Raising Kids Toddlers & Preschoolers Feeding & Nutrition The Best Toddler Plates and Bowls That Will Survive Those Gravity Tests Tots starting solid foods need sturdy (and safe) bowls and plates like these. By Katrina Cossey Updated on April 30, 2023 Fact checked by Karen Cilli Share Tweet Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Photo: Parents / Jaclyn Mastropasqua It’s an exciting time when your little one starts eating solid foods, which can happen for some babies as young as 4 months old. With those tiny, adorable bites come big messes. You may opt to serve their first foods directly on a high chair tray, since that's where it will end up. But as they gain a little more hand-eye coordination you might want to introduce your toddler to plates and bowls. Of course, toddlers are also very good at experimenting with gravity, so you don't want to give them your own breakable tableware. Toddler plates and bowls are often made with strong material such as silicone, and come with features necessary for small kiddos, like suction cups for security. There are so many cute dish sets for littles on the market, so when making this list, we considered all the criteria we'd use when shopping for them. Look for plates and bowls that are durable and easy to use for children, and that are an appropriate size based on how much they eat. Additionally, keep in mind your family’s lifestyle, as that will determine if you need items that are more travel friendly. You should also look for products that are easy to clean and ideally dishwasher safe—because you've got enough on your plate, too. Our Favorite Toddler Plates and Bowls Best Overall: WeeSprout Divided Suction Plates With Lids Best Splurge: BabyBjörn Baby Dinner Set Best Set: Avanchy Bamboo Feeding Set Best Bamboo: WeeSprout Bamboo Toddler Plates Best Stainless Steel: Ahimsa Mindful Mealtime Set Best Placemat: EZPZ Happy Bowl Placemat Best Non-Suction: Munchkin Splash Dining Set Best for Snacks: OXO Tot Stick & Stay Suction Plate Best Overall: WeeSprout Divided Suction Plates With Lids Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Why We Like It: These silicone plates have suction cups to help them stay in place on the table, and they're safe in the dishwasher, microwave, and oven! But Take Note: Those suction cups may not stick to every surface. Made from 100% food-grade silicone, these divided plates from WeeSprouts are free of harmful chemicals. Each plate features three sections with raised edges to hold food while included lids help you store leftovers with ease. There are also four suction cups on the bottom of each plate to keep it securely attached to nearly any (but not necessarily every) surface. Plus, these plates are safe to use in the microwave, dishwasher, and even the oven, making meal prepping easier. Price at time of publication: $24 The Details: Material: SiliconeDishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: YesAge Recommendation: Not listed Best Splurge: BabyBjörn Baby Dinner Set Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Babylist.com Buy on Potterybarnkids.com Why We Like It: The set includes five easy-to-clean and very cute dinner pieces in multiple color options, and makes a great gift. But Take Note: The fork and spoon may be too large for some children to hold. The BabyBjörn Baby Dinner Set comes with everything your kiddo needs for mealtime. Included in the set is one plate, a fork and spoon with easy-to-grip handles, one 3.4-ounce cup, and one bib, all of which can be cleaned in the dishwasher. The microwave-safe plate features a removable, nonskid liner for easier washing and better security at the table. To help contain messes, the BabyBjörn bib has a scooped bottom to capture the food that doesn’t make it into the baby’s mouth, and features an adjustable neckline for a comfortable fit. Each set comes in a gift box, making it a great gift idea. You can also keep the box for storage purposes. Price at time of publication: $55 The Details: Material: Polypropylene (PP) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPE)Dishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: YesAge Recommendation: 4 months old and up Best Set: Avanchy Essential Dish Collection Amazon Buy on Potterybarnkids.com Why We Like It: The sustainably made materials are free of toxic chemicals, and the silicone rings are removable for easier cleaning. But Take Note: Bamboo is hand-wash only and not microwave safe. Whether your child is just starting solids or is already a food-loving toddler, they can use this bamboo feeding set from Avanchy for years. Safe for little ones 4 months and up, the plate, bowl, and two spoons are sustainably made from bamboo with a removable silicone liner for easier cleaning. The set is available in a variety of colors, and each piece in the set is free of harmful chemicals. While the set is not microwave safe and the bamboo must be hand-washed, you can toss the silicone liners into the dishwasher for a deeper cleaning. Price at time of publication: $42 The Details: Material: Bamboo and siliconeDishwasher Safe: NoMicrowave Safe: NoAge Recommendation: 4 months and up The Best Sippy Cups for Babies and Toddlers Transitioning From Bottle or Breast Best Bamboo: WeeSprout Bamboo Toddler Plates Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Why We Like It: These affordable plates are chip-resistant, scratch-proof, dishwasher safe, and stackable. But Take Note: They are not microwave safe. If you’re looking for durable, eco-friendly plates, the WeeSprout Bamboo Toddler Plates are a great, affordable place to start. Not only are these plates made from bamboo material, but they are stylish enough to blend in with