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Toddler Kids Sippy Cups & Bowls. How To Clean Those Built-In Straws

Does your toddler eat or drink from these type bowl or cup?

The bowls and cups shown below are just one of the many designs of toddler cup and bowls with built-in straws in the market today. This type in particular is growing overwhelmingly popular with toddlers boys ages 2 to 5 yrs. One of the reason this is so popular with this age group is, it provides lots of fun during mealtime.

The kids will race through who can suck out their milk the fastest. My now 6 year old used to love blowing into the straw and watch the bubbles that ensues from his milk or juice. Well, I know that kids are not supposed to play around while they eat, but lets face it, they just do!

With my toddler in the house, I used to keep a lot of these bowls and cups handy for his visiting playmates who may want to join in the fun. Well, he's too old for them now, but back then I discovered a health menace lurking in those built-in straw that kids love to suck through. Those straws, if left uncleaned after a couple of use, can be the breeding place for some very dangerous bacteria (very grimy looking dark substance).

This is one of those things that'll make one go 'eeewww'!  The content of the straw. Ain't you glad you read this?

This is one of those things that'll make one go 'eeewww'! The content of the straw. Ain't you glad you read this?

Dishwasher Won't Clean The Inside Of The Built-In Straw

You see, the problems starts with us parents just tossing these bowls and cups into the dish washing machine and never thinking to clean out the straw itself. Even though the dish washing machine does a good job of cleaning the inside of the bowl and cup, it does not clean the inside of the straw.

Oftentimes, food particles still gets trapped inside of these straws even after much cleaning. The result is a build-up of harmful bacteria in the straws, and drinking continuously from these straws with lurking danger can cause your toddler to be sick.

Manually Cleaning The Inside of Your Child's Sippy Cups & Bowls

It's by giving your sippy cups and bowls a thorough cleaning every so often. Cleaning these cups and bowls is not that hard, It's rather very simple. And the way to do it is to follow these simple steps:

Cleaning The Sippy Cups

  • Soak sippy cups after using it for milk, juice, or shake.
  • Hand wash sippy cups after every meal to clean the inside of the built-in straw. Whether it's used to drink water or any other beverage. Do not clean your sippy cups in the dishwasher.
  • After washing, turn/hang cups upside down in the dish rack or dishwasher to drip dry.

Cleaning The Sippy Bowls

  • Soak your toddler's sippy cup or bowl after each meal. This helps to loosen any trapped-in food particles that could get stuck or trapped in the built-in straw.
  • Hand wash thoroughly with soap and water. As with the straw in the cups, also clean the inside of the straw in the bowl.
  • Leave bowl upside down in the dish rack to dry - This helps to keep the bowl/cup drained of any excess water that may be in the straw, thereby preventing any growth of bacteria.

See Also - How To Clean Your Toddler's Sippy Cups & Bowls

Why Kids Love To Eat With Sippy Cups & Bowls

These are not facts but opinion of the writer from observation of her kids using Sippy Cups & Bowls.

It's fun! ------>

Sippy Cups & Bowls are fun to eat with. Kids love the fun that comes with eating or drinking from these bowls and cup sets.

It's colorful! ------>

Sippy Cups & Bowls comes in a variety of colors, and kid's Love the colors and shape of Sippy Cups & Bowls

Kid's love it! ------>

Sippy Cups & Bowls encourages good eating habits as kids look forward to eating in them.

Sippy Cups & Bowls - Why Bother?

Most parent's reaction may be to throw out all the bowls and cups with built-in straws, but remember, kids love to drink from straws, even grown-up kids. And Sippy cups and bowls provide your toddler the avenue to enjoy using a straw that's built into a cup or bowl. So, don't deny your toddlers the fun of drinking from these types of cups. But,

  • Do clean them regularly. Practice cleaning these cups and bowls after every use, and clean straws through with warm water
  • Do use them for liquids only. Avoid using the sippy cups or bowls for semi-solid meal like oatmeal, cream of wheat, or grit, as these may get stuck in the straw and cause the build-up of harmful bacterial that could end up in your child during the next meal.
  • Try replacing them often - Treat the cups and bowls with built-in straws like you do your toothbrushes. If possible, replace them every 3 to 6 months. If your toddler has an attachment to a specific type cup or bowl, stock-up on that type cups and bowls in same color as you have now. This will make it easy to swap the old with the new without your child noticing.

Bottom Line - Your Child's Safety

Remember, it's all about keeping your child safe and healthy. So, take all necessary precautions to ensure that you're cleaning those cups and bowls properly after each meal.


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Author: Comfort Babatola- ©2013


Natasha from Hawaii on April 20, 2012:

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Wow, it never would have occurred to me that the dishwasher wouldn't get the straws clean. I don't have kids, but I still find this information useful. Thanks!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on December 02, 2011:

@ alezafree - You're welcome. Hope the content doesn't gross you out!

A Freeman from Las Vegas, NV on December 01, 2011:

Oh man, we have exactly the bowls and cups pictured above. I am rushing home tonight to clean the straws. Ugh! Thanks for the tips!!!!!!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on November 17, 2011:

Thanks Trish Paul for stopping by. Yes, craft fuzzy sticks sure do work. Another great idea!

Trish Paul on November 17, 2011:

craft fuzzy sticks work just as well, pulls the grime right out and if you wash your dishes in HOT water with good dish soap bacteria shouldn't be a problem.

kiran on August 20, 2011:

woww..... where can i buy this from?

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on August 09, 2011:

Thanks SamboRambo. It's just one of those things you just can't help but think about,that is, keeping our children safe & healthy.

Samuel E. Richardson from Salt Lake City, Utah on August 09, 2011:

Wow! Who would-a thought? I admire your "out-of-the-box" thinking.

BentleyMom on April 29, 2011:

I understand the cups with the straw, but the bowl? We don't buy either of these, kids have to learn how to eat out of a normal bowl with a spoon. And I hate any sippy cup with a straw, it's just more to clean!

Comfort Babatola (author) from Bonaire, GA, USA on April 19, 2011:

@Darlene: I agree with you about the older kids, they were just in it for the fun. They're all grown up now. The whole purpose of this is to inform mothers of toddlers who love these bowls and cups that they need to take extra care in the cleaning process. Kids just want to be kids and have fun, our job is to keep them safe.

Darlene on April 18, 2011:

These bowls are way to much trouble. They are not worth it and these older kids shoud be eating out of a regular bowl and learning some manners.

Runway from New York on April 18, 2011:

Thanks for the tips!

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