10 of the best suction bowls and plates for weaning
Suction bowls and plates are great for helping to avoid any spills and messes during weaning. Our MFM testers give us their recommendations for mealtimes with babies and toddlers
We all know how messy weaning can be, where in the early stages it can feel like most of the food ends up down your toddler or on the floor. This is where suction bowls and plates can come in handy – they come with a suction pad on the base that allows you to stick them to your baby's highchair tray or to a table. It also helps your baby to feed themselves if you choose baby-led weaning, as your little one can push their fingers or a weaning spoon against the sides of the bowl to scoop up some yummy food.
We've used feedback from our MFM testers, who have put a range of suction bowls and plates to the test with their babies and toddlers, to bring you the top designs for a (relatively) mess-free mealtime.
There are some family meal boxes that help with weaning, alternatively, there are options for just parents if your child is not eating the same meals as you yet.
What to look for when choosing a suction plate or bowl
What is it made of? – Most suction bases are made from silicone which is flexible and soft. For the bowl or plate itself do you want to go for the same material? Or perhaps plastic, which is sturdier, or bamboo, which is more sustainable? If you do go for a bamboo bowl or plate, remember to avoid putting it in the dishwasher or microwave to keep it lasting longer.
What do you want to use it for? – Do you need sections to divide up different types of food, for example if you're doing baby-led weaning? Or do you need a deeper bowl for purees?
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Where are you using it? – Keep in mind that not all suction bases work on wooden tables (particularly flat suction bases), so think about where you'll be sticking it to.
Is it easy to wash? – For a quick post-mealtime clean up, look for materials that are dishwasher safe. This may not always be possible, for example if you go for a bamboo option, but it's worth checking before you buy.
Is it microwave/oven safe? – This is worth considering if you want to reheat food or pop something in the oven, as not all materials can withstand high temperatures.
Is it appealing to your child? – Look for bright colours and cute shapes that'll add some fun to your toddler's mealtimes.
Here is our pick of the 10 best suction bowls and plates for weaning:
1. Bamboo Bamboo Baby Suction Bowl and Spoon, £16.99
– Best for sustainability
Material: bamboo | Dishwasher safe: no | Microwave safe: no | Award: Gold, MFM Awards 2021 – Cutlery & tableware
Bamboo Bamboo's suction bowl has a has a deep and generous size with a strong suction action, leading to its place as a MFM Gold award winner. MFM tester Sam, mum to a 15-month-old commented: “Well-priced for an eco-friendly product and easy to use – just press down on a flat surface like a high-chair tray. The strong suction grip prevents any kind of movement. It's the best baby bowl and spoon I own by far.”
The bowl and spoon set comes in at a good price point for an eco-friendly product and is made from 100% bamboo, making it a sustainable choice. Siobhan says: “I love them. They look cute, have sections and the suction is good.” The natural texture and finish of the bamboo is pleasing, plus the suction base and matching spoon with silicone tip come in an array of colours.
2. Omnia Baby Suction Bowl and Spoon Set, £13.99
– Best for baby-led weaning
Material: silicone | Dishwasher safe: yes | Microwave safe: yes | Award: Gold, MFM Awards 2021 – Cutlery & tableware
This colourful bowl and spoon set scooped a MFM Gold award due to its simple to hold design and its ease of use. The bowl comes in an amazing range of 6 pastel colours including pink, grey and green and it sticks to a clean surface very easily – just press down on the centre of the bowl and lift a tab to release the suction. It does mean you have to put the food in the bowl after you have stuck it to the table but our testers reported that it stayed stuck to any surface, so your baby won’t be able to tip or lift it.
The deep, curved profile makes it easy for your baby to scoop up their food and there is a generous lip too. MFM tester Rebecca, mum of a 9-month-old and 3-year-old commented: “Not only is this great for babies, it’s been a massive help for my toddler who struggles with scooping in a bowl. Usually food spills over the side, so the unique raised lip has been extremely beneficial." Our testers were also impressed with the fact it is suitable for the microwave, oven and dishwasher.
Available from: Omnia Baby
3. Munchkin Stay Put Suction Plate, £6.25
– Best value suction plate
Material: plastic | Dishwasher safe: yes, top rack | Microwave safe: no
If you want some divided tableware that is affordable and still functional and attractive, this set from baby weaning brand Munchkin gives you 2 generously sized plates in bright colours. These came highly recommended from our MFM testers including mum, Kirstie, who commented: “They were the only ones my daughter couldn't pull off!”
They have suction bases to keep them firmly in place on the table, with a tab that makes it easy for an adult to release them and they are a good size for toddlers to feed themselves from. They are fairly large, with 1 big and 2 small sections for experimenting with different foods. Plus hey have curved inner walls, making self-feeding simpler for your baby or toddler.
4. EasyTots Unicorn Weaning Set, £32
– Best suction bowl and plate set
Material: silicone | Dishwasher safe: yes | Microwave safe: yes | Award: Silver, MFM Awards 2021 – Cutlery & tableware
This colourful unicorn-inspired weaning set comes with a large and beautifully curved suction bowl, a suction mat that comes with folding sides for meals on the go and 2 toddler-sized silicone spoons. Although it's a pricey bundle, our testers couldn't fault its strong suction and ease of cleaning.
