One of your joys as parents is to cook healthier meals for your children, whether infants, toddlers, pre-schools, or school-aged kids.
These healthy meals do not only mean having low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lean proteins, and organic produce.
It also involves where these foods are stored and prepared.
A non-toxic kitchen, including dishwasher-safe materials, glass containers, bamboo utensils, sustainable materials, means healthy meal preps for your baby as they do not leach chemicals.
I know it’s hard to distinguish what you need from a market full of plastic containers and plastic utensils.
Yet, don’t fret because as you read this article, I assure you that you will find a practical guide to a non-toxic kitchen!
How to Create a Non-Toxic Kitchen: What You’ll Need
You can always start small, and in no time, you will see that everything in your kitchen is SAFE and healthy for you and your family.
First, a non-toxic kitchen needs non-toxic cookware, glass storage containers, eco-friendly utensils, and air purifiers.
To help you move forward, I will introduce in this section the hows of creating a non-toxic kitchen and what brands you can buy that are available on the market.
1. Non-Toxic Cookware
Nowadays, non-stick cookware, including non-stick pans, is usually found in modern kitchens because of these reasons:
- Easy to clean
- Less oily
- User-friendly (no oil splatter)
However, non-stick pans have health risks because of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or Teflon, such as flu-like symptoms with body and chest pains.
These reasons are enough to skip non-stick cookware for non-toxic cookware like Visions, Finex, and Le Creuset to save your family’s health.
In this section, I will be elaborating on the mentioned non-toxic cookware brands above. Here it goes!
Visions give you ceramic glass cookware eleganza that will save you from the risks posed by plastic.
You are assured of dishwasher-safe, microwave-compatible, stovetop, and oven-suitable cookware.
Aside from that, it is non-porous, which makes it stain-resistant and easy to clean compared to other cookware brands.
Moreover, the Visions cookware has an INTUITIVE design that you can use to cook and directly serve food. Wide handles are also integrated to give you comfortable holding positions.
I LOVE how resistant to thermal shocks it is, meaning you can expose it straight from the freezer to the high temperatures of rangetops, ovens, or broilers without the risks of microcracking and other glass damage.
This non-toxic cookware will help you prepare SAFE and nutritious meals for your kids, as cracks and damage can only happen when mishandled.
Besides glass cookware, it would be best to consider a Finex cast iron skillet that varies in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch sizes.
A cast iron skillet is a non-toxic kitchen essential that does NOT have the dangers of plastic and other harmful chemicals, and most of all, you can use it even with lesser oil.
This skillet is specifically designed to be functional with its eight-rounded corners for easy pouring of food, angled sides, and a helper tab for when you need to lift or transfer the skillet.
Moreover, it has a non-stick property and a CNC cooking surface which is also rust-resistant, making you prepare food for your little ones easily, comfortably, and healthily!
A Le Creuset cast iron roaster is a MUST-HAVE, especially if you are fond of preparing lean meats and vegetables for your kids during Thanksgiving or other occasions.
You can safely use this for as high as 500 degrees Fahrenheit in induction, electric, gas stovetops, and oven without the hassle of inhaling or consuming melted plastics.
It is also dishwasher-safe!
With these characteristics of a cast iron roaster, making pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and baked spaghetti for your kids will be an easy peasy task for you.
Besides those mentioned, this brand’s cast iron roasters have ergonomic handles, lightweight materials, and durable enamel that is not prone to staining and cracking.
2. Glass Containers
In connection with the previous section, plastic containers have dangerous chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, bisphenol S (BPS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
These toxic substances often leak in plastic containers, especially when they are exposed to high heat when storing food.
As your food (dry or wet) gets in contact with the leach substances, and as you become exposed to it, it can cause the following:
- Reproductive problems, especially for children
- Developmental abnormalities
- Hormonal changes
With this in mind, one thing’s clear – a shift to glass containers is a step forward for healthy living with a non-toxic kitchen.
Here are some glass container brands that I would love to share with you in-depth!
This non-toxic kitchen staple has cookware, bakeware, and storage containers designed with tempered soda-lime silicate or tough glass.
Anchor Hocking’s glass component is very suitable for parents and kids as it has lesser risks of breaking, does not stain, and significantly does not warp.
More importantly, these DURABLE glass storage containers are made from natural ingredients and do not leak toxic chemicals.
Another glass storage container brand that has a 100% BPA-free lid is Pyrex.
These containers can be your perfect companion when you want to securely store your goods without gambling for harmful plastic substances.
With Pyrex, you are assured of easy cleaning on the dishwasher (or by hand) without the smell and stains sticking over your storage containers.
In my experience, kids will not eat the food you serve if the container stinks, particularly if it smells and tastes like chemicals!
For a more in-depth rundown of safe, baby-feeding products, check out this guide!
EXTRA TIP: Organic baby bottles are also a safe baby product that all parents should switch to! You can find the best ones in this handy guide.
