Some attractive tabletop finds for children in a palette of matte pastels, nearly all of which we own —
REPLAY PLATES — Have written about these infinity times, but they are my longtime favorite dishes for children. They have nice, deep wells so you can actually serve up oatmeal/yogurt/sauces in them, and they wear beautifully over time despite infinite runs through the dishwasher. I like the colors and the unfussy style. Also, microwave safe! Over time I’ve gradually shed most of the random dishes we’d acquired elsewhere in favor of these so that all of them stack flush in our children’s dish drawer, which is the lowest drawer in some of our cabinetry (with a blessed soft close to prevent slamming), so our children can get their own cups and plates when the time comes.
BEABA FORKS AND SPOONS — My children have graduated to using adult cutlery but these were our favorites when younger. Small sizes and a nice stubby shape perfect for a little hand.
SOPHIE ALLPORT MELAMINE CUPS — Tiny in size and absolutely charming in style. I paid a small fortune for a set of these two years ago when my daughter begged me for a space cup and Allport’s were the best I could find. (I bought a bunch of her designs then.)
CUPKIN INSULATED STRAW CUPS — A new arrival in our home. These are fantastic during this time where children are running around outside, eating dinner on the patio, etc as we head towards summer. My children are just not coordinated enough to do so with open-top cups. We have had way, way too many spills the last few weeks. No use in crying over spilled milk — just buy cups with tops. Ha. These feel a bit more mature/age-appropriate than sippy cups, and they keep the liquids cold, too. The one downside is that the cups themselves are hand-wash (did not realize when I purchased), though the straws and lids are dishwasher-safe. Not a huge deal since it takes about a second to wash them, but wanted to flag.
BOWLS AND SPOONS — Our favorite for two or three years. Microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, indestructible, and they come with these great wide spoons with flat bottoms that help children scoop things like noodles, soups, etc into their mouths.
BOON DRYING GRASS — We’re still in this phase of life, five years into children and fully out of bottles. Just the best way to dry all the parts to cups.
RICE X RICE BOWL — I love these decorative melamine plates! While we use the RePlay plates nearly 90% of the time, we do have a few special decorative plates we pull out, too. Most of ours are from Baby Cie (we have this and this) but I do love the ones from Rice x Rice and Sophie Allport too.
MUSHIE BIB — Comes in great colors and a nice, reasonable size. We’ve had others that were ENORMOUS and got in our children’s way!
MOONKIE PLACEMATS — We’ve used these every single mealtime for about two years now. They have a very small lip you can hardly see that is brilliant — it tends to contain spills (including liquid ones) rather nicely. It also gives the children a clear, demarcated space for their meals and has saved a lot of tabletop scrubbing. My one gripe with them is that they are very flimsy/floppy so drying them is a bit of a pain. Over time, we’ve learned to instead sponge them down while they’re on the table and then wipe clean with a dry towel before stowing in our drawer. A true MVP though for us. We also have some of these similar cloud-shaped ones that are great, too.
REPLAY CUPS — Similar to notes on their products above, these are just workhorses. They never looked dinged up. We also have their sippy cups, which we temporarily tried to get rid of but micro is just not there yet for some reason. We found he was spilling his milk (sometimes intentionally) at least once per meal. So we’ve reverted back to the sippies (and Cupkins above) for him for now.
TRICIA LOWENFELD PERSONALIZED LAMINATED PLACEMAT — Another precious option in this category.
BUMKINS SILICON GRIPPY PLATE — In general I don’t love silicone dishes because I find that they absorb flavors and scents (especially of dishwasher detergent), but I swore by them for awhile when mini was in her “fling everything off the high chair” phase. These silicon plates a) stick to the surface of a high chair to keep them in place and b) don’t break or clatter when flung. I also learned after maybe a year of use that using scent-free detergent helps. I specifically like the design of this dish — flat on the bottom — because it prevents a lot of food from falling on the tray in more standard circular designs.
GATHRE MAT — I have used my range of differently sized Gathre mats to infinity and beyond. These are great for laying out beneath sensory play, painting sessions, or even in the grass. We also use them daily beneath chairs (previously, high chairs). You can wipe them clean. We’ve also tossed ours in the laundry (not sure if this is advised but turned out fine) when in need of a thorough clean and then hung by the convenient loop on a hook by the door. On a similar note, I’ve used this gingham scalloped oilcloth tablecloth for the children a bunch of times, especially when there are lots of friends over or they are eating something like…chocolate frosting.
SNACK CUP — These are great because they’re collapsible so you can toss in bag and take up less space post-snack.
P.S. What would your last meal be?
P.P.S. Great kitchen gear.
P.P.P.S. Permutations of love.