Thursday, September 13th, 2007
Dog Food Bowl as Baby Bowl: Why the Heck Not?
Dog food bowls make good baby food bowls. That’s my supposition. Hear me out.
With a second child on the way, I began thinking about alternatives to plastic bowls. The obvious choice was stainless steel, but the only ones I found online were for cookingâ€”mixing bowlsâ€”and they had such a small base that a baby would easily tip them.
Then I wondered, why not use dog food bowls?
Better yet, designers have created bowls that dogs can’t tip over, and I bet, babies too. You can’t simply bend a finger over the lip and tip, nor can you quickly pick up such a bowl. The wide base with thick walls tapering inward are an ingenious design.
Stainless steel won’t chip or break down like plastic does over time. Sure, plastic should last thousands of years, but take one look at a sippy cup lid after a kid has chewed on it for a year. In other words: dog bowls provide heirloom quality. Also, the two bowls shown in the photo are listed as dishwasher safe.
A no-tip dog bowl often contains a rubber ring around its base to also make it quiet when a dog pushes his bowl along the ground. You would need to remove the ring for the dishwasher and replace it again, or go without it.
Some dog bowls are polished only on the top side, giving the bottom side a dirty appearance even though it’s clean.
Dog bowls don’t transport wellâ€”no lid.
Non-issue: Oh My God, It’s a Freaking Dog Bowl!
The social implications of feeding my baby from a dog bowl don’t concern me. He or she won’t be down on all fours, you know? I’ll feed with a spoon, and most feeding occurs in the privacy of our home. My 3-year-old daughter still drinks from glass pimento jars. If dog bowls prove safer, or at least more care-free than plastic bowls, I’m game.
Non-issue: Not Microwave Safe
I wouldn’t microwave baby food due to uneven heating. I also don’t like the idea of microwaving plastic bowls due to chemical leaching concerns.
Non-issue: Suction Cups
Our first plastic baby bowls had optional suction cups to adhere them to our tabletop. We never used the suction cups because my wife or I held the bowl most of the time. When our daughter began feeding herself, we held her bowl stationary for a time, then had a simple rule: if you throw your bowl, you don’t get more food. Soâ€¦ the lack of a suction method for dog bowls doesn’t concern me.
Non-issue: It’s not Cutesy Wootsy
Dog food bowls don’t have cartoon characters or the alphabet printed on them. This is a big plus in my book. I don’t want licensed TV or movie characters on any of our baby products, and dinner time is not about learning the alphabet, especially not the capital letters that dinnerware so often bears. Did you know schools usually teach lowercase letters first?
Time to Weigh In
I have questions for you, gentle reader:
1) Would you use a stainless steel dog bowl, or must it be designed and marketed for humans? What do you think?
2) Optional: are you aware of any health-related reason that this might be a bad idea? What issues didn’t I consider?
I fully expect, or at least hope, that by our due date, next March, I’ll locate a web site selling a small stainless steel bowl that is designed for humans, maybe a cereal bowl. But now I wonder, will it have the amazing no-tip design of a dog bowl? Hmm.