Updated on October 14, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Meals with toddlers can be challenging! Toddlers are often messy, picky, and not very coordinated. We know that the right plate can completely change mealtime from challenging to a fun and productive experience. There are so many brands and styles to choose from, so we are letting you know about our favorites! Since toddlers are known to enjoy throwing things, our list includes only non-breakable plates. As you have enough on your plate already, they are all dishwasher safe as well. We included several eco-friendly plates including one made out of recycled milk jugs! Plus, our list has plates with features that encourage healthy and hopefully less-messy eating.
The Best Toddler Plates
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: This adorable owl plate has many features to be excited about! The strong suction keeps it in place on your table, high chair, or when out to eat. There are three divided and deep spaces making it perfect for the foods your toddler loves like yogurt, dipping sauces, and snacks. The deep rims also make it easier for little hands to scoop up food. Made of 100% food-grade silicone, it is lead, phthalate, PVC, and BPA free as well as dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. They can even be used in the freezer for food storage.
Keep in mind: A few customers mentioned difficulties with the suction on certain surfaces and recommend reading the tips provided by the manufacturer.
Good for: Young toddlers who like to throw their plates or easily knock them over as well as kiddos who prefer foods to be separated.
(Most attractive — $$)
Why it’s great: If you are looking for safe and eco-friendly, the Weesprout plates are a great pick! These bamboo plates are non-toxic, BPA, Phthalates, PVC, lead, cadmium, and mercury-free. The colors are pretty and the plates are touted to be durable and chip resistant. Customers who do experience chips can contact the manufacturer for replacements because of the lifetime warranty. The plates are stackable and dishwasher safe for easy storage and care.
Keep in mind: They are not microwave-safe and do not have dividers.
Good for: Eco-conscious parents looking for stylish plates.
(Best Company Story — $)
Why it’s great: This family-owned and operated company makes plates in America out of recycled milk jugs, doing their part to help our environment. The recycled HDPE is BPA, Phthalate, PVC, and Melamine free, and the plates are 100% recyclable. They are also dishwasher, microwave, and freezer-safe. These plates are indestructible protecting them from falls and throws to the ground. The three deep divided sections will keep food separated and make it easier for little hands to scoop up food. Plates come in multiple colors and 25 different color combinations. We love the international combinations!
Keep in mind: They may stain especially with red sauces. Look for stain removal instructions. One smart parent suggested purchasing the red colored plate for pasta and pizza meals.
Good for: Toddlers who are rough with their plates and like food kept separated.
(Best Microwave Safe — $$)
Why it’s great: This company prides itself on providing a safe product that is non-toxic, BPA, Melamine, and PVC free as well as being the only “Microwave Safe Bamboo Dinnerware on the Market”. They are also eco-friendly made of bamboo and cornstarch fibers. Plus, a portion of proceeds are donated to environmental causes. The plates come in bright colors and are easy to stack and store.
Keep in mind: Plates do not have a rim or separated sections.
Good for: Older toddlers that still need durable dishes but are ready for more “grown-up” plates.
(Best Deep Wall — $)
Why it’s great: The walls of these plates are so deep it is almost like a bowl. We also love the no-slip bottom! Great to be used as a snack tray. They come in bright colors, stack well, and are dishwasher and microwave safe. Also, check out the Munchkin Splash set that includes a divided plate and bowls.
Keep in mind: With the deep walls, they will take up a bit of space in your kitchen cabinets.
Good for: The deep walls make them great for meals on the road. We recommend them for picnics, road trips, and other travel.
(Prettiest Plates with Dividers — $$)
Why it’s great: These beautiful and stylish plates are eco-friendly and dishwasher safe. BPA, PVC, and phthalates-free. They are durable, light-weight, and easy to stack and store. We love the three different sized sections and the stylish look of these plates. Check out these matching cups and silverware!
Keep in mind: Microwaving the plates may cause accelerated wear and tear.
Good for: Everyday toddler meals and families looking for beautiful looking plates.
(Best Character Plate — $)
Why it’s great: If you have an Elmo loving toddler, this plate will make mealtime lots of fun! It has dividers and deep walls for easy scooping of food. The letters on the rim of the plate make it great for learning as well. BPA free and dishwasher safe. At less than eight inches in diameter, these are smaller plates and good for younger toddlers and to use at snack times.
Keep in mind: It is a single plate so you will need to order more to make a set.
Good for: Your Sesame Street fan.
FAQs about toddler plates
1. Why research the best plates?
Your toddler spends a lot of time eating and what they eat on is important. Keeping their food from touching dishes with toxins and harmful chemicals helps them stay safe and healthy. Feeding a toddler presents many challenges and durable, well-designed plates can help avoid broken dishes and encourage healthy eating habits.
2. What ages will these plates be good for?
Toddlers who are just beginning to feed themselves will benefit most from plates with deep walls and dividers. As they get older you can move to flatter plates without dividers. Children who are sensitive about different foods touching each other can continue to benefit from divider plates.
3. What features should I consider?
How will you clean and use the plate? Do you need it to be dishwasher and microwave safe? Would it be helpful to have plates that can go in the oven or freezer?
How important is it to have a plate that stays put on the table or high chair? Consider plates with suction or no-slip bottoms.
Are you looking for plates with dividers? We recommend having some of each. Plates with dividers are helpful for picky eaters and keeping foods from mixing. Sandwiches, slices of pizza, and larger items typically fit better on flat plates without dividers.
Do you want plates that match your decor or in your child’s favorite colors?
Do you need plates for snack time, meals, or both?
Look to see if plates are BPA, Phthalate, PVC, and Melamine free. Also, search for reviews about plates that easily break or crack. Is the company responsive about replacing plates that are damaged?
5. How can I make mealtime more enjoyable?
Creating an enjoyable mealtime with a toddler takes a lot of patience as well as trial and error! Toddlers often prefer to snack on a variety of food rather than eating large meals. Encourage them to try lots of different food types, textures, and colors. Select foods that they can eat with their hands or are easy to scoop up with a spoon or fork. Avoid forcing your child to eat foods they do not like or to finish foods if they are not hungry. Instead, encourage them to try at least a bite. Did you know that it sometimes takes trying something Provide choices and when possible let them select what to eat? Involving them in growing, preparing, and cooking food is a great way to encourage healthy eating. Create routines that help make mealtime predictable. This may include eating around the same time each night, having them help set the table, saying a prayer, giving thanks, or asking them to bring their plate to the sink. Model and even exaggerate how much you love eating healthy foods. Most importantly make mealtime a fun and bonding experience by eating with your child, having conversations, and engaging with them.
Selecting a set of safe, durable, and toddler-friendly plates can be a useful tool in making mealtime a cleaner and more enjoyable experience. Your child will look forward to mealtime on their favorite new plate! When you are all set up with plates that you and your little one love, you can focus on spending time with your child, introducing them to new healthy food choices, and having fun mealtime conversations.
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