Mum warns parents to avoid silicone plates after nightmare meal time

"I tried everything, but he wouldn’t eat!"

Baby eating food
(Image credit: Zivica Kerkez / Alamy Stock Photo)

A mum has taken to social media urging parents to avoid silicone plates after her son stopped eating 'for weeks' when she began using them.

Meal times with young children can be a bit of a nightmare. While air-fryer breakfasts, like these five ingredient gooey breakfast cookies, can make at least one meal easy to cook and there are a growing number of places children can get free food this summer, you still face the challenge of actually getting a toddler to eat it. 

This is something Ashley Stewart knows all to well. The mum, who usually uses her social media to share quick, healthy and realistic meal ideas for toddlers, has now taken to Instagram to share a recent meal time nightmare that was caused by the least-likely of culprits - a silicone plate. 

Ashley, who goes by @reallittlemeals on Instagram, shared that her toddler had recently 'stopped eating' for 'a few weeks' and she had no idea why until she tried their food. 

She wrote, "He would take a few bites and then not want anymore. I tried everything, but he wouldn’t eat!! Then one day I took a bite of the leftover food off his plate and I had to spit it out.

"It tasted SO BADLY of soap. No wonder he wasn’t eating."

The mum went on to explain that she immediately 'switched' out the silicone plate she was using for her toddler's meal times and, while he 'immediately started eating again,' she didn't want the plates to go to waste as they are so 'handy.'

After some experimentation, Ashley shared the best way to 'fix' the problem of soap-tasting plates. She urged parents to 'bake silicone plates in the oven at 250 F for one hour to remove soap buildup'.

To keep the plates tasting soap-free well into the future, she found the best methods are to use only 'mild or unscented dish soap,' to keep the plates 'on the top rack of [the] dishwasher,' and not to 'soak [the plates] in soapy water'.

On her Instagram story, she explained, "I would definitely recommend smelling/ licking your silicone plates to see if you're having the same problem. And then try those suggestions to help fix it."

Ashley's followers were quick to let her know she is not alone in this meal time trouble and took to the comments to share their experiences with, and their solutions to, the problem. 

One parent wrote, "I noticed this yesterday when my daughter refused to eat although she loved the food. I tasted it and it was awful. I changed the plate and she ate everything!"

Another suggested a solution, writing, "I got these wonderful ceramic plates off Amazon that have a removable silicone grip around it (to help protect it from breaking)! Love that it doesn’t leave any aftertaste and it hasn’t been an issue at all with throwing or breaking! (I just keep my eye out haha)," another added.

And, if you're in the market for a mild dish soap to keep your silicone plates soap free, one user shared, "We use an all natural soap and haven’t had any issues if that happens to help anyone."

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.