Kid-tested: The Best Play Food Today

best play food

*Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices, choose the colors and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

Introduction

When I was still pregnant, I’ve always been particular about what I wanted if I were to have a girl. Furthermore, I want to dress her up fashionably and give her the best kind of toys there are. This was because I grew up not having all the toys I wanted.

More importantly, I want to make sure that she’ll only have toys that are safe. And if I will have to spend more money to make this happen, then I’m ready.

I’m sure all mothers could relate to this or all parents for that matter. We always want the best and the healthiest for our kids. Thus, for little girls who like playing mom chef, we want to buy the best play food there is.

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Choosing the best play food

Why bother choosing the best quality?

We have to admit that play food and play kitchens, in general, are quite pricey. Why do we even bother spending money on this?

First of all, this is not just to spoil our little one or giving in to her demands. Well, this is us wanting to provide play materials that can help elicit development.

I’m pretty sure you have seen little girls playing with these mini kitchens and talking like their moms do. We shouldn’t only be seeing this as cute but as a child’s milestone too. For this reason, it is considered reasonable to purchase such toys.

How do we choose the best play food?

In general, purchasing toys is not a piece of cake. You need to consider many things: your child’s preferences, the safety of the toy, and your budget. Oh, you should take into account the preferences of the parents as well, of course.

To begin the hunt, you have to answer a few important questions. How old is your child? What type of material would you want your child to play with (considering all your safety concerns)? How much play food or how many pieces specifically are you willing to purchase?

Why is there a need to know the age? Well, this one is a no-brainer. All toys have prescribed or suggested ages on their labels. Primary for health reasons, you need to know which ones are appropriate for your child.

In this case, the top priority is the materials used to make the toy. Do you consider hard plastics or hardwood?

If you go for plastics, remember that there’s a chance your kids get carried away and eat the toys. You then have to make sure the materials are all free from BPA or Bisphenol A.

BPA is an industrial chemical that is very hazardous and harmful. Aside from making sure the toys are non-toxic remember that they also have to be environment-friendly.

How do we choose play food according to our budget?

Looking for play food is not at all hard since there are a lot of options available. The best quality is a must. However, if you are working on a small budget, you might need to lower your standards.

If you are not the kind to splurge impulsively for your kids, you will have to plan your budget ahead. If it’s “the best” that you want, you have to know that there may be nothing at $100 or lower.

Sometimes, the problem is that the play food cannot be purchased in one complete set. As per marketing and manufacturing strategy, the toy companies want us to purchase piece by piece or pair by pair.

This can be more costly than expected, but what can we do? Our kids might throw tantrums looking for that “other food”.

Tip: If this is your first time to purchase this kind of toy, pick the little ones first. You may opt to buy the play food individually starting from the smallest set meals like breakfast or snack. Then you can tell your little one that eventually, she’ll get to collect all sets and build her kitchen.


The Top 5 Best Play Food

#1 Learning Resources New Sprouts Bundle of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

This play set is composed of three baskets – one for each meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Each of the sets includes ideal food combinations that are nutritious. This way, your kids can learn how to prepare a complete meal that has meat, vegetables, and fruits. It comes with over 50 food pieces in total. It is recommended for kids ages two years and up.


Pros

  • These play food are made out of hard, crush-proof plastic. Your kids are allowed to use the pieces for longer playing periods.
  • The pieces are designed to fit the tiny hands of your little one perfectly.
  • This collection is part of the award-winning toys of New Sprouts.
  • The food pieces included are not only the staples. There are soups and sandwiches with cheeses.
  • The baskets are complete with not only food but drinks like orange juice, wheatgrass juice and pineapple juice.
  • You can feel that the pieces are almost made of rubber. Each piece feels and looks more realistic than the others

Cons

  • Purchasing the baskets from another store might get you an entirely different set of food pieces. For instance, some vegetables and juices are available in one store and are not available in another store.
  • There are instances when it looks like there are over 50 pieces of food items in the packaging. But you cannot count them while packed, and hidden items may be there. You may not get the right count.

#2 Mommy Please Pretend Food Kitchen Play Set

This play set is composed of a total of 125 pieces of food items. It has a wider variety of food types compared to other similar brands. These are now made of plastic instead of play food made out of cartons or cardboards. It is suitable for kids ages three years and up.


