Monday, May 2, 2011

Containerization - stoneware edition

There are so many more food containers, plates, and flatware I want to blog about.  In this post I will focus on some non-plastic, non-glass, non-stainless steel options.  What's left you ask?  Basically wood and ceramic or porcelain stoneware.

I don't use a lot of wood or bamboo around here.  When Juju was small I had a few forks and spoons made from bamboo but now that she is older, she finds them dissatisfying.  They are mostly handcarved and are pretty to look at but don't work so well to stab a strawberry or hold a reasonable amount of yogurt.

Wood bowls and plates are really expensive and annoying to clean as I don't know if they are all dishwasher safe.  We have a few wooden bowls from salad sets but since I only bring those out on special occasions with adults, I never think to use them on a daily basis with Juju.

Instead, we have been using a great dishware set I got at Ikea.  I think it's technically a "play" dish set but it's food safe and is the perfect size for Juju so why not?  I got the idea from a friend after Juju ate off of the plates at her house.  The set is called Duktig and includes 4 plates, 4 mini plates, and 4 bowls in pink, blue, yellow, and green for $9.99.  Here is a special dessert Juju had in one of the green dishes (it's moosetracks ice cream with chocolate covered sunflower seeds topping for those interested).

I started serving Juju on the Duktig plates at around 20 months when she was more responsible with her tableware and was no longer throwing things on the floor.  Well, she was probably still throwing some food on the floor but she was not bothering the dishes by that point.  I love how pretty the dishes are; they really dress up her table and make the food look appealing.  I also like that they bring some refinement to otherwise very unrefined meals.  The size of the plates are perfect for toddler-sized portions.   I am hoping using stoneware now will help with the transition to adult plates at some point.  The photo below is of the whole set but it doesn't really do them justice, the plates are pretty adorable.  You can see one of the larger blue plates in the breakfast I made here.  They are also dishwasher safe which is a huge plus (I try not to put plastic plates or bowls in the dishwasher but it's just too tempting. . .).

When Juju was older, I started serving her beverages in very small Ikea glass cups.  I can't find the exact set we have but here is another set of 6 for $2.99 (I actually think ours were 6 for $1.99 if you can believe it).  It's hard to trust a young toddler with glass so make sure yours is really ready before trying it out.  We also use the play flatware set (also called Duktig) which gives you 16 pieces of stainless steel flatware for $6.99 and comes with it's own drawer organizer (yes, I realize the organizer is plastic).  The pieces in the set are 4 forks, 4 knives, 4 large spoons and 4 tea spoons.  We only really use the spoons but they are worth buying the whole set for.  The larger spoons fit perfectly with creamy things served in the Duktig bowls and I like that they don't overwhelm Juju.  When she gets a little bigger, she can use her old dishes and flatware for her dolls.

While we're on the subject of porcelain, I should mention that our friends Dave and Michelle got us the cutest 3-piece Peter Rabbit Wedgwood dishware set when Juju was born.  We used it at Thanksgiving this year along with fancy china for everyone else and it was an adorable complement.  I am afraid to use the set regularly (it's not as easy to replace as the Ikea Duktig set) but I suppose it's not as much fun sitting on a shelf.  Wouldn't you like your morning Cheerios and coffee served in these?

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