Friday, November 5, 2010

44 Kiddie Cabinet 2.0

It's funny how one post can lead to another!  I am SO glad it did however!

Earlier this week, I chatted about how we stashed our huge basket-o-halloween goodness up on the top shelf of a kiddie cabinet...


And I got quite a few questions and comments regarding the cabinet itself.

The cabinet didn't always look like this, in fact, I had done a post here, regarding the concept of the kiddie cabinet and how it was organized.  It once looked more like this:


What once gave me happy tingles, has since given me some scares.  The whole cabinet is one big giant plastic filled hole.... and all I can think about lately is that PLASTIC = BPA.

This is where I went wrong, and why I am glad you asked about my cabinets.  I made an assumption and instantly began replacing out ALL plastics in our entire kitchen.  This included the kiddie cabinet, which was one of my first concerns since it has been mentioned that BPA has a greater impact on our younger developing peanuts.

My family is my everything, and I instinctively wanted to make changes to how we are living in the kitchen due to all the BPA news.  I absolutely have heated up many kiddos meals, from oatmeal to hot dogs to everything in between, on and in plastic plates and bowls.  And much of what I have read states that BPA is activated and moves to foods mostly through a heating process.  That is why we have begun switching to a plastic free kitchen.

So, I decided to change out the plastics for some ceramics and glass:



I found all of the dishes through the Crate & Barrel outlet, after searching through many different non-plastic options.  For those interested, here are the links for the glasses, plates and bowls.

So with some tweaking to our Halloween candy situation, and updates to the dishes, we now have this:


First, since we just had candy talk {THANK YOU FOR ALL THE GREAT COMMENTS AND IDEAS}, I will follow up with what we ended up doing.  We sifted through all of the more kid friendly sized candies and divided them out in stay fresh containers.


Now we have a quick go to for smaller treats, and they should hopefully last for awhile.  And the rest will be donated {after mom and dad snag a couple of our favs for ourselves and for baking some delish post Halloween treats...}

The box on the top shelf still contains all of the family vitamins.

The next shelf contains our glasses, straws, crayons {it's OK to snag ideas from restaurants and hotels for your own benefit} and some mini dipping bowls.


The glasses do make me slightly nervous with the kiddos {I am sure you are all ready to commit me to the loony bin at this point}, however, we have had them for awhile now and so far so good.  The kiddos don't typically take their glasses away from the table or the counter {no food out of the kitchen is this momma's rule}, so they are typically pretty safe.  When they are in roam, they just snag their pre-filled water bottles from the ol' fridge.


Our lower kiddie cabinet shelf was updated with white ceramic dishes as well.


The plates and bowls are perfectly sized for kid portions.  And the really small dipping bowls were just snagged from our "grown up" dinnerware cabinet.  The larger bowls are perfect for hot cereal, soups and ice cream, and the smaller bowls are incredible for sides of fruits and veggies or dipping sauces.


And they all work together really well to serve up some grub to my handsome threesome!


But here is the big 'ol' OOPS that I made, that you don't have to make.  After I had updated the kiddie cabinet to what I thought was the safest route for my clan, I have since read that those plastic IKEA dishes that gazillions of families adore, are said to be... BPA free!  However, many of the other plastic dishes we were also using for our kiddos, weren't in the same situation.

Eggs for breakfast, or egg on my face?!  Seems like we have both goin' on around here....

The thing that frustrated me most, is that I am typically pretty good about trying to gain the facts before I impulsively make a decision or purchase... but I didn't this time.  I let the fear get the best of me and felt I was doing the right thing...

I know I am not out much, the juice glasses are great for... well juice!  And the dishes are white and versatile for kids and adults alike.  In fact, I really have been crazy giddy excited about removing all of the plastics from the kitchen, regardless.  It feels more organic and people/earth friendly to be using glasses and ceramics vs. plastics.  The storage containers and dishes will last eons longer and it's just a safer option for us. 

At the end of the day, all we can do is what we feel is best for ourselves and our families.  I have been slowly trying to move to more natural and organic options all over the home, and this is no different.  And I am by no means any type of expert in any of this, I just know what I know through my bff, Google...

Some other things we have done is make updates to our pantry storage {stay tune for more on that later} and switched out our utensils to bamboo and have since stopped purchasing food in cans... 

So what do you guys think?  Anyone have any other thoughts or advice surrounding the whole BPA uber hot topic?  How about messy egg eaters.... can anyone empathize with me and share a story of acting impulsively?

44 comments:

  1. I switched to a BPA-free kitchen too =) After doing a little research one day, I trotted though the house with a giant garbage bag and tossed every plastic storage container in ze recycling bin. Phew! Feels good.

    Mini anchor and pyrex bowls with lids are fantastic!

