Dinnerware That Lasts
- What: IKEA Kids Dinnerware
- When: 6 months and up
- Why: Super affordable, long lasting
- Where: IKEA
Despite the fact, that unlike a lot of adults, I already owned large quantities of plastic dinnerware, we bought IKEA plates, bowls, and cups when our first child started using such things. Now I can’t imagine my kitchen without them.
The plastic, kid-proof items I owned before kids I actually liked, and didn’t want kids mauling them. (Some plastic does not do well in the microwave. You might know this fact, but kids either like to experiment or can’t distinguish between the two types of plastic. Possibly both, or more likely they just don’t care until their plate melts into their food.) More importantly, all the plastic plates and cups I owned came in adult sizes. I needed smaller stuff, both because I didn’t want to serve my kids adult portions and because I didn’t want to have to store more, bigger stuff.
Enter the IKEA line of children’s dinnerware. We bought at least two packs of everything. At $2.50 for a bundle of six in rainbow colors, we could afford it, even after unpaid paternity leave and leaving my (paying) job. With three kids in the house, we could easily have bought three sets and not have had too much, but we get by with our collection of twelve plates and eighteen bowls and cups.
We bought two packs of plates, and one of bowls and cups on our first outing. Since IKEA is an investment of a different kind (we went for one thing and came home with $400 worth of stuff? What happened?!?), we hesitated to go back. The next time, we bought two rounds of bowls, and two rounds of cups. So we have 12 plates, 18 cups, and 18 bowls for our three kids. We have some supplemental stuff too, but could easily survive with nothing else if needed.
The style of both cups and bowls changed a bit in between our IKEA runs, which works well for having smaller and larger bowls. It works less well because you can tell the cups apart, and clearly one type is far superior to the other despite the identical color scheme. In case you really need to know, the stripes run vertically on one set of cups but horizontally on the other. The horror of having to drink from a pink cup with horizontal stripes (I use the word stripes loosely here, as the stripes themselves are the same color as the cup) can not be ignored on some mornings.
We haven’t supplied ourselves with the flatware sets yet. Perhaps that’s because the sets come in a similar size to the adult ones I already own, and perhaps that’s because arming my toddler with a full set including a knife can’t be a good idea. Maybe for our next IKEA excursion we will stock up – if we go before our household migrates to one where everyone uses flatware in silver rather than rainbow colors.
I’d highly recommend investing in multiple sets on the same shopping trip if you plan to have multiple children. Other than that, this stuff has survived countless runs through the dishwasher as well as whatever other abuse my kids can concoct. And it’s microwave safe. Just saying.