any kitchen decor and stack together for simple storage. While the plates can be safely used in the dishwasher or freezer, they should not be used in the microwave. Safe for hot and cold meals, the plates can be used by everyone in the family for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Price at time of publication: $23.00 The Details: Material: BambooDishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: NoAge Recommendation: Not listed The Best Baby Walker Alternatives for Tots on the Move Best Stainless Steel: Ahimsa Mindful Mealtime Set Courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond Buy on Nordstrom Buy on Ahimsahome.com Buy on Maisonette.com Why We Like It: The colorful stainless steel looks out of this world, plus it's easy to clean. But Take Note: It's not microwave safe and may make quite a racket when dropped. If you're on a mission to avoid plastic in your home, we think you’ll love this five-piece stainless steel set from Ahimsa. This set includes one plate, fork, spoon, cup, and bowl, all of which are available in three different colors: classic, rainbow, or iridescent blue. The company recommends hand-washing the pieces, but they are also dishwasher safe for easy and fast cleaning. The pieces can also be stacked for simple storage, and are safe for toddlers 12 months old and up. Price at time of publication: $64 The Details: Material: Stainless steelDishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: NoAge Recommendation: 12 months old and up Best Placemat: EZPZ Happy Bowl Placemat Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Ezpzfun.com Why We Like It: The mess-catching placemat suctions to surfaces, making it harder for tots to toss the whole bowl. But Take Note: It may not fit every high chair and may not stick to every surface. It’s no secret that babies and toddlers enjoy playing with their food, so finding a durable bowl to last through those major league food throws is essential. We think parents and caregivers will appreciate the EZPZ Happy Bowl Placemat, a two-in-one combination of a silicone bowl and placemat. The placemat easily sticks to the high chair or table, staying put while catching the messes outside of the bowl for easier cleanup. Whether your little one enjoys oatmeal or soup, the placemat can be used in the microwave or oven and cleaned via the dishwasher. If you have multiple littles, the placemats are stackable for better storage. Price at time of publication: $23 The Details: Material: SiliconeDishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: YesAge Recommendation: 6 months and up The 14 Best Step Stools for Kids, Tested by Kids Best Non-Suction: Munchkin Splash Dining Set Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Why We Like It: The plates and bowls have nonslip bottoms and stack together for storage. But Take Note: The plastic tends to scratch easily. Once kiddos are past throwing their plate at every meal, many parents and caregivers switch to plates and bowls without suction cups. This affordable, four-piece set from Munchkin comes with two bowls and two divided plastic plates with deep walls for easy scooping. Though they don’t have suction cups, the plates and bowls still come with a nonslip bottom for security at the dinner table. Each piece in the set is dishwasher and microwave safe and can be used for littles as young as 6 months old. Price at time of publication: $18 The Details: Material: PlasticDishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: YesAge Recommendation: 6 months old and up Best for Snacks: Oxo Tot Stick & Stay Suction Plate Amazon Buy on Amazon Buy on Target Why We Like It: Four sections, including a dipping sauce section in the middle, are great for snacks or for kids who don't like their food touching. But Take Note: Certain foods may stain the plastic. With three sections for food and a bonus section for sauce in the middle, the OXO Tot Stick & Stay Plate is great for snacks as well as any mealtime. The plastic plate features a removable silicone suction base and can safely be tossed in the dishwasher or microwave. Plus, the plate can be used for babies as young as 6 months old, and you can keep it around for years later. Price at time of publication: $11 The Details: Material: Plastic and siliconeDishwasher Safe: YesMicrowave Safe: YesAge Recommendation: 6 months old and up Our Review Process We chose the best toddler plates and bowls by researching reviews from customers and competitors, studying the features of more than 20 products on the market. We considered price, design, ease of cleaning, age recommendations, and material when deciding our picks. We also consulted with Ashley Anttila, M.D., of Nemours Children’s Health, Delaware; Arunima Agarwal, M.D., board-certified pediatrician of New York; and JustAnswer pediatrician Denise Scott, M.D., for any considerations or product recommendations. Finally, we reviewed the guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics on portion sizes. What to Look for in Toddler Plates and Bowls Durability/Material Veteran parents and caregivers know how messy mealtime can be, so we suggest looking for plates and bowls that can withstand some tossing (or hopefully prevent it!). Consider the type of material the plate is made from to get an idea of how breakable it may be. For example, some materials, such as silicone or plastic, are more durable than glass or ceramic plates adults use, especially when dropped. Dr. Scott suggests following a few guidelines when it comes to toddler plates and bowls, and recommends finding BPA- and phthalate-free plates if you plan on using plasticware. “Silicone and plastic are best, so that they won’t