This Working Mom’s Favorite Sippy Cups, Bowls, and Other Products for Feeding Your Toddler

My cousin’s daughter (the closest thing I have right now to a niece!) is turning one soon.  I wrote about the “baby head cold” gift I gave my cousin when her baby was born — and, because my cousin and her husband are both scientists (who are also kind of opposed to the pink/purple/princess/girly stuff), I’ve also been shipping them all of the science-themed boy clothes they might like for their daughter. But as their daughter’s first birthday approaches, I find myself wanting to get my cousin B a collection of some of the best cups and plates that we loved the best when the boys were in that stage — instead of a toy that may or may not get used. I can’t tell you how much money I’ve spent on Amazon and other baby stores buying products for feeding my toddler that looked like good ideas in theory but turned out to be duds! So: these were my favorite sippy cups, bowls, and more for the toddler years — which are/were yours? As working parents, what are/were your favorite products for feeding your toddlers? 

Pictured at top (random order) and discussed more thoroughly below: one / two / three / four / five / six

zoli sippy cup working mom favoriteThis sippy cup is by no means perfect, but I’ve tried a LOT of cups and kept coming back to this one for the multiple goals of being a) easy for my baby to drink, b) easy(ish) to clean, c) not leaking everywhere in the diaper bag (although it takes a bit of practice and attention to get the top screwed on properly), d) not leaking everywhere if thrown. They come in a bunch of colors and sizes (with replaceable straws, although that often feels like a minor surgery), for $12ish at Amazon. (Our second favorite in this category was this Munchkin cup, which is a lot more affordable at $6ish.) Pictured: ZoLi Sippy Cup
working mom favorite: thermos funtainerThe Thermos is much heavier than the ZoLi cups, but these are also great — particularly for when temperature of the drink is important. Need to keep drinks cold on a hot summer stroller ride? Add some ice and your kiddo will be WAY cooler and more comfortable than you are. “Hot cocoa” time? Put it in the Funtainer (skip the marshmallows).  I’ve also put consomme and “sick tea” (warm water with lemon and honey) in the Funtainer and given it to my boys to sip. (Don’t put anything undrinkably hot in there because it really will not cool down — it should always be a good drinking temperature for your kiddo.) Another must-have if your kiddo is in daycare: the Thermos Foodjar is awesome for keeping mac & cheese, soup, and other things warm. (I wouldn’t put things like chicken nuggets in there because ew, steam, but you do you.) The Funtainer comes in a thousand fun colors and patterns for $11-$29. Thermos Funtainer
working mom favorite (great for daycare lunches): silicone linersThese are surprisingly useful, even now with a 2.5 year old and a 5.5 year old. They’re great for holding small snacks (Cheerios! raisins! peas!). They’re super lightweight and survive being thrown, dropped, and more. (They’re about half the size of one of these Take n Toss bowls — we use these a lot more than we use those bowls, honestly.) They’re packable, both for lunch boxes, as well as for restaurant/stroller/picnic outings. We always handwash ours, but they are in theory dishwasher safe, as well as freezer-safe and microwave safe (we used to nuke J’s peas & carrots directly in the silicone liner). Plus, they’re colorful and happy.  We still use these for ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, craisins, and more. Amazon has a TON of different options; these ones look nice, are eligible for Prime, and a set is only $5.99. BPA-Free Silicone Cupcake Liners
oxo grape cutter working mom must have great for easily cutting grapes and cherry tomatoes for toddlersWe use this one all the time, particularly in the summer with cherry tomatoes and grapes. (I’m a little crazy with choking hazards in general and still cut my 5.5 year old’s hot dogs in half, and quarters for my 2.5 year old, though!)  Oxo Grape Cutter
stainless steel cutlery for kidsMy eldest son got a million brightly colored plastic spoons, forks, and knives, and they held up fine… until they started getting gross.  (We went through a “couldn’t deal” period where we put them in the dishwasher, though, so there’s that.) I think CorporetteMoms readers turned me on to the idea of stainless steel cutlery for kids, and now that I’ve bought some I try whenever possible to give my youngest the stainless steel stuff.  We have this set and this set, and although we have these soup spoons instead, I might consider buying these if we used them all the time.  Pictured: Gerber Graduates Kiddy Cutlery
suction bowl for kids working mom favoriteWe’ve tried a LOT of bowls over the years, and I’d say this one is one of the few ones that does what it promises — it suctions to the table or tray (more than the others, at least), and the spill catcher actually does catch (some) of the spills. We also like (and use) these Munchkin suction bowls — but the Boon bowl is a favorite. It’s $7.99 at Amazon.  Boon Bowl

For older kids, I’d also add Corelle platesstainless steel mugs, Take n Toss cups, silly straws, and cute food picks like these (great for rolling up ham or making other finger food a bit more appealing — we had some tofu left over recently from a recipe we made and I decided to try baking some for the kids. They weren’t fooled, but they did show vague interest considering the tofu bites had fun finger picks sticking out of them. #Success!)

