A kitchen is often an exciting place for kids, for that is where mom and dad make magic to create yummy sweets, snacks, and other things that they can eat!
Kids are curious and eager to learn about everything that adults do, including cooking. Surely, you must’ve had your little ones asking to let them help you in the kitchen, just so that they can use the fancy kitchen gadgets and tools. Despite their interest, the kitchen may not be the right place for children to play.
How, then, do you satisfy the child’s desire to prepare food? Enter toy foods for kids to pretend-play without leaving behind a mess for you to clean. In this MomJunction post, we provide a guide to pick toy foods and share a list of 15 best toy food sets.
Safety Points To Remember About Toy Foods
- Toy foods are ideal for school-going children: Young children and toddlers may feel tempted to take a bite out of the toy food. Therefore, toy foods are best suited for children who are around four to six years of age and ready to go to kindergarten. These children know the difference between toy foods and real foods.
- Check for wear and tear: Periodically check for any signs that indicate the child may be gnawing at the toy. Fading of the color at a spot may mean that the child regularly licks or tries to chew it. If they are, take the toy away until they understand that these toys should not be put in the mouth.
Next, we give you a list of the best toy foods that you can consider for your child.
15 Best Toy Food Sets For Kids
1. Melissa & Doug Slice-and-Bake Wooden Cookie Play Food
Before your child helps you out with real cookie baking, let them practice their skills with this toy.
- The toy set contains 12 cookies and 12 toppings, along with several other baking accessories.
- Each wooden cookie can be fixed with a range of toppings, such as chocolate and white chocolate with sprinkles.
- The baking tray has hook-and-loop fasteners that help keep the cookies organized.
- Toy baking tools include a knife, a spatula, and a baking glove.
- The cookies can be stored in a cardboard box that resembles a real cookie box/wrapper.
2. Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Fruits and Vegetables Toy Set
This is a great way to introduce your child to the most important part of their food – fruits and vegetables.
- The fruits and vegetables in this set are sorted according to colors such as purple, green, red, orange, and yellow.
- There are a total of 25 foods in five buckets, with one bucket each for a color.
- Besides teaching them about the foods, this toy set also teaches them about colors.
3. LeapFrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart
If there is anything that can be more exciting than ice cream, it is an ice cream cart.
- This toy food set comes with toy ice cream toppings, a scooper, and cones, all set in an ice cream cart.
- The ice cream cart has functional wheels and a handle that lets the child push the cart.
- The cart also has a toy syrup container with a pump, which plays music and other tones when pressed.
- There is a toy cash register that counts to ten at the press of its buttons.
- The ice cream scooper lets the child pick the ice cream topping and out them on the top of the cone. A button on the scooper helps lock and release the toy ice cream scoops.
- The child can put one or more scoops on a single toy cone.
4. Play Circle by Battat Pretend Ice Cream Set
It is the ideal toy food set for a kid with a sweet tooth.
- It contains scoops of toy ice cream, sprinkles, bottles of syrup, and even half a banana to go along with the scoops of ice cream.
- The set comes with toy cutlery for desserts. It includes ice cream spoons, ice cream cups, ice cream scoop, and a dish to serve the ice cream.
- Scoops of ice cream can be stacked on top of one another, just like real ice cream.
- The bottle of toy sprinkles makes realistic sounds. The lid of the syrup bottle opens just like a real bottle.
- The toys are made from plastic that is free of lead, BPA, and phthalate.
5. Jogo Jogo Wooden Pizza Toy
Let your child start their very own toy pizza store with this wooden pizza toy set.
- The wooden toy set contains six pizza slices that stick to one another through a hook-and-loop fastener.
- You also get wooden toppings, including tomatoes, onions, and olives. Toy toppings can stick to the pizza.
- Accessories include a wooden pizza cutter, serving spatula, and a cardboard oven.
- The set also comes with fake money, a menu card, a chef hat, and six fake mustaches for the little Italian pizza baker. It all helps make the pretend play more realistic.
6. Learning Resources Super Sorting Pie
A toy pie that can store an assortment of colorful fruits and vegetables.
- The toy is shaped like a pie with a removable top. There are five slots inside the pie with each slot dedicated to a specific color of vegetables.
- The toy comes with a pair of tongs. The child can place the vegetables in their respective slots using the tongs.
- You get two pairs of tongs, which means the child can play with their parent or sibling.
- The toy pie also works as a box to store the toys when the child is done playing.
7. Learning Resources Fresh Picked Fruit & Veggie Tote
An assortment of fruits and vegetables in an adorable tote bag.
- The collection of toy foods consists of 16 plastic toy fruits and vegetables, each featuring realistic details and color scheme.
- The toys are made from plastic, which has a rubber-like feel to it. It makes the toys durable and resistant to crushing.
- The tote bag is made from canvas fabric, which makes it eco-friendly. The bag can be used by the little one to store the toys or other items.
8. Melissa & Doug Food Groups – Wooden Play Food
These toy foods can help your child understand food groups better.
- The toy food set comes with 21 pieces of wooden toy foods and four wooden crates to store the toys.
