The Best Non-Toxic Dinnerware for the Home

Title The Best Non Toxic Dinnerware for the Home over a white plate with fork and knife.

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The Best Non-Toxic Dinnerware for the Home

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Have you ever considered the importance of non-toxic dinnerware? It can be hard to navigate safe, sustainable, and non-toxic options. Did you realize your dinner plate could be leaching toxic chemicals into your food?

To be transparent, when I wrote this article, I knew our fine china likely had some concerns. I had no idea our everyday dinner plates would be of concern. They are a white ceramic plate setting. We have large plates, salad plates, soup bowls, and coffee mugs. Knowing what I’ve learned, I would register entirely differently when we married in 2010. 

As the plates or other pieces break and chip, I will be cautious as we select replacements moving forward.

When transitioning to a Non Toxic lifestyle, I always recommend progress over perfection. You are doing better any time you can reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Reducing exposure will improve your overall health. The more we can reduce our exposure, the less stress we put on our bodies. Our bodies naturally detox the harmful chemicals and heavy metals.

Why should we use Non toxic Dinnerware?

The more we can reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals in our everyday life the better.  When we think about the foods we eat, people are very conscious to rinse the produce and to shop organic. But have you ever considered what is in your place setting that you are serving your food?

Exposure to environmental toxins in our every day can have a large impact on our health.  Inflammation can literally affect everything in our body, including our heart, joints, hormones.  The more we can reduce daily exposure to the things we can control, the less stress we put on our bodies to detox these toxins. 

Harmful Chemicals to avoid

Potential Toxin Concerns in Dinnerware

  • BPA
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Phthalates

BPA

BPA is short for Bisphenol-A.  It is a plastic compound that is not tightly bound so it migrates easily.  Bisphenol-A can migrate concerning chemicals into your food.  BPA is broken down fast by heat, acid, oil, and abrasion, thus be mindful of the type of dinnerware on which you are serving hot foods, acidic foods, and oily foods.

 BPA is often found in plastic food storage containers.  I do not recommend serving hot foods on plastic for this reason, but also acidic foods like tomato sauce.  Have you ever noticed the tomato sauce stain a plastic food storage container or even a dinner plate?  This is an example of acidy foods breaking down the BPA. 

Since acidic foods can cause the BPA to shed more in foods, it is also recommended to avoid serving citrus on plastic dinnerware.

It would be ideal to avoid serving high-temperature foods on plastic plates.  When you can serve hot foods or any acidic foods, serve them on glass, stainless, or safer dinnerware that will not cause chemicals to leach into what you are eating.

With small kids, it can be challenging to give them a glass plate or bowl at a young age.  Try using stainless options.   Using plastic bowls when serving cold cereal would be more ideal than using a plastic bowl to serve hot soup or spaghetti.

I have young children so I do understand the convenience verse the risk of giving them something they could easily break for another mess to clean up.  Remember it is not all or nothing but the more we can reduce exposure to BPA the better it is for our overall health.

BPA exposure is linked to hormonal disturbances, weight gain, insulin resistance, and early onset puberty, along with many other concerning health issues. 

Cadmium

Cadmium is a heavy metal used to add a bright color to dinnerware.  It is often found in the bright yellow, red, or orange dinner plates.  These dishes look fun and festive. 

Scientist believes cadmium has a similar effect on children as lead exposure (source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-cadmium-as-dangerous-for-children-lead/).  A high level of exposure can lead to neurological problems in children.  Unfortunately, cadmium stays in the body for a long time.  If parents are concerned about exposure for their children, adequate iron intake can help prevent cadmium absorption. 

High levels of cadmium in adults can impact kidney function. Most regulations for cadmium are based on adult exposure.  It is classified as a human carcinogen and linked to kidney cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

Lead

Lead is the most common concern for toxic dinnerware.  It is a concern not only for adults but especially for pregnant women and children.  Lead can cause brain and nervous system development issues in children.  Exposure in adults can cause kidney damage or high blood pressure.  (World Health Organization)

Think about how when purchasing a home you must present a lead paint disclosure, but you can buy dinnerware that potentially has lead that you are eating food off of… eeewwhhh. 

Glass is typically a safer option, but some glassware can contain lead.  It is recommended to avoid any glass this is decoratively painted and opt for clear glass.  Did you know that fine crystal glasses can contain lead?

Phthalates

Phthalates are everywhere!  When I started this blog I don’t think I realized how common they truly are from any product with fragrance to dinnerware.  You can check out a previous post regarding phthalates here.

It is amazing the lack of regulation across numerous industries when known chemicals can be unhealthy for our bodies, but they are still allowed in so many products across so many different industries.

Phthalates are often added to plastic to help it bend or allow the scent to linger.  Phthalates can be found in plastic dinner plates and bowls. 

Is Melamine plastic safe?

Melamine plastic has become a popular option for serve ware.  It looks like ceramic dinnerware, but unfortunately, it is still plastic.  I would recommend using it when you are not serving hot foods or anything acidic.  This will help avoid any leaching of harmful chemicals into your foods. 

