Baby Bro is my third child, so the concept of feeding babies is not new. Feeding babies without plastic? Now that’s new.
Between the births of my first two (now 8 and 5) and our newest addition (now 13 months), our lifestyle underwent some pretty major changes. In efforts to reduce our toxic load, I’ve tossed just about every piece of plastic from our kitchen, replacing as much as possible with glass and stainless steel.
So when it was time to think about feeding gear for our littlest guy, I knew this time around would be different. I polled my crunchy friends, read lots of reviews and sifted through lots of options.
We’ve tested my selections over this past year and today I’m happy to present my carefully chosen list of Best Nontoxic Baby Feeding Gear.
- Snack containers
- Sippy cups
- Hand-held feeders
Whether you’re shopping for your own little one or are in search of a baby gift for a favorite crunchy friend, this list will point you in the right direction!
Best Nontoxic Baby Feeding Gear
1. Baby Spoons
After two babies we had plenty of baby spoons, but they were mostly plastic. This time around I wanted straight up stainless steel with a very simple design. These stainless steel baby spoons have served us well!
When babies get started with solid foods, they eat such small amounts–it seems ridiculous to use a larger bowl than necessary. I knew we’d also want the option to stick a lid on small bowls of baby food for fridge storage.
These glass Wean Green 4 oz Wean Cubes have been perfect! One thing I love is that they’ll continue to be useful even after they’re too small for Baby Bro’s meals. They’re the perfect size for stashing small amounts of leftovers and all sorts of things in the refrigerator. And they’re great for packing snacks on the go!
They’re also very sturdy and durable–we’ve dropped ours plenty of times–and leak proof, too.
3. Small Glass Bowls
Again, one of the things I love is that these bowls will remain useful long beyond our days of baby feeding. In fact, we already owned the glass custard cups and used them often for many purposes. The set pictured above comes with lids–how great is that!?
Tiny pinch bowls are great for individual servings of condiments and dips. I’d been wanting a set for that very purpose, so Baby Bro’s arrival was the perfect time to give them a try.
In addition to be being super-useful, another great thing about little glass bowls is that they’re very affordable! Gotta love that.
4. Glass Bottles
Since I breastfed all my babies, we’re not heavy bottle users. In fact, we got by with just one 2-pack of 8 oz Dr. Brown glass bottles for Baby Bro. They worked well for us!
I would recommend springing for a set of the smaller 4 oz bottles, too, as well as several stages of nipples–especially if you’ll be depending more heavily on bottles for your baby’s liquid diet.
We’re using the sippy version of these stainless steel bottles and absolutely LOVE it! (See below.) Our glass bottles worked well, but if I’d known about this stainless steel option I may have used them as baby bottles and then switched out the nipples for sippy spouts later.
The bottle (pictured above) is exactly the same as the sippy version (pictured below), but with a regular nipple instead of the sippy spout. They are lightweight and well made–a great nontoxic alternative to glass bottles.
Pura Kiki bottles come in two sizes–5 oz and 11 oz. A variety of colors are available, but I highly recommend sticking with the plain Natural stainless steel. In our experience, painted stainless steel does not hold up well. The paint will chip, making your cup look unsightly and possibly threatening your child who could ingest the paint chips.
If you want to add color to your bottles, invest in silicone sleeves.
See #6 below for another really cool feature of Pura Kiki’s stainless steel bottles…
Baby Bro has used this Pura Kiki Water Bottle as a sippy cup for a few months now, and we LOVE it. UPDATE: This water bottle is still going strong after a year and a half. We still love it! Here’s why:
- nontoxic stainless steel
- user-friendly silicone spout
- easy to clean
- lightweight (unlike glass)
- mostly leak proof
- compatible with Avent sippy spouts and handles
- adaptable, grows with your child — bottle to sippy cup to snack container or water bottle (see below)
With our first two boys, we used Avent bottles. Since we already had Avent sippy spouts and removable sippy cup handles, I was interested in the fact that we could add those to our Pura Kiki water bottle if necessary.
We’ve loved our Pura Kiki Water Bottle so much that I recently ordered a second 11 oz bottle and two 5 oz bottles. We’ll add sippy spouts to the 5 oz bottles and use them for Baby Bro’s milk at meal times. Having two of each size will allow us to wash one while the other is in use.