Pros

  • All of the food items in this play set are certified BPA free.
  • Newer and more familiar foods are in it for the kids to identify. Some examples are a whole pizza pie, Pringles chips, soft-served ice cream and more.
  • The set does not only contain food items. Labels that read fun food facts are also on them. Organic varieties for the food items are also there if you want to teach your kids about health.
  • The sets include foods that are from all four food groups. Your kids will not miss on the important pieces that complement the others.
  • The kids can play around and use their imagination in combining the food varieties to come up with great meals.
  • Some food items can be snapped onto each other so your kids can imagine preparing the real thing.

Cons

  • Some of the food items are shaped out of proportion or seem “irregular” or odd looking. For instance, the fried chicken’s cut may seem a little off.
  • Some of the plastic pieces may be too thin for a three-year-old to handle. They might get destroyed too easily which may cause the kids’ dismay.

#3 Little Tikes Backyard Barbeque Grillin' Goodies

Via:Amazon.com

This play set is composed of a complete fun barbecue set ideal for “lunch.” The food items and the number of pieces are just about right for two kids to share. The total number of items in the kit is 20.


Pros

  • This set is unique unlike the common play food sets that contain the common food group. The barbecue theme becomes more exciting for the kids.
  • It goes well with a play barbecue grill set, especially with the one from Little Tikes.
  • Everything you need in a barbecue lunch is ready, from all the burgers and hotdogs, down to the napkins.
  • It comes in two sets, so even if you lose some of the small items, you’ll have some spare.
  • It is interactive. You can put on the burgers with tongs and spatula on the plate. The kids can enjoy playing this with their parents too.
  • Each of the pieces is very easy to clean for the parents.

Cons

  • The food items may not look very realistic, unlike other play food sets that are more expensive.
  • Some pieces may not stick together if they have been overused for long periods. For instance, the burger patty may no longer stick to the bun.
  • Some of the food pieces may be too slippery because of their plastic composition. Grabbing the grilled food with the tongs and spatula will then be more difficult.
  • The other food items may not look very realistic.

#4 Melissa & Doug Food Fun Combine & Dine Dinners Toy

Via:Amazon.com

This play set from the famous toymaker Melissa & Doug is composed of 18 pieces of food items. It is perfect for a dinner set. The meal contains a steak, peas, broccoli, veggie patty, chicken, rice, corn, beans, burger bun, and sweet potato fries. Moreover, it has cake, apple slices, cookie, ice cream and a menu card. It is recommended for kids ages three years and up.


Pros

  • The play set is made of durable plastic, and each of the items is dishwasher safe.
  • Each food item is detailed and looks very realistic compared to other brands offering the same set. Each piece is well molded and painted in detailed.
  • This particular set matches the other sets from Melissa & Doug. Kids can create an entire collection.
  • The kids can make their meal combinations, and parents can guide them through it.
  • All food groups are present in the food items, and they are made nutritious.
  • The menu card that comes with the set is reusable. Your kids can change them according to their preferences since the menu is not fixed.
  • Melissa & Doug has already made a name for manufacturing high-quality play sets, and this set is no exception.

Cons

  • This play set is a little pricier than the other similar plastic play food in the market.
  • Some of the food pieces do not look as realistic as their wood counterparts. The toy company still does a better job with their woodwork compared to plastics.

#5 KidKraft 63330 Tasty Treat Pretend Play Food

Via:Amazon.com

This KidKraft play set is a 115-piece play food kit. The pieces include various types of fruits, vegetables, meat, snacks, waffles and more. The food items are already built as is, and the kids no longer have to assemble them.


Pros

  • The 115 pieces of food items will allow the kids to experiment with different meal combinations.
  • In addition, the parents can guide the kids through the combinations to ensure they learn proper nutrition.
  • The materials with which these are made are hard and durable plastic. They are not flimsy and do not easily crush.
  • Although there are many items in the pack, each one was made to ensure high quality.
  • There are no cardboard pieces included.
  • The set is reasonably priced compared to other similar sets.

Cons

  • Some of the food items are not realistically cut in proportion to the other items. Some are too smaller for the others.
  • The plastic materials can be hazardous if molds form around them. You still have to ensure that they are regularly cleaned.

Conclusion

There you have it! That was a list of the best play food you can find in the market today. If I were to recommend, I’d have to say the Melissa & Doug Food Fun Combine and Dine Set wins.

The pros fairly outweigh the cons of the product. If you are looking for safety, high-quality materials, and interactive playing, that ought to do it.

The details of the food items are intricately done. Consequently, the kids will immediately find the similarity of the play set to the real food.

Choosing the best play food is not easy at all, but it can be exciting too. What’s important is that you and your kids can enjoy having those minis around the house for a time.

    Katherine

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