Things to avoid when purchasing Non Toxic Dinnerware

  1. Try to avoid vintage dinnerware and antiques
  2. It is best to avoid bone china and lead crystal
  3. Decorated dinner plates with raised decoration should also be avoided.
  4. Avoid vibrant rich colored place settings
  5. Avoid damaged dinnerware or plates with scratches
Things to avoid when purchasing Nontoxic dinnerware

Things to look for when purchasing Non Toxic Dinnerware

  1. Check to see if it is made in the United States
  2. Determine if it has the California Prop 65 warning.
  3. Look for a date of manufacture.
List of things to look for when purhcasing non toxic dinnerware

Always check the bottom of the plate to see if there are any recommended uses or can see where it is made.

The California Prop 65 Label is a label that requires businesses to disclose any warnings about exposure to potentially harmful chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive damage.  This label is required for items that are sold to Californians to use in their workplace or home.  The Prop 65 Label is a great way to see if your dinnerware is a concern.

Always check the date of manufacture.  Some older place settings that have been passed down from older generations or picked up at a thrift store could be made before the 1960s.  In this case, lead and other toxins may be common. Clear glass is always a great option.

Third-Party Testing

Always look for companies that perform third-party testing.  This can help you confirm if unknown toxins are accidentally making it in the end product.  I also recommend companies that do research down the supply chain and know they are using a reliable and humane production process.

Safer Options for Non Toxic Dinnerware

With small kids, it can be hard to juggle what is realistic for your household and the safer option for nontoxic dinnerware.  There are lots of stainless-steel options on the market these days so I feel that each year there are better options as consumers continue to demands change. 

For your everyday set, I would search for something that is nontoxic.  My personal opinion that special occasions it is not as high concern if you really want to use your family’s china that has been passed down, but for everyday use I would find a non-toxic dinnerware set that will work best for your family’s needs.

Recommendations for Non Toxic Dinnerware

Below are affiliate links, so I will make a small commission if you purchase through the link at no additional cost to you.  I tried to find a few best non-toxic dinnerware options at an affordable price point.  At our house, the meal we share around our dinner table is the best part of the day.  I want to know that I am providing an environment at home that is safe and reduces any exposure to potential toxins that I can control.

While I strongly believe in reducing exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, it is not an all-or-nothing.  Starting small in swapping out things is smart.  You can slowly replace your current dinnerware if you have concerns as it breaks or chips.  Don’t feel like you have to go buy a whole new set today. 

Adding fun table linens can be a great way to dress up an elegant table without the concern of vibrant colors on your actual dinner plates.  An elegant look can still be achieved with simple dinnerware. 

Anchor Hocking 8-Inch Presence Glass Salad Plate, Set of 12

These Anchor Hocking 8 – Inch glass salad plates are made in the United States.  It is made from clear glass.  This set is inexpensive and you can easily replace it as needed.   It will go with any table décor and is great for everyday nontoxic dinnerware use.

Corelle 18 Piece Dinnerware Sets for 6 

This Corelle set is made in the USA.  I recommend going with the white Corelle place settings and avoiding any with decorative bright colors.  Corelle does not recommend using their dishes made before 2005 as serve ware, but instead for decoration only.  It states that all their glazes have been lead-free in the mid-2000s.  It is only recently that lead has become regulated. 

Stainless Steel Plates Set of 4

These stainless-steel dinner plates are great for toddlers and kids.  You will not have to worry with the kids breaking or chipping the plates.  They are also a great option for outdoor dining, camping, and taking reusable plates on the go.  They are food grade stainless steel therefore you don’t have to worry with harmful toxins leaching into your food. 

Bowls for Kids Toddlers

These stainless steel bowls are great for small children.  They are chip resistant and made of food grad stainless steel.  They are also great addition for non toxic outdoor dinnerware or take in the great outdoors. 

Bowls for Kids Toddlers, E-far 12 Ounce Double-deck SUS304 Stainless Steel Bowls for Baby Children, Healthy & Matte Finish, Insulated & Shatterproof – Set of 4

Disposable Non Toxic Dinnerware

While I prefer to use reusable non toxic dinnerware there are times that disposable makes an appearance.  Things to look for would be paper plates over plastic or Styrofoam.  When serving any food, think about if you are serving hot food?  If so, then you will want to make sure high heat items will not cause any of the product to leach into the food. 

175 Pcs Compostable Paper Plates Set, Biodegradable Heavy-Duty Paper Plates with Napkins & Cups

This set is great because it is 100% compostable within 1 to 6 months.  This dinner set would be a better option for the earth, while still checking the box of non-toxic dinnerware for those times you need disposable options.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that you want to find friendly dinnerware that is safe for the entire family and promotes healthy eating.  Always check if it has a Prop 65 warning label.  Keep in mind glass dishes may not be the best option if you have small children, but find the right solution for your needs at your current season in life. 

If toxins in dinnerware are a concern for you and you are wanting an elegant table setting, consider using vibrant table linens and other decorations on the table.  While keeping the dinner plates and additionally serve ware basic since vibrant colors in dishes are a primary concern.

Want to learn more about swapping to a Nontoxic Lifestyle?  Be sure to sign up for my newsletter here

2 thoughts on “The Best Non-Toxic Dinnerware for the Home”

  1. Thank you for this article. I had no idea. I have friends with a pre-schooler that have old Corelle plates from her childhood that they use daily. Until now. they also scheduled a lead test for their son since I shared this information.

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