If I have learnt anything this week, it is that I am getting old. My youngest made her way to full-day school for the first time and tomorrow is my birthday (before you ask, I am very ancient). But what surprised me most was that when a friend asked for suggestions on baby shower gifts, I had no ready answers. Have I really moved that far beyond the baby years?
Shortly after giving her a lame, holding response, I realized what I should have recommended: Brinware plates.
I wish these had been available when my kids were in the early stages of eating food. Back then I struggled to avoid plastics and melamine. It was tough to part with those hard plastic plates that seem to do so well in the dishwasher, but when I learnt that the full name of melamine was melamine fomaldehyde and that cats, dogs and infants were suffering from melamine poisoning it became easier.
The challenge lay in finding alternatives. Many ceramic bowls and plates have come to a sad end on the hard stones of my kitchen floor.
I didn’t know it at the time, but what I needed was a tempered glass plate with a non-slip silicone `sleeve’. Thankfully the folks at Brinware have provided us with just that option and made it pretty, to boot. The glass in the plates is not only tough, but etched with cute designs from owls (my favourite) to frogs, pandas and butterflies. And the sleeves, which can be removed for washing, come in some of my top colours: orange and green (I am hoping that purple will come soon).
Since my kids are now older, I have been using the plates without the sleeves. That frees the sleeves to be employed as useful all-purpose small toy displays and even frisbees, at a pinch. Meanwhile, the plates – which are gently curved to keep the food in the right place – wash well in the dishwasher, though without rinse-aid (which I seldom use these days) the glass does get a bit blotchy, as you might expect.
Brinware plates cost about $10 each and can be purchased on line or from various US retailers. The sole Canadian supplier is Jess’ Crunchy Store, a great little on-line business out of Kitchener, Ontario. If you act fast, Jess currently has the plates on sale at 20% off: you get two for C$17.59 (shipping and taxes extra).
If you want to reach the free shipping threshold of $79 at Jess’ store, you might also want to try the silicone placemats (also from Brinware, but I have not tried them) or the lip balm that I recommended in a recent post.
So there you have it, Alessandra, a great baby shower gift suggestion: sorry it is late.