Remember when BPA was the big, bad wolf and then modern technology saved the day with BPA-free plastic? Well, it turns out BPA-free might be the new big, bad wolf. Check out this Mother Jones article for the basics.
So what’s a mom to do? At home, we mostly use these Pokal glasses from Ikea for our kids. They are perfectly sized for little hands. We’ve been using them since a little after my boys turned one and only one has broken. Before that, we used shot glasses to teach our boys to drink from open cups. This is obviously not practical for outside the house, though, so we had been using the Camelbak Eddy and the Nalgena OTF for travel.
After I read the Mother Jones article, I freaked out since these are both made of Tritan copolyester, so I started the search for better travel options. Here’s my roundup:
1. Mason Jars – glass, inexpensive, but there aren’t great spillproof lid options. The lids they come with rust, so that’s no good. You can buy BPA-free ones, but that defeats the purpose of getting away from BPA-free. Also, not great for travel unless you have a protective sleeve of some sort (Built NY makes nice ones of different sizes).
3. Glass water bottles with a sleeve – I don’t really like the ones with the tight sleeve because it seems like it would be hard to clean and easy to get moldy. I like the idea of a glass water bottle with a sleeve like from Built NY, but I’m a little afraid of my kids dropping these when we’re out of the house and then we’d be bottle-less, not to mention having to clean up glass wherever we are. Camelbak makes their Eddy bottle in glass now, but it has the tight silicone sleeve, so I think I’ll skip it. These lids are also generally made with BPA-free plastic.
4. Kleen Kanteen – food grade stainless steel, including the interior (no aluminum or plastic lining). I like these and they are spillproof if you get the screw cap. Not great for little kids who need a straw, but this will work perfectly for my two year olds who prefer drinking from an open spout. I am a little worried that some day there will be an article about how stainless steel is bad for you, but I guess I will have to have a little faith. It’s not like stainless steel is a new material like Tritan copolyester. They are really expensive, but hopefully this will be the last water bottle I have to buy for a while. My only concern is that the screw top seems like it might be made of all polypropylene. If that’s the case, I might splurge for the all stainless steel tops, but they are pricey at $10 each! (Update: Someone at REI told me that people have complained about metal shavings when using the stainless steel tops, so I guess I’ll just take my chances with the plastic one. I am not going to put it in the dishwasher though.)
So, I will be ordering one adult size Kleen Kanteen for my kids to share when we go out (though I’ll probably have to get two smaller ones when I have to start packing their lunch), bringing some big mason jars to work for my own water (I like to guzzle water and regular glasses mean I have to refill my glass every hour), and buying some more Ikea Pokal glasses for home. Phew, I feel relieved. (Huzzah! The 27 oz Kleen Kanteens were on sale at REI for $10, so I bought two – one for the kids and one to keep in my car.)
Next on my list to worry about- the polypropylene plates that I thought were safer than melamine – I ordered two of these Corelle glass divided plates (left), but the sections seem a little shallow. I’ll try to remember to give an update about how my kids do with those. I really like these BIA tv plates (right), but the reviews were mixed. I might try them if the ones I ordered are too shallow. Stay tuned.