As a parent, you’ve probably noticed the plethora of baby products on the market. There seem to be at least 50 different options to choose from in every category! While it’s easy to choose conventional products, because most base their choice on esthetics, what if you’re looking for something non-toxic?
Non-toxic living can sometimes be a chore because of the lack of restrictions that regulate this area.
So we decided to put together this helpful guide on how to choose the best non-toxic spoons for your babies and toddlers!
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Our Favorite Non-Toxic Baby Spoons & Utensils
This non-toxic spoon is recommended for ages 4 months and up. EzPz has done a phenomenal job with adding raised bumps and rim as a sensory function to help the baby not to stick the spoon so far into their mouth. With a large nonslip handle and a bump on the backside to help it rest, this is a great option for utensil training at a young age.
These spoons come in a super cute set and they offer a wide range of colors. The handle is made from bamboo which is eco-friendly because it is a renewable and sustainable source. Also with the handle being constructed from bamboo, it is lightweight for baby. The tip of the spoon is actually silicone, nontoxic and it protects their gums. Not to mention the varnish they apply is food grade, so no worries there! With a shorter handle and wider scoop it’s perfect for toddlers and those learning to spoon-feed.
Gootensils are made for children between the ages of 6 and 18 months. The design is actually very different from what you’re probably used to seeing. Rather than a scoop, it’s flat. Because it is flat in shape and the same on both sides, there is no wrong way to hold it! Made with non-toxic ingredients and these are dishwasher safe, it’s perfect for the baby starting to self-feed.
This cutlery set is crafted from stainless steel that doesn’t scratch, break, chip or rust. These are designed to be exactly like adult utensils but smaller enough for toddlers to use efficiently. The recommended age to start using these are around 24 months and can be used up to 12 years old! At young ages, children want to be just like their parents, so this replicated silverware set may be a perfect solution to your messy feeding situation!
Jenny, a Nashville mom designed this set after she realized that there was a void in the market when it came to kid-friendly, grown-up-looking accessories, including silverware! The handle is constructed from bamboo, and the scoop and tines are made from food-grade silicone — always free of toxic chemicals! You may notice a small hole at the end of the handle, which was put there for a purpose. You can hook a pacifier holder through so they never throw their utensils on the floor. Why didn’t we think of that?!
Hazardous Chemicals You Don’t Want in Your Baby Food Products
Plastic. As always, we want to avoid plastic products, even the ones that say BPA-free! If they are made from a plastic material they often have other toxic chemicals that can have the same effects as BPA. Learn more about BPA and BPS.
PVC. You will also want to steer clear of PVC because it’s extremely toxic, and it’s actually a known carcinogen. Most of the time PVC materials contain other harmful additives such as lead, phthalates, and other endocrine disruptors.
Heavy metals and synthetic dyes. Lead, cadmium, and synthetic dyes are often used in various products in order to brighten the coloring. They are known for causing bodily damage and learning and development disorders.
Formaldehyde. Be careful if you find utensils with wooden handles, sometimes formaldehyde is added as a binding agent or as a preservative in wood products. Labels are not always easily distinguishable. This article goes into detail about how formaldehyde can be listed on labels and the health concerns.
Phthalates. We mentioned earlier that phthalates can be found in PVC but you also have to be careful if PVC is not an ingredient or material used. They are in a ton of common household cleaners, toys, clothing, furniture, and more, and there is a long list of health concerns associated with phthalates.
Materials to Look for When Shopping for Non-Toxic Baby Spoons
Bamboo is a great natural resource and is actually the fastest growing plant on Earth. This is the reason it is considered a highly sustainable plant. Cultivation is all-natural, so pesticides and chemicals aren’t needed when harvesting. It’s also strong, durable, and has natural antibacterial properties. When the varnish is added over top, it can actually last for years! Using bamboo in place of plastic and other conventional material isn’t only non-toxic to us, but it helps save our planet too!
Even though silicone isn’t 100% natural, it is made from mostly sand, and it doesn’t leech chemicals as plastic does. Not only is it easy to clean, but it’s also hypoallergenic and stain and odor-resistant, so it’s great for children’s products.
If you notice wood being a material listed on toddler spoon packaging, just be sure it’s non-toxic and organic. Sometimes during the manufacturing process, chemicals are used to treat wood pulp. So while the wood itself may be non-toxic, its safety comes down to what happens during processing. In non-toxic wooden products, you may see that it is sealed with jojoba oil, which is okay. The best way to know if the wood is actually non-toxic is to look for a certification.
Stainless steel is a great material for spoons, forks, and drinking vessels. Since stainless steel isn’t easily broken, it’s perfect for kids too! Not to mention that stainless steel products are BPA and BPS free, and there’s no lining or coating that can leach into food and drink. The major con is that some stainless steel products can be heavy depending on your child’s age.
How to Choose the Right Spoon for Your Baby
You know as a parent that there are tons of options when it comes to food and drinkware for babies. So how in the world are you supposed to know which is best? For starters, know that children should always start with a spoon first (rather than a fork). Their motor skills and dexterity are not built to use a fork before toddler age.
Many times you can start introducing spoons or pre-spoons to your little one around 6 to 9 months. The food may not make it to their mouth, but it’s good practice. A silicone spoon is great for this age group when they try their hand at scoopable foods like yogurt and oatmeal. Keep in mind that because this skill is new to babies, you don’t want to use any utensil that could hurt their mouth or teeth (such as stainless steel).
You will notice at 10-12 months, they are becoming more and more interested in feeding themselves. Keep in mind they still have little hands and mouths, so be sure to select a spoon that is small and easy for them to use. You still want to avoid forks and metal spoons at this age.
As a toddler, using utensils becomes more of a habit, but they still want to use their hands. That’s okay because again their motor skills are still not fined tuned. They will be using a spoon that is larger than the pre-spoon but smaller than an adult spoon. You can also introduce toddler forks which are often soft. If they are metal or stainless steel just make sure the tines are blunted.
How Many Spoons Do You Need for Baby?
This totally depends on how many times you want to wash them! You may need more if you start at a younger age, and you don’t want to forget to stash a couple in the diaper bag; that way you never have to worry about forgetting them when you are rushing out the door.
If you’re experimenting with different brands, shapes, and sizes, you may end up with more at certain ages than others.
Who would have thought there is so much information to consume when shopping for non-toxic baby spoons? Hopefully we’ve helped you find the best choice for you and your family. Don’t forget to tell us your favorites in the comments!