Since June 2021, tableware made of bamboo fibres and plastic resin has been banned from sale. Bamboo babyware has become very popular in recent years and is now found in many homes despite several alarming studies. What are bamboo dishes made of? What are the dangers for my baby? What can I replace this type of tableware with? We will answer your questions.
Materials that are far from natural
Contrary to what you might think, most bamboo dinnerware is not made entirely of natural bamboo fibres. Since bamboo is a plant and not wood, it cannot be used raw. Therefore, to help the fibres bind together into a solid material, plastic resin (melamine) is often added. Although melamine is normally harmless, under certain conditions it can become dangerous.
Toxic components in food
For several years, numerous studies have alerted us to the dangers of heated melamine. When heated, melamine releases carcinogenic formaldehyde molecules that can migrate into the food. This is why microwaving is strictly prohibited for this type of material.
Unfortunately, in addition to the dangers associated with melamine, mixing it with bamboo fibres has additional drawbacks. The addition of another substance to melamine leads to greater instability of the material, especially if the manufacturing process is poorly controlled. Melamine particles can migrate into the liquid or food, which is toxic to the kidneys.
Furthermore, a DGCCRF investigation in 2013 showed that 13.8% of bamboo objects were affected. So even if for the moment no general recall of bamboo and melamine products has been carried out, it would seem that prudence would lead you to stop using this type of crockery for your child, or at least to use it only with cold food.
Which crockery for my baby?
If you no longer wish to buy bamboo and melamine or plastic tableware for your child, there are other alternatives.
First of all, you can easily find beautiful ceramic or porcelain dinnerware. Not only are these dishes timeless and elegant, but they also have the advantage of being non-toxic, even when used in the microwave. However, if your baby likes to throw his plate or is restless, avoid this type of crockery, accidents happen so quickly.
Another type of crockery has been proving its worth for many years with our babies. This is stainless steel. Easy to clean, light and non-toxic, stainless steel seems to be the perfect material for your child’s dishes. However, there is a drawback: stainless steel is not microwave safe! So you will need to find another way to heat up baby’s meal.
Finally, if you want to go natural for your child, you should know that there are 100% biodegradable dishes made from vegetable fibres such as rice husks or bamboo fibres! Yes, when bamboo fibres are mixed with natural resins and not plastic resins, the resulting material is non-toxic. What’s more, when you don’t need it anymore, you can throw it away in the compost!
As you can see, bamboo tableware (with plastic resin) should be avoided or used with caution for your baby. On the other hand, 100% natural bamboo tableware (without melamine) is safe, just like classic stainless steel or porcelain tableware.