This is a guest post from Emily of Oh! Apostrophe.

Have you guys read the latest research on plastic, even BPA-free plastic? It’s not good. My first response to this Mother Jones article citing a study that has shown how dangerous pretty much all plastic is, was to ignore it. Seriously, plastic? I am supposed to get rid of plastic? It is everywhere. I mean, I GIVE UP, right? I decided this was going to be one of those things I was going to choose to pretend to remain blissfully unaware of, and closed that window right up.

I came back to it later, and clicked through to read the actual study. Maybe it was hyped up? Maybe it wasn’t that extensive? I wish.

Here’s a quick summary of what the study found that I decided I couldn’t ignore:

1. Almost all commercially available plastic products leach chemicals having reliably detectable estrogenic activity, including those advertised as BPA free. In some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more estrogenic activity than did BPA-containing products. [Exposing plastic to high heat caused more leaching, but leaching was found even at normal temperatures.]

2. In mammals, chemicals having estrogenic activity can produce many health-related problems, such as early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts, altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, altered sex-
specific behaviors, and increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular, and prostate cancers.

3. Fetal, newborn, and juvenile mammals are especially sensitive to very low (sometimes picomolar to nanomolar) doses of chemicals having estrogenic activity.

So if we are going to start somewhere, the most important place to start is with limiting the plastic that our babies and small children are exposed to (and those that we are exposed to as their pregnant moms). At the time that I read the study, my older son Finn was drinking out of almost exclusively plastic- we loved our small cups purchased at Ikea. His plates and bowls were all plastic (some melamine). His bento-style lunch box was plastic. My younger son Cormac was drinking out of Tommee Tippee plastic bottles, and his milk was stored in the fridge in larger plastic Dr. Brown’s bottles.


We decided to make a change towards eliminating plastic in cooking, storage, and eating our food at home. The other change we decided to make was to eliminate all plastic in the dishwasher. We were already not microwaving plastic, but the high heat that plastic is exposed to in the dishwasher makes it more likely to leach into food as well.

The two main materials that we have replaced plastic with are stainless steel and silicone. {Although extensive testing has not been done on silicone, most sources say that it is considered food-safe, and there have been zero reports of toxicity associated with it, so we feel okay using it.}

Here are the replacement products that we are loving…

C U P S  F O R  D RI N K I N G: Older toddlers can just go straight to normal glassware, but here are two other options that we love:

1) Stainless Steel Pint Cups – These have become a favorite of Liam and I as well- they keep cold water very cold.

2) Blue Mason Pint Jars – I use these for milk storage as well as for drinking. (Permanent marker for marking the date on the lids comes off in the dishwasher- so easy.)

3) Half Pint Mason Jars – Pretty heavy duty, these can withstand being dropped and this size is perfect for toddler hands.

4) Silicone Cups – We will be using these when we introduce Cormac to an open cup. The reviews are great.

K I D  C U P S  F O R  O N – T H E – G O

5) Beginner Straw Cup – Innobaby Nursin’ Smart Straw Cup (Silicone) It took me awhile to pull the trigger on this expensive purchase, but I wasn’t finding anything out there that was non-plastic and looked good for a first straw cup. I LOVE this cup and I’m glad I bought it. The body of it is soft silicone, so it’s great for teaching a baby to use, as you can squirt it into their mouths a bit. The cap is plastic, but lined with silicone and none of the plastic touches the contents of the cup.

6) Klean Kanteen Kid’s Stainless Steel Bottle with 3.0 Sport Cap

S T R A W S: I am a straw person, and the plastic ones I was using daily had to go.

7) Silicone Straws – A thicker straw perfect for a smoothie or kefir, which Finn loves. They are two pieces, easy to clean, and you can use just the straight part alone as well. There is an available universal lid that works with these straws that looks intriguing as well.

8) Stainless Steel Straws – I love these and they are great to use with cold drinks.

B O T T L E S  F O R  F E E D I N G  A N D  P U M P I N G.

9) Lifefactory glass bottles – Cormac loves these and who knows why, but he drinks more milk out of them than he ever did with his old plastic bottles. My husband loves them because they heat up faster than plastic, and stay warm longer. We have two of the four-ounce size.

Glass Dr. Brown’s Bottles – I’m using these large bottles for pumping. They are heavier for me to carry around with my pump, but it’s not a huge deal.

P L A T E S  A N D  B O W L S: Again, Finn is old enough (3) that we can just use our plain old Fiestaware plates and bowls for his meals. But here are some nice non-plastic kid-safe options. Looking in the camping section or cooking section seems to yield cheaper items than looking in the kid-ware section.

10) Stainless Steel Round Divided Dinner Plate – Another camping section find.

11) Stainless Steel Prep Bowls – We already had these but I hadn’t thought to use them for servingware. They’re a great size for small portions.

12) Silicone Bowls – These are the ones I have my eye on but have not purchased yet.

13) LunchBots Stainless Steel Bento Box – Not purchased yet, but these bento boxes get great reviews.

Overall, we’ve been impressed with how nice it is to have these higher quality materials in our kitchen. Although buying them all at once was a bit of an investment, they should last longer than the plastic stuff ever would have- that stuff would have had to have been replaced anyway at some point. We’ve tried to take a somewhat middle-of-the-road approach and realize that we can’t eliminate all plastic from coming in contact with our food. It’s always one more thing when it comes to trying to do the best for our families, I know. But the changes we’ve made were easy enough and really cut back on the amount of plastic we are exposed to day in and day out.