Check this out–In my opinion, it’s a major selling feature for these stainless steel bottles. The spouts can be replaced with silicone disks, effectively turning the bottles into snack containers (or water-tight bottles for older kids). How cool is that!?
Nontoxic versions of formerly plastic baby feeding gear can get pricey. When a baby item serves a useful function after baby outgrows it, the cost becomes much more effective, don’t you agree?
I hesitated to buy the 5 oz size bottles. I knew they would be so useful right now, while Baby Bro is a toddler. But then what? When I found out we could replace the spouts with flat lids and use the bottles as nontoxic snack containers, I was sold. We needed lightweight, nontoxic snack containers anyway!
Again, most of our toddler utensils involved plastic. Baby Bro is currently 13 months old, so he’s not quite using his own utensils yet. But this stainless steel set by Panda Babies has worked really well even for baby food. Plus, it comes with a baby spoon!
My brother and sister-in-law gifted this stainless steel snack cup to Baby Bro for his first birthday. We’ve used it several times in the past month and I really like it. UPDATE: Baby Bro is now two, and we’ve used the fire out of this snack cup. I still highly recommend it!
The solid lid makes it perfect for transporting and protecting bite sized pieces of squishy baby-friendly foods like fruit and vegetables.
Soon Baby Bro will be ready to use the lid with slits…it could get messy this time around, with real food instead of processed snacks!
This stainless steel snack cup comes in a variety of colors, but once again I recommend sticking with the plain, non-painted version (pictured above with an orange lid).
Update: Since I first published this post, another great option has become available: Munchkin Stainless Steel Snack Catcher.
Bonus Nontoxic Baby Feeding Gear
This fun little snack container is on the bonus list because I haven’t actually tested it out yet. But we’ve got a whole slew of awesome stainless steel containers from LunchBots and we’ve loved every one–they’re awesome. I’m sure this new smaller size is equally fantastic, and it also comes in a divided Duo version.
UPDATE: We’ve used the Pico and Pico Duo for six months+. Such a handy size, for both Baby Bro (now two) and general food and snack transporting.
Again, we haven’t tried these fun little leak proof round containers yet, but I’ve had my eye on them for quite a while. As I mentioned, we love LunchBots snack containers here at the Yankee Homestead and use them All. The. Time. I’m thinking these would be just right for transporting leaky, drippy foods for Baby Bro…
UPDATE: We have these rounds now, too, and love them! They’re leak proof and the perfect size for crackers, fruit, chocolate, and so much more.
Check out 14 Ways to Pack a LunchBots.
Okay, these we have tried, but with mixed results…
These little mesh feeders are awesome for when baby can hold something in his hand, but isn’t yet able to pick up pieces of food to feed himself.
Here’s the concept: You stick a fairly soft food–like banana, avodaco, ripe pear–in the little mesh bag and screw on the handle. Baby holds the handle and sucks food from the mesh bag.
What I liked:
- Our entire family could eat dinner at the same time, with no screaming! These little feeders effectively occupied Baby Bro while Mom and Dad scarfed down their dinners. He got to eat, we got to eat. In my opinion, definitely worth the $8 we paid.
- He really did get to eat–it’s kind of amazing how a baby will suck food out of these little mesh bags.
- This is one item I didn’t research extensively, but I’m pretty sure the mesh bags are less toxic than other plastic feeders out there.
What I didn’t like:
- The little mesh bags are kind of a pain to clean. While dishwasher safe, they still require hand cleaning to remove all the little particles of food.
- The mesh bags get stained. Not a huge deal.
- No future usefulness for these little feeders, as far as I can tell. But again, a peaceful dinnertime with a hungry baby is quite possibly worth the price of an item you’ll never use again….
And there you have it! My carefully chosen round up of nontoxic baby feeding gear.
Which nontoxic baby feeding items would you add to this list?
Kathleen Henderson is the yankee behind the homestead. Follow along as we grow real food and three boys while renovating a 20-acre farm in northern Virginia. Do you love homegrown food, Paleo-ish recipes, and natural living? You’re in good company! Let’s grow together…