3. Eco-Friendly Utensils
Choosing eco-friendly, durable, and high-quality utensils will surely benefit your health status as these are the main point of contact from your food to your mouth.
Good utensils have these qualities:
- Can handle high heat without melting and leaching chemicals
- Do not have an adverse chemical reaction with acidic food
Allow me to save you some time thinking about what utensils are the best and child-friendly because I will give you some of my preferred non-toxic kitchen utensils.
These Riveira utensils set is better than bamboo as it does not stick on pans and is safe for your delicate (and expensive) cookware without fearing stains, odors, and scratches.
It is made from beech wood, known to be durable and shock-absorbent.
Not just that, beech woods are also well-loved for their immunity-boosting properties, as mentioned in a study.
If you think you are not that in sync with wooden utensils, another kitchen utensil you can use is Le Creuset’s silicone, non-toxic kitchen utensils.
The Cherry Red Revolution kitchen utensils set has heat-resistant silicone properties, which will ease your cooking journey as this won’t stick in your pans, even without the help of oils and grease.
It was also designed to be still and not leach unto your meals for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
In addition, silicone utensils are flexible and shock absorbent, so your kids can bite and latch on them while eating without the risk of breaking.
EXTRA TIP: Silicone is also a great, baby-safe material for baby bottles. Check out this buying guide for the best silicone baby bottles!
Stainless Steel Utensils
Williams Sonomas stainless steel, non-toxic utensils are professionally-crafted to be ergonomic, dishwasher-safe, and rust-resistant.
Most importantly, these durable stainless steel kitchen utensils do not react with acid or other substances in your food.
Rest assured, they will not impede the health properties of the food, the color, or even your pans’ appearance!
Stainless steel is also an excellent alternative for those individuals with nickel and chromium allergies, which, according to statistics, affect 1.1 million children from the United States of America.
4. Air Purifier
An air purifier has been labeled essential in a non-toxic kitchen to help purify the indoor air from harmful chemicals, toxic fumes, and other gases.
I only have a single preference for this part: the Austin Air Purifier.
This Austin Air Healthmate Plus can be a nontoxic kitchen aid as it is created to remove toxic gases, volatile organic compounds (VOC), and other substances in the air.
As it cleans your kitchen air and limits exposure to synthetic substances, it provides health benefits for your immune system and can even improve your kids’ sleep quality.
Also, in everyday use, this can make your food storage and food making healthy and safe!
Other Important Things to Have in a Non-Toxic Kitchen
Of course, the things mentioned above are what I think are the most important, but there are more things that will help keep your kitchen safe and toxin-free!
Here are some additional things I recommend getting:
The ingredients you cook with make a huge difference in your child’s health!
Find suppliers of freshly-grown fruits and vegetables that contain NO pesticides or harmful chemicals.
You can easily find reliable suppliers from your local supermarket or through subscriptions and doorstep shipping!
Despite being on the pricey end, organic produce is rich in nutrients and is better for the baby AND the whole family long-term.
Additionally, throw out anything that’s gone bad to prevent bacteria or mold from growing.
Safe Cleaning Products
When cleaning your kitchen floor and counters, it’s better to use organic, fragrance-free cleaning supplies.
AVOID chemical-rich detergents like bleach as they will only contribute to the spread of toxins and pollutants.
Some common household items that are SAFE to clean with are baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice.
The same goes for cleaning your plates, utensils, and storage containers; switch to chemical-free dish soap only!
Of course, every kitchen needs a clean water supply!
Consider getting a water filter to ensure that NO toxic materials or heavy metals gets into your water supply.
It’s a shame how common contaminated water is, so getting a water filtration system is a surefire way to prevent any sickness caused by dirty water.
Lastly, being a source of food, your kitchen may attract several pests, like ants, rats, or roaches. Eww!
Consider hiring a pest control service to eliminate any sign of these pests. Not only are they a nuisance, but they also spread germs and bacteria wherever they come from.
Additionally, you must do your part as well in making sure your kitchen is free from any leftover food particles or anything that may attract pests.
You can also a try safe, pest control spray/solution as a repellant. Tea tree oil, citronella, baking soda, vinegar, and lemon eucalyptus are just a few examples of effective insect repellants.
Kitchen Materials to AVOID
Now that you know what kitchen items you will need in a toxin-free kitchen, I will also provide you the information on the materials that you MUST avoid.
Here is a list you should never forget!
1. Harmful Plastic
As mentioned earlier, plastic can lead to kidney damage even when just drinking water in a plastic-type container exposed to too much heat.
Plastic wrap. Plastic bags. Plastic lids.
All of these storage items are harmful to your health as chemical discharge may affect the quality of your food.
Even though plastic wrap is disposable and convenient to use, as you can throw it after every usage, it is STILL harmful to the environment.
2. Non-Organic Kitchen Soaps
Non-organic kitchen soaps can also be toxic sources, especially if they are loaded with fragrance and marketed as something that will make your kitchen environment smell good.
Yet, these fragrances may sink deep into your food, stick onto your pans, and alter the taste and quality of your food.
