Mealtime at my house can only be described as chaotic. With a preschooler and a toddler at the table, it's all but guaranteed that drinks will be spilled and food will be flung. So when I heard that BabyBjorn was launching a new Kitchen Essentials line for babies and toddlers, I was intrigued. Since the Swedish baby product manufacturer has mastered the baby carrier, bouncer, and travel crib categories, I wanted to see what they could do at my kitchen table.
BabyBjörn's new, pastel-hued, BPA-free kitchen line feels right in line with what you'd expect from the Scandinavian company. The collection, which includes plates, cups, spoons, forks, and baby bibs, are durable and thoughtfully designed. Take, for example, the comfy bibs ($13, BabyBjörn) that are made from flexible and BPA-free plastic. They feature a sturdy spill pocket (praise be!), and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Any bib that can be dropped in a dishwasher instead of washing machine is my idea of genius. Plus, they seem great for meals out or traveling.
I also love the lines new wide-bottom cups ($19 for two, BabyBjörn), that — thanks to their low center of gravity — are harder to tip over. When you see your kid drink from this vessel, you will really wonder how cups for toddlers could ever be designed any other way. These are the design details that make me smile as a parent. I also took note that the cups were safe for dishwashers, freezers, and microwaves, which seems like a perfect trifecta for busy parents.
Also new in BabyBjörn's Kitchen Essentials line are the chunky utensils, designed with short, grippy handles to make it easier for kids to eat independently, according to a brand spokesperson. The 4-piece spoon and fork set is priced at $18, which might seem a little pricey at first, but if you factor in that the set can be used by children started at age 4-months, and will be used every day for months on end, it makes sense to pay for quality.
I would be remiss not to mention the line's plates, that look whimsical with their clover-like shape. The "trefoil design" is intended to make it easier for your child to scoop food onto the spoon or fork, according to site. It's sturdy with a rubber strip underneath to keep the plate anchored. And if you look at the plate from the side, it is like an inch thick, which just seems like a more substantial item to place in front your unruly toddler, but keep in mind it'll probably take up a good amount of cabinet space as far as baby and toddler plates go. If you've got the space though, why not? If you are into the plate, keep in mind that it looks like they're not available a la cart, but you can grab a bundle of two each of the plate, spoon, and fork for $32.
The items in the new line are available in powdery pink, blue, yellow and green, so they certainly look sweet. But even more important, all of the BabyBjörn kitchen products are safe — complying with relevant plastic safety requirements in both Europe and America. "This means that the plastic we use undergoes continual rigorous testing for bisphenol A (BPA) and other harmful substances and is certified food-safe," explains the brand's site.
So now the only question is just how many of these dinner sets to order, because I'm ready for a slightly more serene mealtime with my munchkins.