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Whether you’re doing baby-led weaning, spoon feeding or a combination of the two, there will come a point when your baby will want to feed themselves. This may inevitably mean that food ends up on them (or the floor) rather than in their mouths as they get to grips with where their mouths actually are.
Your weaning journey can be vastly improved by buying the best baby bowls and plates specifically designed for feeding young children - and the right ones can last for years afterwards, too. Non-slip and suction bowls can help to reduce mess, while some families prefer mat-style plates. You also need to consider the type of material your baby bowl and plate are made from - something solid that won’t break easily is a must - where you’re going to use them (at home or out and about) and what you’re going to use them for – are they for purées or for BLW portions?
We know that when it comes to recommendations about the baby products that work, the real parents on our forums know the best buys for their little ones. So our first port of call was the Mumsnet Talk boards, to see the baby plates and bowls that were vetted and loved by our forum users. We then extensively researched authentic customer reviews to ensure we were bringing you an honest and reliable guide to the top feeding tools for your family.
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When whittling down our list of recommendations, our trusted and experienced parenting journalists spend hours researching each product category, using a variety of sources to evaluate which products are the best.
We consult expert review sites, such as Which?, to check that the products come highly recommended.
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Here are the best baby bowls and plates for weaning and beyond.
What are the best baby bowls and plates?
- Best overall baby plate: EasyMat Mini Portable Baby Suction Plate with Lid
- Best budget baby bowl and plate: IKEA KALAS Bowls and Plates
- Best baby suction bowl: Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl
- Best suction plates for baby: Vital Baby Nourish Power Suction Plate
- Best silicone baby food mat: Betoy Silicone Suction Baby Eating Mat
1. Best overall baby plate: EasyMat Mini Portable Baby Suction Plate with Lid
Price: £17 | Buy now from Amazon
EasyMat’s design combines the best of all worlds. It has strong suction cups and, while it’s not a traditional bowl, it’s ideal for weaning at home or on the go. The best thing is that it comes with a lid so you can pre-fill the sections. For an extra wow factor, the sections are arranged in a happy face design.
As we know children like to get messy when they eat, you’ll be glad to know the mat is dishwasher-friendly - although some parents found it didn’t wash well - and you can also put it in the microwave if you need to heat up any food.
It’s 32cm by 27cm and over 2cm deep so works for lots of different food types. There are seven colours to choose from including bright orange, pink and blue so there’s something for everyone here.
- Has a lid for travelling
- Strong suction cups
- Nice colourful design
- Sections for different foods
- It’s not a traditional bowl
- Some parents found it didn’t stick on high chairs
- Users claim it didn’t wash well in the dishwasher
- Highest grade BPA-free LFGB silicone
2. Best budget baby bowl and plate: IKEA KALAS Bowls and Plates
Price: £1.50 per pack (for six) | Buy now from IKEA
“IKEA weaning stuff (plates/bowls) is generally really good quality and cheap.” MyCatShopsAtAldi
If your baby doesn’t tend to throw food about, then IKEA’s KALAS range is a bargain. Available in colourful six-piece sets, these bowls and plates are microwave- and dishwasher-safe. They’re also BPA-free.
They may not come with a cute design, but our Mumsnetters rave about IKEA’s weaning products, including the Antilop Highchair which we’ve included further down our list - for being such good value, easy to clean and good quality.
If you are heating food though, transfer it to a ceramic or glass bowl first as temperatures over 100 degrees can degrade the plastic and could cause some transfer to the food.
- Very cheap
- Will last into preschooler years and beyond
- Easy to clean
- Nice range of colours
- Can’t use them to heat food
3. Best baby suction bowl: Munchkin Stay Put Suction Bowl
Price: £7.95 (for three) | Buy now from Amazon
“We had various sized Munchkin bowls with suction bases and spoons that worked (and work still!) well.” Modge
There are three bowls in this Munchkin Stay Put set and they stack so will take up less room in your cupboard. A suction bowl is great for avoiding accidental spillages and helping children get used to feeding themselves, but no matter how strong it is stuck down they can be no match for a determined toddler.
However, the newer version has an even stronger suction base than the previous model to create a firm hold, but quick-release tabs mean you shouldn't have too much trouble trying to get it off the table when it’s time to wash up.
It’s a good size, it’s safe for the top rack of the dishwasher and it’s durable so should last well into toddlerhood.
- Strong suction
- Three in a packet for under £8
- Good size for weaning
- Only one colour set available
- Some users found the bowl doesn’t stick well
4. Best suction plates for baby: Vital Baby Nourish Power Suction Plate
Price: £5 | Buy now from Amazon
Vital’s design has easy scoop sides. It’s a bargain and users love the super-strong suction power for preventing spillages and messy mealtimes.
The plate also comes with a handy dipping pot in the middle which you can add sauces or yoghurts to - although it is quite shallow - so children can explore even more tastes and textures.
It is suitable for the microwave and dishwasher, but the base isn’t, so be careful.
