As soon as my children outgrew the food-throwing stage, I got them some cute tableware. I want them to appreciate real ceramics in a world full of plastic. These two bunny-themed items I bought second-hand.
(The cup cost me just $2.50!). Some of the reasons I like the real thing are:
- It’s usually well-designed and well-made. The Bunnykins bowl has a heavy bottom so it won’t slide off the table too easily and straight sides to make it easier to eat from. The wide rim on the bunny cup helped my children learn to drink from a cup without spilling (actually, sometimes we still have trouble with this!).
- You can put it in the microwave to heat up food quickly. You don’t have to mess around with other containers.
- It’s free of BPA and other harmful chemicals.
- It’s nice to use. Ceramics have a tactile quality that adds to the enjoyment of the meal. Bone china has a lightness that I really like.
- It can become an heirloom, if it survives. Sure, if it gets dropped it will break, but so does melamine. And when melamine breaks, it really shatters!
It’s all a part of learning your table manners, I suppose. We’re trying to teach our children to behave at the table, but also to appreciate good food and make conversation. It’s a challenge, but I think it’s one worth persisting with.
My local kitchen shop sells these animal-themed plates by the piece (see below). So if one breaks, I can just go back to the shop to get a replacement. As for cutlery, I’ve tried a few different brands, but I think these ones from Ikea are the cheapest and the best. The spoon is great for shovelling WeetBix!
I think these items will become well-used and well-loved mementoes one day. They may break in the meantime, but life is impermanent and so are they.