break should your toddler drop or throw it,” she says. “Consider plates and bowls with suction cups that adhere to the tray top so that they can’t be moved.” Easy to Clean To make life easier on yourself or the person you’re buying for, look for plates and bowls that are easy to clean. Most toddler plates and bowls are dishwasher-safe, unless they’re made of certain materials, such as bamboo, or if the manufacturer states otherwise. “Stainless steel and bamboo are also options, but stainless can get hot or cold and can’t be microwaved, and bamboo has to be hand-washed,” explains Dr. Scott. Be sure to check what’s safe for the plates and bowls to go through to ensure they’ll last a long time. Some companies recommend hand-washing over the dishwasher to preserve the integrity of the product, so if hand-washing isn’t your thing, don't buy those. Traveling and Storage Families who travel often may find it easier to use plates and bowls with lids for better portability while on the go. However, families who stay home more often may not need those additional pieces. Also consider your child’s age, as you may prefer plates with suction cups for smaller babies who love to explore the world around them and experiment with gravity. Also, if your kitchen storage space is at a premium, look for plates and bowls that can stack well on your shelves. How to Use Toddler Plates and Bowls Safely While some babies start to eat solids at 4 months old, many aren’t ready until 6 months old or older, as they need to be able to hold their head up and at least weigh double their birth weight. “Around 10 to 12 months is when a baby starts to self-feed. Plates or bowls can be introduced to them to serve their food,” Dr. Agarwal explains to Verywell Family. “They will start by using their fingers to pick up the food when self-feeding. Don't expect them to use utensils right away for self-feeding.” There’s something that’s more important than choosing plates and utensils for the solid food transition, according to the experts, and that’s becoming certified in CPR. “I highly encourage all parents to become trained in infant CPR,” Dr. Scott says. “A choking infant or toddler is very frightening to witness, and you want to be equipped with what to do. These courses are offered through the Red Cross as well as YMCAs.” Your Questions, Answered Should I use divided plates for my toddler? You don’t necessarily have to use divided plates for your toddler. Divided plates typically feature anywhere from two to four sections for food. Depending on the plate, some of the divided sections are deep enough for children to scoop food out more easily. Plus, children may be more willing to eat their fruits and veggies if placed in a segmented plate. Dr. Anttila says divided plates are also a great option for kiddos who don’t like their food touching. “Divided plates can be particularly wonderful for children who are more bothered about different foods touching, which can be more common in neurodivergent children. It can also be helpful for parents to fill certain places with particular amounts or consistencies of food! Oftentimes, food ends up mixed together by the end of the meal, whether one uses a divided plate or not!” When can a toddler use a plate? Because children can begin solids at a young age, your little one can start using a plate as young as 4 months old. “A plate can be used anytime when you begin serving foods to your child! Something that suctions to the table in front of the child may be preferred early on when a baby is less coordinated. A high chair’s tray surface can be used as the serving surface as well,” Dr. Anttila says. “One advantage to placing food directly on a placement or high chair is less distraction of the plate falling (or later, being thrown) from the table.” What plates are the best for baby-led weaning? Baby-led weaning is offering little ones the opportunity to feed themselves the same thing you’re having for dinner. However, food pieces with baby-led weaning are often smaller or cut, to help make pieces more manageable for babies. The goal is to help children learn how to feed themselves. “For baby-led weaning, it is important that the food is easy for baby to access with either (or both) hand(s)—so a plate or bowl with a low edge that will help food stay in his/her reach is a good choice—the silicone plates that suction to the high chair are a good option, as they keep the presented food in front of the child,” says Dr. Anttila. “Some families using baby-led weaning may opt to put food directly on a placemat or high chair tray. This option allows for ample space for the infant to explore food textures with both hands.” If you don’t have a divided plate yet and want to get started, Dr. Scott has a clever alternative: “Another option is using a muffin tin, either in stainless steel or silicone, which works well as dividers, although these will not have suction cups attached,” she says. “These can be fun and a change for a 3- to 4-year-old, making it easy for them to choose among their selections at meal time.” Who We Are Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. Katrina is a parent herself and highly recommends plates and bowls with suction cups for younger babies. She now uses the Munchkin Splash Dining Set for a non-suction plate and bowl for her toddler son. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. The Role of the Pediatrician in Primary Prevention of Obesity. Pediatrics. 2015. Association of Plate Design With Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables Among Preschool Children. JAMA Pediatr. 2018. Baby-led weaning: what a systematic review of the literature adds on. Ital J Pediatr. 2018.