders such as anxiety and hyperactivity.
It’s ok. It’s BPA-Free. Or is it?
BPA –free plastics are just as dangerous. Most contain BPS or BPF both of which show to be just as damaging in recent studies. For example, the National Academy of Sciences suggests that pregnant mother should especially avoid BPA and BPA substitutes found in plastics during gestation as it can cross the placenta and affect the way the hypothalamus develop in the child. Scary stuff.
5 ways to incorporate plastic alternative products in your kitchen
It won’t be easy to wake up tomorrow morning and just suddenly stop using plastic, but you should at least inform yourself about this problem and try your best to avoid objects that are contaminated in favour of some plastic alternative tools.
Your challenge is to go PLASTIC FREE for the week for everything that you drink or eat from! Hop in the Facebook Group to do it together.
Here are 5 ways to go plastic free
- Start with something simple you know you can do…like replacing your plastic water bottle with a glass one. You’ll not only be drinking healthier water, but you’ll save money because you can reuse glass bottles!
- Work your way up to more expensive swaps like switching your plastic tupperware to glass ones. I bought mine from Costco as the pack came with various sizes.
- It’s very important not to heat up your food in the microwave while in plastic containers as the plastic and BPA does leach into the food itself with heat.
- Similarly, don’t leave plastic water bottles in the car during the summertime as the heat can make the nasties in plastic leach out into your water.
- If you are not up for using glass water bottles, use stainless steel bottles. My husband and I really like using our Contigo stainless steel mugs for water. Although most people put their hot beverage like tea or coffee, nothing says you can’t refill it with water once you’re done.
Plastic Alternative Tools for Kids
I know for most of us we are more worried about our kids rather then ourselves. So I wanted to share some of my favourite plastic free kitchen accessories I use my kiddos.
Sippy cups and cups
Klean Kanteen Steel Pint Cup – We wanted out toddler to learn how to drink from a cup, but thought glass would be a little risky for their little slippery fingers. To avoid the dangers of broken glass, we found these stainless steel alternatives. These are perfect for kids to how to hold a cup and still no plastic!
Thinkbaby Sippy Steel Bottle – This was my first choice of sippy cups. They are made from stainless steel and at least the water does not stay against the plastic. We used these ones a lot. Even as my toddler graduated to straw cups, we preferred to use these ones as his night time bottle
Thermos Foogo Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Straw Bottle – Sturdy, love the lid, and keeps water cool during the summer months as well.
Wean Green Round Bowls – These are perfect for storing baby food or using them for your toddler for portioning out snacks.
Wean Green Cubes – The cubes are slightly bigger then the round Wean Green bowls and are a nice option for various types of snack foods.
Thinkbaby Complete BPA Free Feeding Set – They are stainless steel and that’s what I prefer to send snacks in when my little guy goes to daycare as they don’t allow glass containers for safety reasons. You know in case little slippery fingers drop their container
U Konserve Nesting Trio Stainless Steel Containers – These are nesting stainless steel containers that are great for packing snacks and store in a bit more compact way. I also love these for sending snacks to school.
Eating on the go
Thermos Stainless King 24 Ounce Food Jar – I have about 4 of these! They keep food warm for about 9 hours. If I had an all day outing, I would place my son’s dinner in this one. Once I used the Thermos to pack his lunch in and it was just too scolding hot even after 4 hours. So lesson learned. I didn’t want to spend time cooling it off and blowing on every bite, so I got a U Conserve Insulated Food Jar that holds the food hot for 5 hours. It was perfect.
U Konserve 12-Ounce Stainless Steel Insulated Food Jar – I absolutely could not live without this one! Holds foods hot up to 5 hours. So I would pack his lunch in this one and dinner in the Thermos as it hold foods hot for 9 hours. Together they worked really well for all day outings.
Bambu Baby’s Feeding Spoons – I used these spoons all the time instead of plastic ones. Bamboo is a great alternative to the usual plastic cutlery for kids.
While I have some plastic plates, I mainly used our desert plates to serve to my little guys. And once he was outgrowing the smaller bamboo pooons, I gave my older the desert spoons and forks to use at meal times. So I never really invested in specialty toddler silverware and dinnerware. He always used the real deal!
Another thing I used to serve baby food was the Wean Green glass containers.
I hope this gave you some inspiration on some great plastic alternative products. There are many many more out there, but hopefully this gave you a good place to start.
Are you in for this Plastic-Free Challenge that’s great for your body AND the environment?! If yes hop on over in the Facebook Group and let us know what you will to tackle first.
Comment below with your favourite plastic alternative feeding accessories.