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Kid-Friendly Melamine Dishes

Kid-Friendly Melamine Dishes

I was first introduced to melamine when I bought dishes for outdoor dining and entertaining. But now, it’s my go-to for all dishes and serving trays. The hard plastic resin comes in a wide range of colors and styles, with a quality look and feel that offers a compromise between china and cheap plastic, while being sturdy enough for everyday use. Melamine dishes are more durable and lighter than ceramic, making them the perfect dishes for families with kids. Especially as your kids get older, melamine offers the ideal blend of looking and feeling high quality while being resistant to breaking, dings, and scratches. Melamine dishes are so versatile that they are perfect for the whole family!

At what age do kids grow out of dropping dishes? Most likely… not until they buy their own plates for their own home! So, in the many years when the children are too old for kiddie cups and sticky plates but too young for adult ceramic dishware, there are melamine dishes. 

Melamine Dish Designs

Melamine dishes are now offered in more designs than you could imagine. Some dishes are smooth and glossy, giving the look of ceramic but with the durability of plastic. Other designs offer patterns, floral designs, and a style for every family and occasion. From sophisticated to fun, you can find melamine plates, bowls, and cups in tons of different styles. Some melamine dishes are so high quality you can use them for dinner parties without anyone even realizing they are plastic! 

If you love celebrating holidays throughout the year, melamine dishes often come in fun and festive themed designs. You can have bunny dishes for Easter, shamrock cups for St. Patrick’s Day, and holiday dinnerware throughout the year.  

Safety of Melamine 

Melamine is food safe, but melamine dishes shouldn’t be put in the microwave or oven. The FDAs Safety and Risk Assessment of melamine states that the chemicals in melamine will not migrate, or transfer, into food as long your food is not heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Glass or ceramic is a good alternative for heating food or liquids. Infants are more susceptible to melamine, so avoid using melamine cups to serve milk or formula.  

Although some melamine dishes contain BPA, many brands offer BPA-free melamine dishes, if you are avoiding BPA. BPA, if you’re unfamiliar with it, stands for bisphenol; it is an industrial chemical that is used to make certain plastics and resins. As with all safety concerns, available information changes frequently, so review the FDA’s current guidelines and make a personal decision about what is best for your family. 

The FDAs Safety and Risk Assessment of melamine states that the chemicals in melamine will not migrate, or transfer, into food as long your food is not heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. 


Outdoor Entertaining with Melamine Dishes

Whether or not you have kids, you’ll love melamine dishware for outdoor dining. By the pool or in the backyard – anywhere you don’t want dishes shattering – melamine dishes give you the durability you need. If you typically use disposable paper or plastic dishes for outdoor entertaining, you can save money while helping the environment by switching to melamine dishes. Melamine is also lighter, making it easier to carry trays full of food and drinks from the kitchen to your outdoor area.  

Taking Care of Melamine Dishes

One of the great things about melamine dishes is that you can toss them directly into the dishwasher. You’ll just want to avoid using any abrasive cleaners like metal scouring pads on the dishes. Also, avoid using chlorine bleach on melamine dishes. To preserve the integrity of the melamine, avoid serving highly acidic foods in dishes, which can increase the chance of migration.

About The Author

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury is a San Diego-based blogger and freelance writer who writes about travel, food, cannabis, and relationships. Follow her Instagram @discoverwithmichelle or visit Eat, Drink, Be SD. Her work has appeared in national magazines like Marie Claire, Forbes, Cosmo, Reader's Digest, and Bustle.

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