Toddler Suction Plates, Bowls and Mats That Your Kid Might Not Be Able To Throw Across the Room
My youngest son Cash (now 4) was a champion plate thrower in his younger toddler years. He still has an occasional moment where he spins it across the room like a frisbee because well, when you’re good at something… it’s hard to let it go.
As a parent, it’s a real problem when you’re trying to feed your kids dinner and you’re also getting torpedoed with a bowl of macaroni and cheese. For a period, we actually removed our son from the table and sat him at our bar so at least some of the time, the plate or bowl landed in the sink.
Thankfully, there are smart people who think of solutions to toddler issues like this. Here I review the most popular suction plates, bowls and placemats out there so your family dinners can be more about eating and less about flying dinnerware.
As a whole, we were a bit disappointed in how the suction feature held up in most of the options out there. But we did find one good suction option (the Sugerbooger Suction Plate) and a lot of others that are certainly great for toddler eating if a suction feature isn’t your biggest priority. The other good and effective options are the suction placemats (like the ezpz Happy Mat). Below, read our detailed reviews on the options available.
Sugarbooger Suction Plates
These Sugarbooger suction plates are adorable, despite the name which is gross because who wants to think about yummy sugar and gross boogers at the same time. These really cute plates run about $9 to $15 depending on where you buy them.
They come in many different designs and patterns so you can easily find just the one your picky toddler will adore. The plates are divided into three sections so food won’t touch (because EEK! if that happens). It’s made from melamine and silicone and is lead-free, BPA-free and non-toxic.
The suction portion can come on and off which is nice because at some point your kid doesn’t need a plate suctioned to the table. But it is tough to get back on after you remove it for washing. I found the suction was pretty good on this plate (lasting much longer than the others we reviewed below).
Strengths: Adorable designs, dividers, suction ring comes off and nice size plate that your child can use for a long time.
Weaknesses: I found the suction very strong but there are complaints on Amazon about the suction not working properly so be warned. Also, the suction plate ring is a pain to get back on once you take it off.
Final Word on Sugarbooger suction plate: an Alpha Mom favorite. With the super cute designs, nice dividers and pretty good suction, this plate is worth buying. Just try to find it for $9 instead of $15.
ezpz Happy Mat
The ezpz Happy Mat is an alternative to the suction plates or bowls. The ezpz mat sells for between $20 and $24.99 (depending on when you buy it) and comes with the plate built in. You’ll find a few colors and a bowl/placemat option on Amazon and a bunch on the ezpz site.
The mat is made from 100% food-grade silicone and free from BPA, BPS, PVC, lead and phthalates. The idea with this placemat/plate is to reduce tipped bowls and messes. And it definitely helps. Plus, if a toddler pulls the plate portion of the mat, it suctions incredible well. But parents will have no problem peeling the mat portion off the high chair or table. And neither will older toddlers. So be warned.
It’s quite simple to clean with soap and water. In fact, I prefer this mat over the Lilbaby mat reviewed below because it’s easier to clean.
Strengths: Cool idea, plate part suctions well.
Weaknesses: A clever child can easily peel the placemat off the table. Also, it’s pretty much the size of a small placemat (15 x 10 inches) so if you’re using it on a high chair tray, make sure it will fit before you order it. I found it a bit too bulky to easily throw in the diaper bag and take to a restaurant.
Final Word on the ezpz Happy Mat: this is a cute option when you’re trying to keep your toddler from accidentally knocking over his/her cereal bowl or other food. But older spirited toddlers will certainly figure out that they can peel the mat right off the table and toss it on the floor. This is an Alpha Mom favorite.
Lilbaby Placemat and Plate
It’s made from 100% food-grade silicone. It’s also BPA, BPS, PVC, Lead and phthalate free. It’s dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe although I hand wash mine.
The all-in-one Lilbaby Placemat and plate will definitely help your baby avoid spills. It’s very hard to pull the plate portion from the table. But just like the ezpz mat above, it’s a cinch to peel up the mat portion. So this is probably a great option for younger babies/toddlers but your older toddlers will easily figure out how to throw this from the table.
If you like to hand wash items, this one is harder than the ezpz mat because food can get caught in the corners of the plate (there are corners because it’s shaped like a bird).
Strengths: Cute bird design, love the concept as a way to reduce toddler spills, a baby/toddler will have a very hard time moving the plate portion of the mat.
Weaknesses: A smart toddler can easily peel the placemat off the table. Also, make sure it fits your high chair tray (it’s 15 x 10 inches) before ordering. The company touts it as an easy mat to take on the go but I think it’s a bit bulky to take with you because you can’t really fold it very well.
Final Word: I love the design concept behind the Lilbaby Placemat and Plate but if you want to try one of these mats, go for the ezpz Happy Mat instead because it has more room for food, is easier to clean by hand and suctions slightly better.
