The Best Play Food Sets For Kids – 2019 Edition
Playing house with a pretend kitchen and play food is one of the most enjoyable games to play as a kid.
Having a diverse set of pretend foods makes pretending more interesting and realistic for kids that want to cook like their families!
Here are the top 8 best play food sets on the market today so you can easily choose the one that your kids will like the most.
Melissa & Doug Food Groups – 21 Hand-Painted Wooden Pieces and 4 Crates
This 21-piece set comes at an affordable price for wooden play food and 4 fun, sturdy crates for grouping the different food groups.
- Diverse set at an affordable price
- Paint has chipped off, so this may cause a safety concern for some parents BUT all toys in the Melissa & Doug line conform to CPSIA safety testing requirements
This 21-piece wooden food set includes healthy foods your children can learn about in a fun way. The 4 sturdy wooden crates allow for easy grouping of each food-type (dairy, produce, grains, and protein), and for easy storage. Feed your child’s imagination while increasing their cognitive development in a healthy screen-free way.
Provide them a fun way to learn the basics of nutrition, early number skills, colors, sorting, and grouping, as well as fine motor skills and dexterity. Test them on making a balanced meal!
The set includes watermelon, fruit, corn, fish, meats, eggs, milk, cheese, cereal, bread, and more. It can be used on its own or with a play kitchen, for ages 3 and older.
Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set – Wooden Play Food
A 17-piece set of fruit, “cut” with Velcro pieces and a wooden knife for “cutting”. Includes a flat wooden crate for easy storage.
- Excellent customer service
- Painted on inside and out for a more realistic touch
- Velcro may become weak after heavy use
- Paint does chip
A wooden health-food play set complete with 7 fruits – pear, orange, lemon, banana, strawberry, melon, and kiwi – with 17 total pieces plus a convenient wooden storage crate. A play wooden knife is also included for “cutting up” the fruits which are precut with Velcro that give a satisfying crunch sound when sliced!
This fun set is great for introducing the concepts of fractions, parts, and wholes, especially while learning math. Cut the kiwi in half, the banana into thirds, and the melon into quarters/fourths. Best for ages 3-5. A manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service.
Melissa & Dough Let’s Play House! Grocery Cans
Set of 10 stackable cans with removable lids for a realistic feeling. Aids in developing sorting, grouping, awareness of different types of food, and color recognition.
- Open-and-close lids allow children to put things inside the cans
- Colorful labels have nutritional information for a more realistic look
- While somewhat durable, these are made with cardboard which might not hold up after heavy use, especially with teething children in the house
This play food set comes with 10 stackable cans with removable plastic lids that are easy to remove for little hands. Sides are made with sturdy and colorful cardboard with easy labels for identifying different types of foods. Foods in this set include alphabet soup, tuna fish, tomato sauce, peaches, pineapple, green beans, peas, corn, carrots, and sliced mushrooms.
Help your children develop a basic understanding of nutrition, as well as counting, colors, sorting, grouping, and even early reading. Improve motor skills and dexterity with opening and closing the lids, and filling and stacking the cans. Best for ages 3-6, but a 2-year-old may enjoy playing with them as well.
Melissa & Doug Cutting Play Food Set
This 25+ wooden play food set comes complete with over 25 cut pieces of food, knife, wooden storage crate, and a cutting board for a realistic food-cutting experience.
- Will keep many children occupied for hours
- Painting is not very detailed. Could be more realistic
- Comes with one knife, so if you have more than one child, an extra might be necessary, or it’s a good opportunity to learn about sharing!
This wooden food set is similar to the fruit cutting set but includes a cutting board and a variety of different foods – a loaf of bread, sandwich bread, sliced watermelon, apple, tomato, pepper, cucumber, and a carrot. The Velcro between the pieces gives a nice realistic crunch sound when being sliced.
Help your young chefs develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, not to mention knife and cutting safety. These foods also aid in understanding simple math like fractions, parts and wholes, as well as early counting, colors, sorting, and grouping. Best for children ages 3-5 as pieces might be difficult to cut for younger ages.