    Do your kids ever break the glass and ceramic dishes? I know I was ever so clumsy when I younger (ok ok I still am! I break a glass per month!)

    xoXOxo
    Jenn L @ Peas & Crayons

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  2. Hi Jenn!

    I agree with Anchor storage, that is our new glass food solution as well!

    And no breaks yet! {Yet is probably the key word} They had been eating on our porcelain dishes for eons with us at dinner, and never had problems, for some reason, I had only used the plastic ones at breakfast and lunch, so this was an easy transition for them!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  3. Not all canned goods are lined with the BPA..There is a nice list on the following site that might be helpful, it lists some that do and some that don't...check it out: http://organicgrace.com/node/316
    In the end I guess it's up to us as consumers to really be careful what we buy and consume. I have stopped using plastic and cans as much as possible too. Good luck everyone!

    Colleen

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  4. I LOVE THIS!! I am envious of your cabinets! :-) I hope mine look like that! :-)

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  5. I've been phasing out plastic in our kitchen too and it IS hard to know all the details, that's for sure! I bought a set of pyrex for storing leftovers and love that they're multipurpose in that I can bake/re-heat in them too. I still have a few plastic containers, but I hope to eventually not have any. We did away with plastic cups several years ago when the BPA scare first started and it's much nicer to drink out of glass anyway.

    Thanks for posting your families journey with this, it's good to learn along with you.

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  6. I love your cabinet! I too have eliminated plastics from our kitchen and pretty much from our pantry too. I had the entire set of the Tupperware storage system for the pantry, but I really was worried about it and sold it at a garage sale in April. I replaced it will vintage bail jars. The first cabinet I hit was the kids cabinet. I bet we had 40-50 plastic character cups from holidays over the years or restaurants. I have been searching for cute glass glasses and yours are adorable. We just have clear glass now, but I've priced the vintage character glasses (Smurfs, Tom & Jerry, etc.), but they are too pricey. I know I'll find them at an auction at a great deal someday. lol

    BTW, I'm new to your site and I absolutely LOVE it!! I look forward to checking more of it out and getting to know you better. :)

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    Replies
    1. Real Tupperware has always been BPA free! :) It's made from virgin plastic, making it safe to re-heat, store and freeze food in. The FDA testes random products every six months and Tupperware has never had a red flag! Even in the 90's there was a small amount of BPA used in the Rock'n'Serve line (now Vent'n'Serve) to give the plastic a see through look, and it was so minor it passed all safety regulations. But since the big BPA scare, Tupperware has since removed all BPA from all their plastics. Good news for all those hand me downs from our mothers! And with my lifetime warranty I can feel good I'm not replacing disposable plastics and breakable ceramics all the time. I'm quite clumsy too and almost all my IKEA plates are chipped. Take what you want from this and leave the rest but I agree with researching and doing what's best for your family. Cheers!

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  7. I use tupperware, its BPA free, aswell as all of their containers you use in the mircowave (not that I own a mircowave) but their products are BPA free!!!

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  8. Wow, I can't believe I didn't know that BPA was in canned goods! I can't wait to see your pantry and get ideas! Thanks.

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  9. I can definitely relate. I got rid of a lot of plastic too because of BPA. If I didn't know whether it was safe then I threw it away. We never heat anything up in plastic anymore and we switched the kids to melamine plates and corelle bowls (since they are shatter resistant). Both are pretty inexpensive.

    Found this on ehow:
    "Choose melamine for your child's dishes. Melamine is an entirely different plastic altogether and is actually a very environmentally safe alternative to traditional plastics. It is made of recycled materials and can be recycled itself, and most importantly, it does not leach BPA into the foods it contains."

    Read more: How to Buy BPA-Free Dishes for Kids | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2292233_buy-bpa-free-dishes-kids.html#ixzz14SVt9Qos

    Oh and I love the idea of taking some of the same type candy out of it's wrappers and storing it in a container. Going to do this tonight!

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  10. My kids use little 7 oz "highball" glasses and we've only had one break in 2 years. Got them on amazon for like $12! I'm just starting on all the bpa stuff, it's overwhelming! But good to know about the ikea stuff, as we have it too! It's still more green than paper plates and are great to take to picnics or use for outdoor meals. We take ours with when we travel!

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  11. I loved the before and the after of course! No matter what you do, it's done with style and organization OF COURSE! Love it Jen!

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  12. We have the little Gibralter glasses from Ikea. My son has used since he was 18 mos. The only one ever broken was by my husband. We also use our plates and utensils for the little one too. They have to learn to use them eventually.

    I'd be cautious w/melamine. Although it's cute and indestructible, it's not recyclable, made with formaldehyde and shouldn't come in contact with hot items. It also needs to be hand washed which I would probAbly forget about....

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  13. Thanks for the info on Tupperware anonymous. My set was quite a few years old, so I wasn't sure if it was BPA free or not, plus I just love the look of glass so much better. :)

    I also love your candy idea and will have to do that Jen! :) I just love your blog!