- Affordable option
- Easy-scoop sides
- Strong suction
- Dipping pot for sauces and yoghurts
- The base isn’t dishwasher- or microwave-safe
- Some users had trouble removing the suction cup from the plate
- Dip pot is quite shallow
- Phthalate-free, latex-free and BPA-free materials
5. Best silicone baby food mat: Betoy Silicone Suction Baby Eating Mat
Price: £8.42 | Buy now from Amazon
“A silicone placemat with suction cups, baby always wanted to feed himself so this helps to keep the food on the high chair. Of course now he is quite capable of picking it up and dropping it over the side but that's a whole different issue.” Fiddlededum
Betoy makes a feeding mat rather than a bowl. Mumsnet users with determined babies who can unstick most suction bowls rave about this type of design. It has an upgraded suction cup designed to secure the mat to any hard flat surface, and fits to most highchair tables.
The overhanging edge blocks food from falling onto their laps or on the floor making (slightly) less mess. It’s made from food-grade silicone and is dishwasher- and microwave-safe, and it’s also designed to not absorb flavours or to stain.
This isn’t a one-stop solution though, as the mat doesn’t have a bowl so you will need to buy one for meals that can’t be eaten off it, such as yoghurts or porridge.
- Much harder for babies to throw on the floor than a bowl
- Portable – can be rolled up
- Pouch for catching mess
- Microwave- and dishwasher-friendly
- You will need plastic bowls as your baby gets older
- Some users claim it is flimsy
6. Best bamboo baby bowl: Bamboo Bamboo Baby Suction Bowl and Spoon Set
Price: £19 | Buy now from Amazon
“We use them all the time - they are great and the suction is a godsend.” ELM8
Bamboo Bamboo’s Suction Bowl is, as you’d expect, made from bamboo, as well as food-grade silicone to protect your child from BPA, phthalates and other toxins.
The suction is very effective and it’s also removable so you can turn it into a regular bowl if/when your child stops throwing their bowl onto the floor, giving it longevity that other baby bowls simply don’t have.
It holds 350ml, is a good size at 12cm in diameter, and it comes with a spoon too. You can also get an animal-shaped Bamboo Suction Plate from the same company in a range of cute designs. There are six colours to choose from including lilac, cherry and orange. They’re pricey though and not dishwasher-friendly, but they should last a long time.
- Long-lasting as you can remove the suction to turn it into a regular bowl
- Made from natural materials
- Cute matching animal plates
- Come in a range of nice colours
- Not dishwasher-safe
- Pricey for one bowl
7. Best baby bowl with a lid: Bumkins Suction Silicone Baby Feeding Set
Price: From £16.50 | Buy now from Amazon
Bumkins’ feeding set comes in nine colours. The suction base keeps the bowl from sliding or flipping over and the set includes an easy-to-grip double-ended silicone spoon – one end is for dipping into purées and the other for scooping solid food.
The best thing, though, is the lid, meaning you can keep uneaten food in the fridge and also take it in the changing bag when you’re on the go. It’s also suitable for all temperatures - from the freezer to the microwave - and is easy to clean.
- The lid makes it easier to keep food for later or take it on the go
- Matching plate and cutlery
- Dishwasher- and microwave-friendly
- Suction base for minimal mess
- It’s an expensive option
- Some users found it didn’t wash well in the dishwasher
- Doesn’t stick to all highchair trays
- BPA-free silicone
8. Best divided baby plate: eco rascals Duck Natural Bamboo Plates
Price: £26 | Buy now from Amazon
We loved that this eco rascals bamboo plate has a large suction base, which means less likelihood of your little one removing it from the table or highchair tray.
It also has two separate sections, which is great for baby-led weaning so that savoury and sweet foods don’t mix – until, of course, your baby does it themselves. The sections are curved making it easier for them to get the food too, but it’s worth noting that some parents felt the plate was on the small side for a toddler.
The bamboo material does mean it's not dishwasher-safe, but it can easily be cleaned in soapy, warm water. It also can’t be used to heat up food in a microwave or oven, or stored in a freezer.
- Big suction pad helps it stay put
- Lots of different characters/animals available
- Separate sections
- On the smaller side
- Not safe for microwaves, ovens, sterilisers, dishwasher or freezers
9. Best long-term buy: Tommee Tippee Easy Scoop Feeding Bowl
Price: £4.50 (for four) | Buy now from Amazon
The Tommee Tippee Feeding Bowl is BPA-free, can be used in the freezer and the microwave, and is dishwasher-safe.
Similar to the much-loved IKEA bowls and plates, they are fairly cheap, especially if your child can eat from a bowl without tipping out its contents. If not, you will need to buy the magic mat as a surface to stick the bowls to. While it’s an extra cost, it does ensure the bowls will last once your baby no longer needs a suction bowl.
While they’re not as cute or child-friendly as say the cute design of the eco rascals Duck Natural Bamboo Plates, the triangle corners of the bowl make scooping food easier so there’s a chance your child will eat more – although we’re not promising anything.
