PEDIATRICIAN MOM DEVELOPS COLORFUL STAINLESS STEEL DINNERWARE FOR KIDS
(Indianapolis, IN) - In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics published the recommendation to “use alternatives to plastic such as glass or stainless steel, when possible” given growing concerns that chemicals in plastics may be harmful to children’s health. There was no mention of bamboo or silicone; and since glass shatters when kids test gravity, only one option remains. Steel.
Noticing the lack of stainless steel dinnerware options in the United States, Dr. Manasa Mantravadi, a board-certified Pediatrician, began working to create a solution. After a year of research, development, and testing, she founded Ahimsa - the world’s first colorful stainless steel dinnerware for kids!
“My parents are from India and when I had my twins six years ago my mom, without asking, wiped out my cupboards of plastic and replaced it with steel versions from India. I should have known better as I myself grew up using stainless steel at the dinner table. Why in America have we come to rely so much on plastic and other materials? Asians have been using steel dinnerware for generations,” says Mantravadi.
Nontoxic and durable, Ahimsa products are also designed to encourage healthy habits to grow with your child and are made from the most recycled material on the planet. The aim is to reduce and reuse.
“As the Yetis of the world grow in popularity for their durability and sustainability, why do we limit that to travel or camping? Sure, you can take Ahimsa products camping or on a trip. They're stackable, space-saving and nearly indestructible. However, Ahimsa wants stainless steel to be a staple on your family's dining table,” says Mantravadi.
Realizing that plain steel may not be as enticing as the superhero, princess and other character-themed dinnerware sets on the market, Dr. Mantravadi used her experience in medicine to bring some “fun” to the line’s safety and practicality. She applied a technique used in coating surgical implants to her dinnerware. The process allows a thin layer of metal to change its form and take on color, all while maintaining its natural and organic attributes. The color IS the metal! It, like plain stainless steel, is inert and won’t leach harmful chemicals into your child’s food, nor will any harmful bacteria be left behind as the surface is non-porous.
The compartment plate is a simple, visual cue to remind parents to serve a healthy variety and portion of food. The design mimics the modern-day food pyramid released by the USDA in 2011, which is now called My Plate! Food preferences are established in infancy and childhood. Ahimsa’s modular system lays the foundation for healthy eating habits.
Ahimsa is unique even among its niche market. In addition to offering colorful designs, each product is sized to grow with your child from infancy through adulthood. It’s a one-size-fits-all investment. When your baby outgrows the infant set, your child can continue to use the bowl for snacks and the training cup as a rinse cup during toothbrushing. The compartment plates, cutlery, cups, and bowls offer the ability to consume age appropriate serving sizes from childhood to adulthood. The deep compartments allow for larger serving sizes as kids grow. The intentional design encourages older kids and teens to choose a variety of foods in healthy proportions. . Ahimsa’s patent-pending infant nesting spoon easily rests in the bowl without falling out during feedings, helping to prevent messy cross-contamination with other surfaces. It easily hooks into yogurt cups, preventing tipping of containers often seen with regular spoons. And parents can also use the nesting spoon as a stirring spoon for tea or coffee. Simple, practical, and lasting.
Ahimsa also recognizes sustainability as a critical component to ensure a healthy future for our children. Steel can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing its integrity. Ahimsa products and all packaging are plastic free and 100% recyclable! Did you know that packaging is the #1 culprit of plastic consumption in the United States? According to the EPA, plastic accounts for 13.1% of generated waste while only 3.1% of it is recycled; the rest ends up in landfills or oceans. According to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), there is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.
“So, if we can encourage healthy habits while using material that is better for our kids and our planet, why not band together to be part of the solution? I cannot combat this billion-dollar giant alone. But I know two things that have stood the test of time: the power of parents and the strength of steel. Join Ahimsa in protecting our greatest treasure – the future,” says Mantravadi.
Ahimsa is more than a company. It’s a movement. Ahimsa is on a mission to redefine mealtime, one family dining table at a time. Put down the plastic. Pick up the steel.
Dr. Manasa Mantravadi is a Pediatrician at Riley Hospital for Children. She was named Indiana University School of Medicine’s Physician Mentor of the Year in 2019.