For kids, the kitchen may be a strange and fascinating place. Your child can use exposure to the kitchen to focus their curiosity on learning the practical new skill of cooking. The greatest play foods for kids can, however, be used in place of real food to make the experience more enjoyable. In this manner, you won’t need to be concerned about them mistaking their meal for a toy.
food toys keep kids occupied and fulfill their urge to prepare food. They won’t have any messes to clean up after their pretend play sessions. You could eventually enlist their assistance in the kitchen as well.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most intriguing play foods that may get youngsters excited about cooking and teach them the basics of the craft.
Safety Points To Remember About Toy Foods
For school-age children, toy foods are ideal: Toddlers and young children might be enticed to eat the toy food. As a result, toy foods are most appropriate for kids who are four to six years old and prepared for kindergarten. These kids can distinguish between play food and real food.
Verify for deterioration: Regularly look out for any indications that the child might be biting into the toy. If a spot’s color fades, the youngster may be trying to chew or lick it on a frequent basis. If they are, remove the toy from them until they realize that they shouldn’t put it in their mouths.
Next, we provide you with a list of the top foods that your child can eat as toys.
15 Best Toy Food Sets For Kids
Best For Teaching Baking: Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Wooden Cookie Play Food Set
Allow your child to hone their abilities with this toy before having them assist you in preparing actual cookies. Are you unsure if this game is suited for you? For additional information, watch the video below.
- Toy set includes numerous different baking tools, 12 cookies, and 12 toppings.
- A variety of toppings, including chocolate and white chocolate with sprinkles, can be added to each wooden cookie.
- Hook-and-loop fasteners on the baking tray aid in maintaining the order of the cookies.
- A knife, a spatula, and a baking glove are among the toy baking implements.
- A cardboard box that mimics a real cookie box or wrapper can be used to store cookies.
- The oven’s cookie tray might be a little too wide.
- Paint could flake off
Best With Cutlery: Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set
This is a wonderful method to introduce fruits and veggies to your young child. Here is a video that shows how simple it is to use this product on a daily basis.
- This collection of fruits and vegetables has been organized by color.
- consists of 25 foods in total, distributed among five buckets, one for each hue.
- aids in teaching kids about meals and colors
- enhances fine motor skills
- involves a lot of tiny components
- potentially sharp edges
Best Ice Cream: LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
Ice cream carts are the only thing that could possibly be more thrilling than ice cream. You can choose wisely if you watch this video, which provides more information about the book.
- includes doll-sized cones, a scooper, and toy ice cream toppings all arranged in an ice cream cart.
- The child can push the ice cream cart because it has usable wheels and a handle.
- includes a toy syrup bottle with a pump that, when pressed, plays music and other tones.
- has a toy cash register that, when pressed, counts to ten.
- With the use of a button that helps lock and release the toy ice cream scoops, the ice cream scooper enables the child to choose the ice cream topping and add it to the top of the cone.
- can fit a single toy cone with one or more scoops.
- Magnets might not have a lot of power.
- Storage could be a problem.
Best With Cutlery: Play Circle by Battat Pretend Ice Cream Set
This toy may be suitable for your youngster if they have a sweet taste. A banana, sugar cones, sprinkles, syrup bottles, plastic ice cream scoops, and more are included in the set.
- consists of utensils like cups, spoons, an ice cream scooper, and a dish.
- ice cream scoops that stack
- simple to grasp
- produces convincing noises
- Lids on syrup bottles are simple to open.
- sturdy materials
- possibly smaller than anticipated
- Some people can find it difficult to stack scoops.
Best Pizza Toy: Jogo Jogo Wooden Pizza Toy
With this wooden pizza toy set, you can help your youngster open their very own play pizza shop.
- includes six pizza slices with a hook-and-loop connector to keep them together.
- consists of wooden garnishes like tomatoes, onions, and olives. Toy toppings may adhere to pizza.
- A wooden pizza cutter, a serving spatula, and a cardboard oven are provided as extras.
- For the tiny Italian pizza baker, the kit also includes six faux mustaches, fake money, a menu card, and a chef’s cap.
- helps to increase the realism of pretend play.
- Some people may find the toppings too small.
- Felt could separate.
Best Fruits And Vegetables: Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie
This miniature pie can hold a variety of vibrant fruits and veggies.
- Toy has a pie-shaped design and a detachable top.
- The pie has five spaces, each of which is reserved for a particular vegetable color.
- two sets of tongs are included, allowing the youngster to play with their parent or sibling.
- Toy Pie serves as a container for the toys.
- enhances fine motor skills
- It could be a little difficult to use tongs.
- possibly lacking enough variety
Best Eco-Friendly: Learning Resources Fresh Picked Fruit & Veggie Tote
An selection of fruits and veggies are presented here in a sweet tote bag.
- 16 plastic toy fruits and vegetables are included, each with realistic detailing and coloration.
- made of plastic, which feels similar to rubber.
- sturdy and impervious to crushing.
- Eco-friendly canvas tote bag for convenient storage
- maybe smelling chemically.
- possibly small
Best Wooden Hand-Painted: Melissa & Doug Food Groups – Wooden Play Food
These play meals might improve your child’s understanding of dietary groups. The wooden toy food set includes four wooden crates to keep the toys in addition to 21 wooden toy food items. Fruits and vegetables, meat, grains, and dairy are the four food classes into which the toys are separated. The four containers each contain food according to a particular category.
- The playset can educate the kid about the value of a healthy diet.
- Hand-painted wooden toys are made.
- The crates are composed of solid, high-quality wood and are quite durable.
- simple to store
- possibly a little hefty
- Paint could chip.