"My 15-month-old daughter struggled to get the plate off her highchair, which is a win for me as she had a habit of throwing the plate over the side mid-way through meals," said MFM tester Fiona. While MFM tester, Alexandra, added, "All have been in the microwave, dishwasher and antibacterial soap many times and the colour is still perfect."
The swirling colours will be attractive to your toddler too, with even our parent testers praising the set for being "pretty and colourful".
5. Bubbaboo Bamboo Butterfly Suction Plate, £17.50
– Best for picky eaters
Material: bamboo | Dishwasher safe: no | Microwave safe: no | Award: Silver, MFM Awards 2021 – Cutlery & tableware
We all love items for the home that are not just practical but beautiful too and this butterfly-shaped bowl will soon become a favourite with your child. Made from durable bamboo, it has 4 sections in the wings that you can put different foods into, which is good not just for keeping picky eaters engaged but for those who don’t like certain foods touching each other.
The suction base helps avoid mess and keeps the bowl firmly in place. MFM tester and mum of 3 Amanda said: “I wish I’d had this when my youngest son was smaller as he’s a super-fussy eater and doesn’t like his foods mixing together. It’s the perfect item for weaning, especially for baby-led weaning.”
Available from: Bubbaboo
6. Little Eden Suction Bowl with Straw and Spoon, £13.99
– Best for liquids
Material: silicone | Dishwasher safe: yes | Microwave safe: yes
This innovative design from Little Eden is the perfect addition to the breakfast table if your child enjoys a bowl of cereal or porridge. This is thanks to the attached straw that allows them to suck up any milk left behind, or you could even use it for soup.
You also get a shallowed-edged spoon included in the set, which makes this ideal for little ones who are getting to grips with cutlery. The baby-safe silicone is food grade, plus it's dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
Available from: Little Eden
7. Vital Baby Nourish power suction bowl set, £7.99
– Best value suction bowl
Material: plastic | Dishwasher safe: yes | Microwave safe: yes
These brightly coloured little bowls will help encourage your child to eat at mealtimes with a super-strong suction action to keep them firmly anchored to the highchair tray. They’re also very easy to use – just put the suction pad down, lock it and twist the bowl into it. This is a bonus if you want to fill the bowl at a counter before offering it to your baby, rather than filling the bowl once it is fixed in place.
The sides make food easy to scoop and there are channels inside the bowl to allow food to collect, helping your baby master spooning the food. They come with their own leakproof lid to keep everything inside, great if you want to feed your baby when out and about, plus they have a matching spoon that comes with its own cover to keep it clean and hygienic. It’s free from BPA, phthalates and latex and there is a range of other matching feeding products from the brand to add to your kitchen.
8. Little Moxy Suction Bowl with lid, £9.99
– Best for portability
Material: silicone | Dishwasher safe: yes | Microwave safe: yes
In 4 soft colours, these curved silicone bowls come with their own airtight, see-through silicone lid, meaning they are perfect for when for being out and about with your baby. They have a string suction base, making them difficult to tip or throw and they are the perfect size for weaning your baby. MFM tester Hannah said: "We went through so many bowls with my eldest and we found he was able to pull some bowls off and smash them. Little Moxy is the only one neither my baby nor my toddler can pull off!."
They are useful if you want to store some left-over food to make into baby food the next day too. Made from good quality, 100% food grade silicone, they are free from BPA, plastic, latex and phthalates. Plus they can be put in the microwave, fridge and even the oven and are safe to pop in the dishwasher, on the top rack, though it’s probably best to hand wash with mild soapy water.
Available from: Little Moxy
9. Eco Rascals Suction and Section Duck Plate, £17.90
– Best for fun shapes
Material: bamboo and silicone | Dishwasher safe: no | Microwave safe: no
This cute duck FSC-certified bamboo plate has 2 sections, one large and one small, plus a powerful suction base in 6 bright colours including pink, blue and yellow. The base is made from 100% silicone that is free from phthalates, PVC, lead, latex and BPA.
It is a smaller plate than some, making it ideal for the first stage weaning as well as for snacks when your child is older. And because it’s such a sweet bowl, it will stay a favourite for years. The main section can hold cut-up chunks of soft food for baby-led weaning, while you can put a dip in the smaller section. These plates are also available in sweet elephant, owl and car shapes too.
10. OXO Tot Stick & Stay Put Suction Bowl, £11
– Best for a simple design
Material: plastic | Dishwasher safe: yes | Microwave safe: no
Part of a range that also includes a suction plate and other feeding accessories, this bowl has a suction base that really stays put on most surfaces. It’s easy for parents to remove from the highchair tray but babies find it very tricky, so you’ll reduce food mess and waste.
It's a deep bowl with gently sloping sides, making it easy for babies who want to feed themselves to see what’s inside and to be able to scoop it out effectively. The bowl and base twist apart when you want to clean them and they can be put into the dishwasher, making them very easy to care for.
About the author
Parenting journalist, Sally J Hall, has worked on a range of UK baby magazines and websites writing features on pregnancy health, nutrition, fashion and baby product reviews. She is also the author of 2 parenting books – Eco Baby and Plant Based Baby. She lives in North London with her husband and 2 kids.
Sally J. Hall has been a parenting and health journalist for over 20 years. She is a former Consumer Editor of Parenting & Birth magazine and former Editor of both Bounty (where she launched the Bounty Baby Product Guide) and Emma’s Diary, as well as contributing to many other parenting magazines and websites.
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