I ditched the traditional kids plates and cups for thrifted porcelain dishes and thick glass tumblers. Meal time is so much simpler now and the kids no longer fight over which color cup or plate they get!
Simplifying Mealtime with Kids
This is not groundbreaking, but I wanted to share a little bit about our kids’ dishes, glasses, utensils situation. When we moved into our townhouse last summer my kids were 2, 4, and 6 and I knew I wanted to simplify things. I was so tired of the kids fighting over which color of plate or cup they used, so I decided to completely eliminate the topic all together. I went to the thrift store (you could find affordable options on Amazon or Target too) and found thick short glasses (that all matched- they may actually be votive holders but that’s ok), simple white porcelain salad plates (that all matched, and the salad plate size is great for kids), and I designated our old thrifted blue willow bowls as the kids bowls. Now all 3 kids have the same thing during meals and the drama over color preference is a thing of the past. Most of our kids’ spoons are simple matching teaspoons, though I’ve held onto the cute Pottery Barn spoons and forks because they weren’t exactly cheap…I’m very tempted to donate them though! I keep them in narrow utensil containers so that they are co-located with their dishes and glasses. For placemats, I’ve swapped to these (matching) simple white silicone placemats with a lip around them to catch spilled drinks. They wipe clean really easily and look nice on the counter because I typically don’t put them away between meals. Again, because everyone has the same placemat, no placemat is better than any other and mealtime drama has gone by the wayside. Nice and simple is my rule of thumb these days!
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I also like that the kids are no longer using plastics or melamine for their meals (especially when I need to zap something in the microwave) and meal times really are a lot more peaceful.
I store everything in one lower level drawer in our island where they can easily get their own things when they need them. They also help unload the dishwasher so they know exactly where their things go- and they can reach them easily.
I’m sure some of you think that it might be tempting fate by letting them use breakable glasses while eating, but I assure you it’s not a big deal. Tate has been using all of these things since she was 2 years old and the only person who has every broken any of the kids’ things is me…while I was loading the dishwasher and I accidentally slammed a glass into a plate with too much force. By using breakable things they are learning to care for the things they use (they know they need to place, not throw, their dishes into the sink when they’re finished eating) and because these things are thrifted and not precious it’s not the end of the world if something does happen to break. It also reinforces how they should treat glasses and dishes when we go out to dinner at a restaurant or eat at another person’s home. If you have children, give this swap a shot and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
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