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  14. Does anyone know if Tupperware has always been BPA free or not? Most of all my pantry storage is tupperware but around 8yrs old as are the other plastic containers I have from them and am no tsure if I should be replacing it all or just the items I reheat things in?Advice??

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  15. I think it is a wonderful move to switch to glass and ceramic dishes and storage! Not only is it beautiful compared to plastic (which we see in EVERYTHING that is marketed toward children), but it also teaches a valuable lesson in care for the home environment! We use predominantly glass plates, bowls and cups along with stainless child-sized silverware for our 2 year old and have pretty much from the beginning of his time eating solid foods. He has broken two glasses in a year and a half. He broke the first glass in the middle of the night while falling asleep getting a midnight sip of milk, and the other time I think he was reaching across his tray for something I was handing him and knocked a drinking glass down; both times it was not difficult to move him away from the break or keep him in his highchair for cleanup, and, frankly, I have broken more dishes than he has in the same amount of time!

    Children are very perceptive, and they know when they are given things that require more care that they have to exercise more caution in using them. If a child is breaking a bunch of dishes it is probably a sign that the child needs a "reminder lesson" about how to use the dishes safely. My dad gives me a hard time every now and then about not cutting up my son's food into tiny finger-sized pieces or about giving him real silverware to use while eating, but I have discovered that my son does a bang-up job of using real utensils and dishes and he much prefers to eat his pizza like I eat my pizza... maybe a couple more pieces of artichoke end up on the floor, but we have very functional brooms at their house, and he eats much better when we let him do it like a big boy.

    The same is true for cleaning up toys and putting away dirty laundry... many people swear that young children are messy and disorderly, but from very early on (before 1 year!) he was able to put away his dirty laundry in a small basket in his room and from a little bit later, he was able to clean up his own toys and follow simple instructions about putting things away in the house; obviously he has also improved in this skill dramatically from the time we first started to request that he pitch in. This is a concept I gleaned from my Montessori teacher training, and it has really helped to keep things simple and organized on open shelving for him so that he can easily follow simple instructions and maintain an orderly space on his own (of course with our support and help... he is, after all a 2-year old!). Thanks so much for all of your great organizing tips, I've really enjoyed them over the past few weeks since I've discovered your blog!

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  16. As soon as my kids were finished being toddlers I got rid of all the plastic dishes, cups, sipper cups etc. Not because I was worried about BPA (this was many years before we had even heard about it). I just didn't like setting the table with junky-looking plastic. Over the years, we have had the odd thing break, but generally the kids were careful.

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  17. Sandhya,

    I would recommend either googling for the Tupperware BPA answer, or maybe even contacting Tupperware through their website?

    Thanks again everyone!

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  18. so do u buy frozen veggies? Isn't that in plastic?
    Kelly

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  19. @Kelly, we do purchase some frozen vegetables, and from what I know of, they are ok as long as you don't steam them in the bag in the microwave. I remove them and cook them either on the stove or in glass. But again, I am no expert, I always just google around to try to find info that I question. :)

    xoxo,
    Jen

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  20. Im in awe that all of your kids are so good with the glass/ceramic dishes. I have 3 boys- 4, 2, and 6 months. I attempted to be plastic free a couple years ago but my kids break so many dishes Im considering switching back to plastic! I attempt nearly every day to reiterate taking care of nice things in our home because I like a nice, organized, clean, pretty home but sheesh, its so hard with these boys. I bought a set of kiddishes which claim to be shatterproof but let me tell you from experience that they are NOT! We have broken at least 4 cups, 2 bowels, and 2 plates. The rest have chips and need to be tossed. How do you mamas do it? Or are my kids just nuts?

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  21. I have been viewing some of your link and found this one on the kiddie cabinet. I noticed someone had asked about Tupperware being safe from BPA. The answer is YES!!! I sell Tupperware and all of our products is now BPA free. I have 2 grandchildren and we all eat out of Tupperware products. The Modular Mate system Tupperware has is AWESOME for keeping foods fresh longer and the are great for organizing!!

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  22. To poster #20 - what are your floors made of? That may be affecting the amount of dishes breaking. Ours are a solid wood but a decent amount of give (even tho they are a 'hard wood') if that makes sense. It's really hard to break something on our floor (usually it would only break if i dropped it straight from the freezer, which i did the other day and it shattered). We have been using tiny juice glasses from Crate & Barrel (Rings pattern) for a year now and i don't think any have broken. But my boys were 5 and 3. A 2yo might be just a bit too young! Good luck, you'll get there!

