This tainted milk scare in China traces back to melamine, a type of plastic that was added to infant formula to “boost” the protein levels while cutting costs. Disgusting. Melamine in formula isn’t a concern to U.S. parents because no Chinese formulas are approved for our market, but melamine is the main plastic used in most children’s plates, utensils and cups (not sippy cups though, which are generally made of Bisphenol-A leaching polycarbonate.)
So what’s wrong with melamine? It’s made with formaldehyde, which is linked to allergies, asthma and cancer. Will the formaldehyde leach into your child’s food? Not necessarily every time, but hot and acidic foods may cause it to do so. Why risk burdening your kid’s delicate system with yet another toxin?
You can switch to glass or ceramics, but if you still prefer durable plastics, look for gear made from the safer #2, #4 and #5 varieties. Many plates and cups aren’t labeled but you can check out The Soft Landing to try and determine where your child’s plastic plates stand.