- Four in a pack
- Triangular corners for easier scooping
- Freezer-, dishwasher- and microwave-friendly
- You need to buy the magic mat for the full benefit
- Some users claim the bowls can stain and scratch quite easily
10. Best baby bowl for traditional weaning: NUK Bowl and Masher
Price: £5 | Buy now from Amazon
“Also something like this is really useful once you're started as you just make dinner with less salt and mash the babies' in this.” Kwaziseyepatch
If you’re planning on doing purées and spoon-feeding rather than baby-led weaning, then this NUK Bowl and Masher will make things easier. You can squash food directly into the bowl and then your baby can eat straight from it.
This makes it a great bowl for preparing food like avocado or banana whether you are at home or out and about. The inner ridges of the bowl ensure easy mashing and its compact size is just right for individual baby portions. It’s also freezer-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and at a very affordable price too.
- Great for traditional weaning
- Right size for baby portions
- Ridges for making it easy to mash food
- Good for at home or on the go
- Not for baby-led weaning (only for the first stage) so won’t last as long as other bowls
- Some parents claim it is too small to prepare food
11. Best alternative: IKEA Antilop Highchair
Price: £15 | Buy now from IKEA
“Ds is 11 months and has been in it since 6 months. I have the inflatable cushion too. It is brilliant, very easy to keep clean.” Roslily
Some babies are experts at pulling any type of suction bowl off the table and tipping the contents on their head/your wall/the floor/you. In this case, Mumsnet users recommend putting food onto the tray of the highchair.
The IKEA Antilop Highchair comes highly recommended for this purpose as the tray is removable and dishwasher-safe, and there are no corners or fiddly bits for food to get stuck in. It’s very basic to look at compared to other highchairs, but that means it doesn’t take up too much space in your home and when your child gets older and wants to sit at the table you can easily remove the tray. To top it off, it’s very affordable too. No wonder it's been awarded Mumsnet's Best Highchair.
- No bowls or plates to be flung onto the floor
- Easy to keep clean
- Good value
- Can remove tray to seat baby at a table
- It won't last as long as a bowl or plate so you may need both eventually anyway
- The seat and tray are polypropylene plastic, while the legs are steel with epoxy/polyester powder coating
What to consider when choosing a baby plate and bowl
The material it’s made from – you’ll need bowls and plates that won’t break when they are inevitably thrown on the floor. Look for BPA-free plastic, silicone and bamboo which are all good non-breakable materials.
How do you plan to wean – BLW, purées or a mixture? If you’re baby-led weaning, then mats can often work better than plates for finger food. In the first year babies get most of their calories from milk, so don’t worry about buying bowls and plates with huge capacity.
How your baby behaves – some will pick up and chuck anything that is put in front of them, so suction bowls will help stop that happening. Alternatively, look for ones with a non-slip base, which will stop them sliding all over the table or highchair tray.
How well it washes - If you want a product that will wash easily, look for one that can be put in the dishwasher. You may not be able to do this with some bamboo products.
What other features you need – if you’re out and about, then look for mats that can fold or bowls with lids so you can take food with you (and home again if it doesn’t get eaten). If your baby likes to use a spoon themselves, then bowls with slightly angled edges can make scooping easier for them. If you plan to use a microwave to reheat food, make sure the bowls and plates are microwave safe.
Are bamboo bowls safe for babies?
Bamboo is a great alternative to disposable plastic plates and cutlery. Bamboo is also naturally antibacterial, so germs and bacteria won’t get anywhere near your child at mealtimes. It’s also the fastest growing plant in the world, so it’s renewable and completely biodegradable.
Some cheaper bamboo products are made from fibres that are then glued together with melamine. Watch out for these as, while the FDA says it’s safe, they caution not using melamine in the microwave or with food hotter than 160 degrees. Also avoid serving highly acidic foods as it increases the chance of the material migrating or transferring into baby food.
Are silicone baby plates safe?
Silicone is durable, safe, and more ocean-friendly than plastic. It doesn’t contain any petroleum-based plastics or toxic chemicals like those found in plastics. It also stands up better against heat and cold.
Are suction bowls good for weaning?
A suction bowl can be really useful in the early stages of weaning, especially if your child likes to throw their food on the floor. Unfortunately, they are not completely child-proof and most won’t withstand a determined baby or toddler pulling at them, but they can help avoid any accidental spillages and help children get used to eating out of a bowl.
When should babies start using plates?
There is no set time for this as it will depend on how you feed your baby, what foods they eat and what your child is like at mealtimes. Some children will eat nicely off a plate, others will throw the plate and all its contents on the floor - in which case, it’s probably best to just put it straight onto the highchair tray. As your child gets older, you can introduce plates - maybe starting with a suction base - to get them used to it.
What are the best baby bowls and plates?
The best baby plate is the EasyMat Mini Portable Baby Suction Plate with Lid. The strong suction cups make it ideal for weaning and we love that it also comes with a lid, sections for portioning out food and a cute happy face design that kids will love.
According to parents, the best baby bowl is the IKEA Kalas Bowl. Affordable, long-lasting and BPA-free, it's a safe and budget-friendly option for all families.
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