I can remember the first time I’d ever heard of cutlery being made out of something other than plastic. A new vegan-type food haunt opened up near my office and a few of us went to check it out. (As a bona fide meat-eater, I really had no business being there but everything turned out to be delicious.)
The take-out place used recycled paper bags and potato forks and packaged our food in something that both looked and felt like it was going to decompose under the weight of veggies in all their glory.
I often call myself half-crunchy, which basically means that I make some choices that fall on the side of the eco- and health-conscious and some choices that, well, really don’t and are borne out of sheer convenience. One thing I haven’t gone out of my way to do is buy recycled tableware for my kids. We have some stainless steel cutlery, but we have more than our fair share of plastic. We are even guilty at times of using the plastic cutlery that comes with our Swiss Chalet dinners some nights, too, I confess.
As I mentioned in a recent post about the Dandelion Replay cups and cutlery, I’m having a love affair with kids’ feeding products, and as I’ve learned more about the Beco Feeding Set that recently arrived on my doorstep, I’m feeling crunchier than ever on the tableware topic.
LOVE LOVE LOVE the shape of the Beco cup. It’s slim design makes it easy for Miss Q (still a bit of a novice drinking from cups without lids) to hold. But better than that, it’s shaped like a tulip so when your child is drinking, both sides of his mouth are surrounded by cup. Why should you care? Far less spillage. No more milk dribbling out the sides and down his cheeks – that’s why.
I don’t know what it is about the star-like shape of the plate in this set, but every kid – my own and the array of kids who’ve stayed for dinner since the Beco Feeding Set arrived – is obsessed with it. If it’s in plain view, it’s always the plate the kids request. Weirdos.
I like that the bowl isn’t too deep; little hands just learning to use a spoon can to scoop up soup or cereal with ease.
Even the plate has a bigger-than-usual lip around it, so kids who need to slide food over to the side of their plates to get it onto their forks won’t push morsels onto the table during the process.
But the most interesting part about the Beco Feeding Set is that it’s made from natural plant fibres – sustainably grown bamboo and rice husks that would be otherwise discarded during rice production. Considered a biocomposite, it’s a whole mix of biodegradable stuff. Instead of a petrochemical resin (the “glue” that holds the plant fibres together), BecoThings uses a resin created from amino acids, which allows the mix to break down when it hits a compost or landfill. This is important because, eventually when you’re long done with the cup, bowl and plate, it will fully biodegrade in about two to three years.
There are three colours; they’re all nice, muted hues.
BPA- and Phthalate-free.
Yes, the set is about $18 – but that works out to $6 per piece and I have paid far more for cups. Cups made of plastic that will long outlive me in a landfill somewhere one day.
Although their weight might be considered a good thing by many parents, for those of us with toddlers who confuse Frisbees with plates, expect some collateral damage if a BecoThings plate is chucked across the room. It’s gonna get some serious momentum.
While I love the shape and size of every piece, because they’re so different from everything else we own, they don’t stack well in our kid cupboard. It’s not the end of the world.
So…where can you buy it?