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  23. Tupperware is not BPA free, just sayin'

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  24. Sorry wanted to add this link to Tupperware website as proof. They say their use of BPA is within acceptable levels.
    http://www.tupperware.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nz/website/FAQ/#faq-bpa

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  25. Maybe I'm doing something wrong but, I found you on pinterest and came over to your blog. The problem that I'm having though is that I have to type in www. before iheartorganizing because there isn't one, and it pops up with an error page if I don't.???????

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  26. I always make sure its bpa free we went Tupperware on storge as it's a lifetime guarantee

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  27. I always make sure its bpa free we went Tupperware on storge as it's a lifetime guarantee

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  28. You're ultra-inspiring! We are a plastic-free family ourselves. I buy vintage, clear juice glasses at Goodwill and although the kids break them from time to time I just pick up another whenever I'm in treasure hunting and we're good. I don't worry about matching them other than the fact that their all vaguely the same size and all completely clear. Love the smaller ceramic bowls. We use ramekins a lot which are very heavy duty and don't break without a really serious fall.

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  29. Love your website and your organising.....While we are talking about obsessing etc.....I see your glasses are upside down. I have had many discussions about this - one with a microbiologist and you should turn them round in the cupboard. Upside down causes a build up of mould and the part which your lip touches is on the cabinet...Depends what you clean your cupboards with but I wouldnt want it near my lips no matter how clean.....That is my OCD help hahaha! Regarding BPA, if there is a no 7 in the triangle underneath the dish/cup etc, then it is not BPA free. The ones guaranteed to be BPA free are 2, 4 and 5. Cheers! x

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    Replies
    1. Wow - totally never knew! Thanks for the heads up, I will be turning all of my glasses over asap! :)

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. Turning my cups over in the morning!! Ew!

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  30. So, it's been over a year since this post. I just found your blog and was wondering do you still not buy food in cans? If so, do you have some recipes you love that you could share? I know this isn't a cooking blog, but I am trying to organizing my pantry and our eating habits and I realized that many of my "home made" recipes still have canned stuff as a base. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Erin!

      I actually have been much much better about not purchasing canned goods. I purchase soups in boxes and my mother-in-law cans tomatoes in jars which we use a lot for cooking with tomatoes. A lot of companies are trying to go with BPA free can lining, which includes Muir Glen, which we are quite excited about since we can purchase that brand almost anywhere. We still purchase all vegetables and fruits frozen vs. canned. Trader Joes also sells some foods in BPA free cans, you just have to google around to figure out which ones.

      Hope that helps!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  31. I always wondered if BPA free plastic was still safe? I am posting a few links here which elaborate on that. Seems like BPA free can still have ill effects. Glass,ceramic,stainless steel are better options.

    http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/03/08/study-even-bpa-free-plastics-leach-endrocrine-disrupting-chemicals/

    http://wholelivingdaily.wholeliving.com/2011/09/econundrum-is-bpa-free-plastic-still-dangerous.html

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  32. I use Mason jelly/ pint jars for drinking glasses. They are very durable!

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  33. Hey Jen, I'm new to your site and I love all your ideas. I have 4 kids (3 girls and 1 boy) I feel to be organized with all these kids it will help things run smother! I will be visiting your site often! :) I was wondering where did you get your milk containers? Sorry if you have already posted and I missed it. I didn't have time to read all the comments.

    Thank you,
    Brandy

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brandy!

      I found them on Amazon, however, you can find them at just about any home/kitchen store as well.

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  34. Love your site! Can't seem to find the inexpensive storage items in Canada. They are just too pricey! This is why we cross boarder shop!

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  35. We use the small size glass jelly jars for our kids, just regular canning jars from Ball and Kerr. They're made out of a heavy glass that can usually withstand a drop from table or counter height.

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  36. Could you please post about more momma's rules like "no food out of the kitchen" , and several rules that help to keep your house so neat maybe we haven't figured out?

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  37. I agree with the plastics but you are a brave soul for using breakables! I switched the kids plates and bowls to stainless steel (from amazon), their smoothie cups are glass with silicone around them, and the cups are also stainless steel. The baby uses stainless steel sippy cups. The straws use use are silicone ones that actually come with a lid that can be propped over any cup (awesome btw!). All of these items were from Amazon... not cheap but I decided how many do I REALLY need... i had to stop being lazy and letting dirty stuff accumulate. Now I just have 2 of each for each child (3 of them under 6). Hope that helps someone!

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  38. I use 8 oz mason jars for our kid glasses (jelly jars). They work great! They are a thicker, more durable glass than drinking glasses. They've taken many a tumble from the table and counter and not broken. I also love that they can take heat (they are meant to be boiled in hot water for canning). So I can microwave hot chocolate for kids in them, too! And, they are cheap and easily replaceable.

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    Replies
    1. We eventually switched over to those same mason jars as well! They were too perfect, and still are! I eventually broke most of those sweet little juice glasses {yes me, not the kids, ha!}

      xoxo!

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