Ladies, what products have you tried and loved for the always fun task of feeding your kids? Did you find that some were products were loved by one kid but not another (for example, my eldest loved these snack catchers; my youngest, not so much). (Did you try anything and absolutely hate it? Want to share?)

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best products for feeding your toddler - a working mom's favorites

Pictured at top (random order) and discussed more thoroughly above: one / two / three / four / five / six


  1. shortperson says:

    the silicon baking cups are also huge hits at the pool (older kids are constantly borrowing them from my 2 yo) and also on airplanes. i ask the flight attendant for two pieces of ice, hand them to my toddler with 2-3 muffin cups, and buy about 30 minutes.

    • shortperson says:

      but, i dont like my kid eating off of plastic, so we use lunchbots stainless plates, oneida flatware sets (trucks! owls!), little duralex glasses, pura kiki straw waterbottles, and planetbox lunchboxes.

      • second to all of this! pura bottles are the best — we have used as baby bottles, sippys, open cups, straw cups. great investment! we got a lunchbots stainless set that is awesome, and once hands were a bit bigger the duralex glasses have been fabulous, esp b/c they can handle both warm and cold drinks.

  2. Anon in NYC says:

    My toddler loves this old divided plate that my mom had saved. It has pictures on it plus the alphabet. I know that some people are anti-divided plate, but it’s been a hit for us!

    I like a lot of the OXO stuff, like the 4-piece feeding set. The plate and bowl are great and we use OXO toddler forks and spoons too.

    I haven’t yet found a cup that I love. We use some Thermos sippy cups, the Munchkin 360, the Zoli… none of them are perfect but for different reasons.

  3. Anonymous says:

    We use either our regular cutlery (dessert forks and teaspoons are the right size). For lunch bags, I use the Ikea Kalas series ($1.79 for 18 piece set) so it doesn’t matter if it gets lost or forgotten at school.

    Playtex stopped making my beloved sippy cups in 2013 so we are still using my older daughter’s set for the younger kids, though they are starting to show their age.

  4. English Teaching Attorney says:

    Thanks for the silicon liner idea! Not quite perfect for my 20 month old who likes to carry around her snacks and everything else she can fit in her hands, arms and under her chin, but good for those nice moments when she’s sedentary. Want to give a shout out to my absolute favorite cup – the Sassy 360 cup is the closest I have found to non-spilling. Sometimes the rubber parts get a little loose and liquid oozes out, but they’re otherwise [more or less] spill-free. Much prefer to the munchkin cups because they don’t have that little plastic mold-collecting ring where the lid meets the cup. Some reviews cite mold but I haven’t had any problems (running through the dishwasher with sanitize setting on). Other reviews cite not enough liquid coming out, but we haven’t had a problem with that either–maybe because she started on the Munchkin ones.

  5. Easy school lunches says:

    I’m planning for an extended period away from home and am looking to stock up on shelf stable or refrigerated foods (ideally meals) that DH can use for easy school lunches. Kids are in elementary school and moderately picky. No nuts allowed. Ideas? Gopicnic has a couple option that will work, but I’m looking for more. TIA!

    • mascot says:

      What do your kids take now? Can you come up with a formula (protein, carb, fruit/veg, drink) and have a bunch of choices ready to grab and go? DH/kids may need to do some prep and assembly on the weekend to make for easy packing. For protein, lunch meat, rotisserie chicken, greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, hummus, cheese, edamame. Carb can be crackers, tortilla, rolls, waffles, pasta, etc. You can send a pita, some sauce, and shredded cheese for DIY pizza. Sliced veggies with dip, fruit that is whole or sliced. You could probably even send cereal and milk if you got really stuck. I eat the same thing for lunch a couple of day in a row so I don’t worry too much if my kid does the same assuming that the meal is relatively healthy. Plus, I’ve got 16 other meals in the week to do something imaginative.

  6. EB0220 says:

    Haha, we have most of those things! My oldest was super picky about sippy cups and the zoli bot was her favorite. Beware the vacuum seal effect, though. Those things can leak! We bought a set of plates, cups, bowls and utensils at Ikea a few years ago and it has been a workhorse. Those silicone baking cups are awesome for snack portioning. We also still use and love the molded plastic tommee tippee bibs with a pouch to collect food.

  7. Love the Boon bowl. For sippy cups, nothing beats the Munchkin 360. I seriously don’t get the comments about mold. Take the lid apart before washing and there’s no issue.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      I am Munchkin 360 devotee, and I’ve had a couple of mold issues. It happens inside the translucent plastic ring around the bottom of the lid. The rings are a bit of a pain to remove and put back on, but it’s do-able and completely resolves the mold issue.

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