Shop for all the best toddler play food that your kids will enjoy for years and years. Pretend play, here they come! (With play food sets and kitchen accessories to fit all price points.)
Best Play Food
Whether they’re whipping up a silly snack for a sibling or setting up a picnic with their dolls, toddlers (and older kids, too) love to make believe with pretend food. A play food set is a great way for kids to boost their imaginations, and it can also help them learn about and get familiar with foods outside of mealtime.
There are so many adorable play food sets available today for basically any type of cuisine and price point you could want. Here are some of the best:
Best Toddler Play Food Set
In my mind, the best play food is the ones that the kids will actually use, it’s durable and easy to clean when needed, and it allows for a lot of options for pretend play. I love all of these sets and starting with any one of them would be a great fun for any toddler or preschooler!
Best Wooden Play Food: Melissa & Doug Food Groups
Learning about food groups while having fun? That’s a definite win! This set of 21 hand-painted foods–including cheese, watermelon, tomatoes, fish, and much more–comes with four wooden crates for sorting and storing. And it’s priced at under $20.
Realistic Play Food: KidKraft Play Food Set
If your kids are always trying to play with your real pots and pans, this set is for you! With 11 pieces including 2 kid-sized metal pans, a pot with a lid, and a spatula and ladle for realistic pretend cooking, this set is so fun and it’s under $20.
It also comes with a few pieces of food—some broccoli, a chicken leg, and an ear of corn, to name a few—and pairs well with a play kitchen.
Best Dessert Play Food: Green Toys Cupcake Set
It doesn’t get much sweeter than this toy. Kids can mix and match cupcake liners, cake, and frosting to make 5 cupcakes that all fit perfectly on an adorable stand. Plus, everything is made from 100% recycled plastic milk jugs for under $20. How awesome is that?
Best Play Food Cutting Set: IPlay, Ilearn Cutting & Cooking Toy
Your kids will love using the wooden knife and cutting board to slice, dice, and then put back together this array of 26 magnetic wooden foods. It’s especially nice that this set includes some less common fruits and veggies, like passionfruit and kiwi, along with the more classic options.
Plus, the toys come in a cute canister for easy storage.
Best Learning Resources Play Food: New Sprouts Fresh Fruit Salad Set
Kids can fill their bowls with delicious fruit salad by scooping their choices out of the main bowl (or in this case, large watermelon!) and into their personal bowl, just like they would at the real dinner table. Learning Resources’ plastic food items are very high-quality, easy-to-clean, and made to last.
Best Felt Food Set: Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich Set
Move over, corner deli! Your kids are about to be making the best lunches in town with this array of 33 breads, deli meats, cheeses, and toppings for less than $20. Bonus: All the creative sandwich making might just inspire them to branch out at the actual lunch table, too.
(Looking for another fun felt food option? Try this Pizza Set.)
TIP: Play kitchen food is so fun and I’m glad that we have it as an option, especially when we’re stuck in the house on rainy days. You can find my top picks for play kitchens and shopping carts to round out your collection of play food!
- Have a dedicated bin for storing all of your play food.
- Let the kids explore the play food on their own or with you as another way to learn about food.
- Bring some of the pretend food into the kitchen for the kids to use while you cook.
- Pair with a kitchen set, pots and pans, and a kids table for ultimate fun.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this post and if you have any recommendations for play kitchen food that I might have missed, so please comment below to share!
This post was first published September 2020.