Best Multi-Cuisine: KidKraft Tasty Treats Play Food Set
Everything is included in this plastic food set, from carrots to cupcakes!
- 115 items of toy food make up the set. Realistic color and detail are present in every piece.
- a wide range of possibilities for food separation. You can arrange them according to taste, color, and other factors.
- includes imitation canned goods, drinks, and seasonings.
- BPA-free plastic is utilized.
- Some components might be more flexible and thinner.
Best Barbeque: Little Tikes Backyard Barbeque Grillin’ Goodies
Allow your youngster to have a BBQ in the privacy of their room.
- Everything a child needs to practice grilling is included in this 20-piece set.
- Set also includes miniature bottles of mustard, ketchup, corn, and hot dogs.
- There are two knives, a spoon, and forks in the set of cutlery.
- includes two napkins that can be used generally.
- The toy’s colors are vivid and lifelike.
- The buns and hamburger may not stack neatly.
- possibly small
Best Child-Friendly: Hape Pop Up Toaster Wooden Play Kitchen Set
Is your kid annoying you while you make breakfast? Buy them this plaything set and let them create their own toast every morning.
- includes a doll-sized toaster with miniature versions of bread, butter, and honey.
- You can put the two slices of bread in the toaster.
- The child may pop the bread in the toaster like in a real toaster thanks to a wooden lever on the side of the appliance.
- The hook-and-loop fastener makes the butter slices adhere to one another.
- Other accessories include a wooden bread plate and a wooden honey jar imitation.
- High-quality wood and kid-safe paints are used to create toys.
- Toaster doesn’t pop open by itself
- Cuts could become trapped.
Best Toy Slicing: Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set
This toy meal set’s fruits can be cut into slices for a great pretend play experience.
- includes seven fruit dolls.
- A hook-and-loop fastener holds several portions of each fruit together to form the entire fruit.
- A wooden knife included in the kit makes chopping simple.
- Every time the knife cuts through the fruit portions, there is a “crunch” sound.
- Toys are delivered organized in a wooden carton.
- Wooden fruits with a realistic paint job are fruits.
- Knife made of wood could not be as strong
Best Birthday Cake: Melissa & Doug Wooden Birthday Party Cake
What could intensify a party’s excitement? a candle-lit wooden birthday cake!
- Toy has the appearance of a six-pieced cake. Each piece of the cake has a candle, and there is an additional candle in the center.
- The cake slices and candles are attached together with a strong hook-and-loop fastening.
- A child can add various wooden tops to the cake as decoration.
- includes a wooden serving knife for cutting and serving a cake slice.
- made from wood and decorated with colors that give the cake a realistic appearance.
- Sometimes a fastener may fall loose.
- Velcro could be quickly soiled.
Best For Developing Sorting Skills: Learning Resources Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes
This playful item serves as a useful educational tool as well.
- Toy cupcakes are packaged in a pan made of plastic that looks like a genuine baking pan.
- The cupcake’s icing is removeable.
- A peg is present in each cupcake’s frosting area that only fits into a particular base.
- The plastic cupcake’s brown base contrasts with the brightly colored icing.
- made from strong, long-lasting plastic.
- maybe smelling chemically
Best Realistic: JaxoJoy 122-Piece Deluxe Pretend Play Food Set
Nearly all of your child’s favorite foods are likely to be included in this toy food set.
- A variety of foods are included in the 122-piece collection, such as baked goods, fast food, sweets, fresh fruits and vegetables, and canned goods.
- can be divided into canned food, fast food, desserts, fruits, and vegetables.
- The toy food set’s pieces are constructed of BPA-free plastic.
- Toys have a color palette that is accurate.
- should be cleaned before each use.
- possibly not strong
What Are The Benefits Of Toy Foods?
Toy foods are imitations of real foods used in pretend play, such as fruits, vegetables, snacks, and drinks. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pretend play and playtime help children learn and develop (1). The academy advises engaging in simple pretend play, such as drinking from an empty cup (2).
Using plastic meals in pretend play can improve a child’s table manners and etiquette while also fostering an interest in fruits and vegetables and the benefits they provide.
Playing pretend with toy food has some special benefits. You must therefore pick the appropriate toy meal set for your child.
How To Pick Toy Foods For Kids?
Take into account the following factors when purchasing for toy food goods.
- The best option is a variety pack. The more toy foods there are in a set, the more fun a kid can have playing dress-up.
- Choose toys that will last. Toys made of sturdy wood or plastic will survive a long time in the pretend play sessions your child will engage in.
- Choose toy foods with interactive elements like fruits and vegetables that can be pretend-sliced with a hook-and-loop fastener.
Some of these toy sets might contain miniature toys and have other elements that make them inappropriate for young children.
Frequently Asked Questions
What age is play foods best for?
Most two to five year olds will find great enjoyment out of pretend play food sets.
Are play foods worth it?
They are fantastic accessories for their make-believe games. These play sets can also help your child develop an early appreciation for nutritious meals, which may lead to less finicky eating habits later in life.
Are play foods Montessori-based?
It’s up to you to decide which play set to use. In a broad sense, a play set could be termed Montessorian if it promotes independent, hands-on learning by having kids sort foods by color.
When should children stop playing with play food sets?
After the age of five or six, most children’s food neophobia (or fear of new foods) begins to decrease, therefore it’s fine to cease playing with food toys with them (1).
The child can gain a better understanding of the origins of the food they consume, the work that goes into preparing the food they eat, and the many different parts that go into making the meal they eat. Aside from being fun, these toys teach kids how to cook, how to be safe in the kitchen, and how to behave at the dinner table. Your child’s pincer grasp and other fine motor abilities will benefit from playing with toy cutlery. Use the above detailed and curated list to find the best pretend food sets for your kids.