Aside from the fact that there is a higher chance of your kids not eating this, it may also affect their health.
As it directly latches onto your skin, the soap may also give off allergic reactions and skin irritations, particularly on your kids’ sensitive skin.
3. Toxic Cleaning Products
Well, this one’s a no-brainer.
But ALWAYS avoid environmentally unfriendly cleaning products when cleaning your food storage, metal utensils, stainless steel utensils, silicone spatulas, and other kitchen items.
An alternative that will still give you squeaky-clean glass, wood, and other materials is to wash them with baking soda. You can also pair the baking soda with lemon juice or white vinegar.
These baking soda combinations can prevent harmful organisms from growing in your oven, cups, tiles, and dishes.
Aside from its cleaning properties, baking soda can also be used as your natural air freshener as it efficiently controls odors.
How to Choose Non-Toxic Cookware
In choosing your non-toxic cookware, there are a few reminders you always need to bear in mind, and these are:
Official certifications ensure that a product is SAFE and has been tested for harmful chemicals.
A commonly used certification for kitchen products is the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) Certification.
This seal is given to several items that you can find in your kitchen, such as water filters, glass, and tableware.
Of course, the material and manufacturing process will be the defining factor if your food storage and kitchen items are safe.
Wooden, bamboo utensils and glass baking dishes are the safest choices.
Also, cross out the non-stick Teflon from your list, as the chemical leaching from too much heat may risk your family’s health.
Durability means having kitchen items that can survive any organic food-making conditions for a long time.
The more durable it is, the more you will have high-quality kitchenware such as stainless steel, silicone utensils, wooden and bamboo, glass, and cast iron dishes.
Sustainability will define how your wooden and bamboo dishes, stainless steel pots, and organic food storage will create a positive impact on the environment.
It will lessen your carbon footprint and even save you money in the long run. Also, sustainable items are safe from toxins and other harmful substances.
TIP: Instead of using plastic wrap for storage, you can use beeswax wraps as these are water-resistant, biodegradable, and keep foods fresher.
Other Things to Consider When Buying Non-Toxic Cookware
- Durability – Of course, you want kitchen supplies that will last a long time and will not wear out after multiple uses.
- Heat Resistance – Cooking uses a lot of heat, and it would be a total waste if your cookware melts or is no longer usable on the stove.
- Cleaning and Maintenance – After a long day of cooking, you’d want to save as much time cleaning as possible, so easy-to-clean materials are best.
Benefits of a Non-Toxic Kitchen
A toxin-free kitchen is always a better choice as it helps create a HEALTHY environment for you, your growing family, and your developing little kids.
Not just that, it is a safety blanket that keeps foods, wooden dishes, stainless steel pots, and other kitchen equipment guarded against dangerous toxins, like:
- Non-stick Teflon
- Heavy metals (lead)
- BPA and BPS
- Copper and Nickel
Aside from that, you also have better indoor air quality created equally from your first-rate organic pots, food shelves, and utensils.
Another importance of this type of kitchen is saving the environment as you lessen your contribution to non-biodegradable (and toxin-filled) garbage.
It also contributes to a healthy community where your children can grow and foster!
Of course, financially speaking, it can save you money since a toxin-free kitchen has sustainable equipment!
Are Kitchen Utensils Toxic?
There are dangerous kitchen utensils that can leach heavy metals, especially when exposed to different conditions in a short period.
Usually, you want to AVOID toxic cookware made out of plastic, Teflon, Nylon, Nickel, and Aluminum.
Elements like these can cause bone diseases, neurological development delays, and lung problems.
Researchers found out that the use of aluminum kitchenware can cause anemia (lacking healthy red blood cells), dementia (loss of memory), and osteomalacia (softening of the bones).
However, with the right utensils, you can prevent these health problems.
What Are the Safest Type of Cooking Utensils?
The SAFEST type of kitchen utensils are those made from these materials:
- Stainless steel
These materials are designed not to scratch your pans, are adaptable to extreme temperature changes, safe to use in dishwashers, recyclable, and sturdy.
A study found that wooden utensils and wooden packaging are beneficial when in close contact with meals as it has properties that prevent harmful microorganisms from growing.
Researchers in that study also said that wooden kitchenware or packages are NOT responsible for poisoning or meal alteration, even if the wood is porous.
All these assure you of your kids’ safety, especially when they are eating your healthy home-cooked meals!
These non-toxic kitchen tools can prepare the HEALTHIEST meals for your young ones and the whole family.
Yet, to keep it reliable for a more extended period, always consider the proper usage based on their manuals, as it has temperature limits and correct handling procedures.
Nonetheless, as you handle these non-toxic cooking utensils with care, you are assured that their substances will NOT leak, melt, and chip, which will not give you these health risks:
- Lung cancers
- Congenital disabilities/birth defects
- Food poisoning
As always, safety first, even in the kitchen!
Now that you have distinguished what cookware and utensils you need, go and start your journey in creating a non-toxic kitchen for your kids!