Boon Catch Plate
The Boon Catch Plate is really cute and only costs $7 or $8 depending on where you purchase it. Not only does it come with a suction feature for the bottom but it has a food catcher on one side which is actually super helpful. The food catcher bends so it’s not going to jab your baby in the chest or anything. Although, some parents say it stains easily.
And I kind of love that a plate called the “catch plate” also looks like a baseball hat.
But do not buy this plate if what you really need is a suction plate. The suction is not consistent. Sometimes it holds for awhile but other times, it stops suctioning after as little as 3 minutes. So unless your kid can eat an entire meal in under 3 minutes, you may need to keep pushing down the suction to get it secured again.
Made without BPA or PVC.
Strengths: Cute plate with a cool design to catch food.
Weaknesses: Suction did not work well for us. But on the upside, you can work on your arm muscles, pushing it down over and over again!
Final Word: Only buy the Boon Catch Plate if the suction feature is not a priority.
Gerber Graduates Lil’ Trainer Tableware Set
This suction plate (which comes with utensils) sells for about $9 on our affiliate Amazon (at the time of publication). I love that it comes with utensils (with easy to grip handles) and it has a training rim which helps prevent spills. This training rim can be removed (to turn it into a regular plate) and then easily put back on again. The curved rim also helps kids scoop food onto the utensils.
It is also dishwasher-safe and available in two cute color combinations… purple/pink and green/blue.
The main problem with this plate is found the suction on this plate to be super weak. Minutes after I pressed it down, it was no longer suctioned to the table.
Strengths: This is a versatile toddler plate that is a very good deal considering the fact that it comes with utensils. The removable curved rim make it easier for kids learning to eat on their own.
Weaknesses: We found the suction on this plate to be just so weak. And you can’t remove the suction part.
Final Word: If you have a kid that likes to toss his/her plate across the room, I don’t think this Gerber Graduates Lil’ Trainer plate will help you at all. But otherwise, a great little plate.
First Years Inside Scoop Suction Plate
The First Years Inside Scoop Suction Plate sells for about $7 at our affiliate Amazon (at the time of publication). This is a functional plate because it come with dividers for food and a curved rim to help children get that food on the fork. (I’m starting to think adult plates should come with this curved rim feature.) You can also remove the rim at any time and it snaps back in place pretty easily.
So what’s the drawback? You guessed it. The suction isn’t great. It will last a few minutes and then bam, you kid will be throwing that plate across the room again. And you can’t remove the suction part of the plate.
BPA free. It comes in blue/green and pink/teal.
Strengths: Love the dividers and curved rim to help your child get food onto his/her fork or spoon.
Weaknesses: Suction stops working before your kid stops eating. See the problem?
Final Word: The First Years Inside Scoop Suction Plate would be a great plate if “suction” wasn’t in the name. Buy this only if your child isn’t addicted to seeing his plate or bowl whirl through the air.
Gerber Graduates Tri-Suction Bowls
The Gerber Graduates Tri-Suction Bowls sell for about $6 or $7 depending on where you buy them. This is a good deal considering it comes with two bowls (blue and orange) and one lid. It’s microwave- and dishwasher-safe although I’m not a big fan of microwaving plastic. It’s also BPA-free.
The major drawback of these bowls is that we found the suction doesn’t work very well. There are three suction cups under each bowl to help secure it but they really don’t work. Sigh… It seems like it’s easier to put a man on the moon than suction a toddler bowl.
Strengths: Cute little bowls that are great for toddlers, comes with a lid for one of the bowls.
Weaknesses: Your baby can get these suctions off the table (without even hitting the gym).
Final Word: These Gerber Graduates Tri-Suction Bowls are pretty cheap so they are a good purchase but don’t expect those suction cups to do much of anything. They will un-suction (is that a word?) quickly.
Which Suction Plate or Placemat should I buy?
Favorite Suction Plate: The Sugarbooger Suction Plate was definitely our Alpha Mom favorite for its adorable designs and suction feature that actually works! If you don’t care as much about the suction feature, then I would recommend the Catch Plate (which will definitely keep some of the food off the floor) or the The First Years Inside Scoop Suction Plate which has a curved, detachable rim and dividers.
Favorite Suction Placemat: If you’re excited to try one of these suction placemats, buy the ezpz Happy Mat which should reduce spills and is easy peasy to clean. Although if you’re lukewarm on the whole placemat concept, you can try the Lilbaby Placemat and Plate because it is such a steal right now on our affiliate Amazon ($7.95!) (Please keep in mind that prices change quickly and we can’t guarantee any of these prices.)
Know of a great toddler plate, bowl or placemat that will actually suction to your toddler’s high chair or your table? Please share! We all want to know about it.
(You may also enjoy my other post on Best Food Bibs and Smocks for Babies and Toddlers.)
Alpha Mom purchased all plates, bowls and mats featured in this review.
Photo source: Depositphotos/VitalinkaPublished September 12, 2017. Last updated October 10, 2017.