Patrick needs new dishes for the family. He tells us: We're looking for new dishes that the whole family can use. We have two children - 20 months and 3 and a half years. We have real dishes that are ceramic and breakable, so we're not ready for the kids to use them. But it's starting to feel strange for the adults to use one set of dishes and the kids another. We've considered buying melamine dishes from Target, but the can't go in the microwave. We don't want to invest a whole lot of money, but we'd like something that is microwaveable, relatively unbreakable, and appropriate for adults & kids both. Any suggestions? Dear Patrick: That's a great question, an issue we'll be grappling with soon enough. We love the melamine choices out there these days, but agree that the inability to microwave is a real con. How about the legendary Corelle dishes? We remember them from our childhood growing up in the 70's. Corelle dinnerware is made from a process that thermally bonds three layers of glass. The result is durable, break, chip, and fade-resistant dinnerware. That means the whole family can eat off of non-plastic dinnerware. Another plus - Corelle is lightweight, making it more friendly for kids to handle. You can throw it in the microwave, dishwasher and even the oven. But how does it look? We remember floral patterns in Harvest Gold. But surprisingly, there are some really nice patterns to choose from. We like Del Norte (top pic) from the Ultra collection. It comes with a 5-year limited break and chip warranty. A 16-piece set is $89.99.
Also, check out Dots. A 16-piece set goes for $29.99. You often can find Corelle pieces at garage and yard sales, but their retail prices are affordable if you want to buy new.