- The toys are divided into four food groups: fruits & vegetables, meat, grains, and dairy. Each of the four crates holds food of a specific category.
- The toy set can help the child understand the importance of a balanced diet.
- Each wooden toy is hand-painted.
- The wooden crates are sturdy and are made from high-quality wood.
9. KidKraft Tasty Treats Play Food Set
This toy food set has everything from carrots to cupcakes!
- The set consists of 115 pieces of toy foods. Each piece features a realistic color and detail.
- You have a wide variety of options when it comes to segregating the food. You can group them as per color, food group, taste, and so on.
- The food set also includes fake canned food items, beverages, and seasonings.
- The plastic used is free of BPA.
10. Little Tikes Backyard Barbeque Grillin’ Goodies
Let your child have their very own barbecue within the safety of their room.
- The 20-piece barbecue toy food set contains everything that the child will need to practice their barbecuing skills, including a pair of tongs and spatula.
- The set also consists of toy hot dogs, corn, ketchup, and mustard bottles.
- The cutlery includes a pair of knives, spoons, and forks.
- The toy comes with a pair of napkins, which can have a general use.
- The colors of the toy are bright and realistic.
11. Hape Pop Up Toaster Wooden Play Kitchen Set
Child bothering you when you prepare breakfast? Get them this toy set and let them make their own breakfast toast every day.
- The toy set comes with a toy toaster and toy food items like bread, butter, and honey.
- The two slices of bread can be placed inside the toaster. A wooden lever on the side of the toaster lets the child pop the bread as it happens in a real toaster.
- The butter slices stick together with hook-and-loop fastener. A wooden knife lets the child cut the butter and place it on the bread.
- Other accessories include a wooden plate for the bread and a wooden replica of a honey jar.
- The toys are made from high-quality wood and feature child-safe paints.
12. Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set
Fruits in this toy food set can be sliced to provide an excellent pretend play experience.
- The toy food set comes with seven toy fruits. Each fruit is made from multiple sections stuck together with a hook-and-loop fastener.
- The child can chop the fruit with a wooden knife that comes with the set.
- The toy fruits slice with a “crunch” sound every time the knife goes through the sections of the fruit.
- The toys come arranged in a wooden crate.
- All the toy fruits are made from wood and feature a realistic paint scheme.
13. Melissa & Doug Wooden Birthday Party Cake
What can make a party more exciting? A wooden birthday party cake with candles!
- The toy is shaped like a cake sliced into six pieces. There is a candle for each of the cake’s slice and an extra candle for the center.
- A hook-and-loop fastener connects the slices of cake and the candles to the cake slices.
- The child can decorate the cake with several wooden toppings that come with the cake.
- You get a wooden serving knife to pick and serve a slice of the cake.
- The entire toy food set is made from wood and painted in colors that lend a realistic look to the cake.
14. Learning Resources Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes
This colorful toy also doubles as a good developmental tool.
- The toy cupcakes come arranged in a plastic pan that resembles a real baking pan.
- The icing on the cupcake is removable. Each icing section of the cupcake features a peg that fits into a specific base only. The child has to check the base of the cupcake before placing the icing.
- The base of the toy cupcake is brown while the icing is in various bright colors.
- It is made from plastic that is durable and sturdy.
15. JaxoJoy 122-Piece Deluxe Pretend Play Food Set
This toy food set is likely to cover nearly all of your child’s favorite foods.
- The 122-piece set features a wide range of foods, including baked items, fast food, desserts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and canned food.
- The food can be segregated into fruits, vegetables, desserts, fast food, and canned food.
- Each piece of the toy food set is made from BPA-free plastic. The plastic is of high quality and sturdy.
- The toys have a realistic color scheme.
What Are The Benefits Of Toy Foods?
Toy foods are replicas of food items such as vegetables, snacks, and beverages used for pretend play. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “playing and pretending allow your child to learn and grow” (1). Simple pretend-play like drinking from an empty cup is one of the activities recommended by the academy (2).
Pretend play using toy foods can help children understand various foods, create an interest in fruits and vegetables, and the benefits they offer; it also improves the child’s table manners and etiquette.
Pretend -play with toy foods can have its unique advantages. Therefore, you must choose the right toy food set for your child.
How To Pick Toy Foods For Kids?
When shopping for toy food products, consider the following points.
- An assortment pack is ideal. The more toy foods in a set, the more fun the child can have in their pretend play.
- Look for durable toys. Your kid is going to spend a lot of time in pretend play and toys made from durable wood or plastic will serve the purpose for long.
- Pick toy foods with interactive features such as veggies and fruits that can be fake-sliced into pieces with a hook-and-loop fastener.
Some of these toy sets may include small pieces of toys and have certain features that make them unsuitable for little kids.
Toy foods provide an opportunity for pretend play and to understand what we eat and where it comes from. Parents can also acquaint the kid about essential concepts like kitchen safety and table manners. Pretend play with toy foods is thus packed with several benefits along with good quality fun with siblings and parents.
Which toy food does your child enjoy playing the most with? Do tell us in the comment section below.
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2. The Power of Play – How Fun and Games Help Children Thrive; American Academy of Pediatrics