Melissa & Doug Playtime Produce Vegetables
This play food set come with 7 durable plastic produce vegetables for pretend grocery shopping, plus a convenient wooden storage crate.
- Made with a quality and durable plastic
- Realistically painted
- Great customer service
- Will hold water if submerged, so it’s better to wipe them down for cleaning
- Realistic size may not fit will in play pots and pans
This 7-piece produce vegetable set is made with a durable heavy plastic for long-lasting enjoyment. Great for pretend grocery shopping, and then store them away in the included wooden storage crate. Vegetables include a tomato, carrot, red onion, potato, red pepper, cucumber, and an ear of corn realistically sized but still suitable for small hands. Give your kids the chance to play while learning about healthy foods and developing lots of early skills like counting, colors, sorting, and grouping.
After playing with some tasty and fresh-looking vegetables, your kids might be more excited to eat some real vegetables! Compare the real thing to these realistically-painted toys. Best suited for ages 3-6.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Pantry Products
A set of 9 wooden dry foods to add to your child’s kitchen collection to expand their awareness of different types of foods.
- Quality made with non-toxic materials
- Realistic colorful labels
- Paint tends to chip
- No labels or info on the back of the products
- Slightly heavy wood could be hurtful if thrown or dropped on a little foot
This 9-piece set of dry foods is made of a quality wood that will hold up for as long as they enjoy playing house! Foods include cereal, crackers, salad dressing, mustard, ketchup, spaghetti, soup, sugar, and tuna fish. These foods provide variety in your child’s play pantry and in the journey of learning about different foods, and can help with early counting, color recognition, and simple reading skills with the easy, colorful, and realistic labels.
This set can also be a tool to teach skills in sorting, comparing, grouping, and determining differences and similarities amongst food packages. Sized with small hands in mind. Suited for children ages 3 and older.
Learning Resources Fresh Picked Fruit and Veggie Tote
A 17-piece set with healthy veggies and fruits in a durable canvas tote bag for pretend grocery shopping. Sized with small hands in mind.
- Durable plastic
- Great variety of healthy foods to promote healthy eating and learning
- Soft to ensure safe playing
- Smells like paint and plastic even after being washed
- Paint does chip off
- Tote bag not made with the best quality
This diverse 17-piece produce set includes a variety of fruits and vegetables that look like they were freshly picked from the farmer’s market. Made with a high-quality soft rubber-like plastic that is crush-resistant for long-lasting fun. A durable canvas tote bag is included which can help kids learn about recycling and improving the environment. These fun sharable toys encourage social interaction and speech development, as well as counting skills, color recognition, sorting, grouping, building vocabulary, and more.
Watch your child’s imagination grow as they pretend to shop just like you and pick out these colorful healthy foods that will encourage great eating habits. Foods include an apple, strawberry, carrot, lettuce, cucumber, berries, lemon, onion, potato, tomato, apricot, pear, plum, grapes, corn, and a banana (16 different foods total). After playing with fruits and veggies, they might want to eat more of them! Ideal for ages 2 and older. A manufacturer’s warranty may be requested from customer service.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Sandwich-Making Set
A 16-piece sandwich-making set includes “cuttable” foods with Velcro and a play knife, plus a convenient wooden storage crate for easy organizing. Durable and high-quality.
- High-quality wooden products
- Cutting food develops important fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- Good variety of foods
- Convenient storage crate
- Paint does chip slightly
- Storage crate doesn’t have a lid
- Foods could be painted more realistically
This large set of 16 wooden sandwich ingredients will be fun for any child. Foods are put together with Velcro and then “cut” using the included play knife, which makes a satisfying and realistic crunch sound, for long-lasting sandwich-making fun.
Durable and high-quality wooden pieces will not wear out. The set includes lots of healthy options including 4 slices of bread, 2-piece bun, 5 meat and cheese slices, 2 lettuce toppings, 2 tomato slices, and pickles. Store everything in the included wooden crate which can double as a serving tray or cutting board. Go on a pretend picnic, “order” your favorite from your young chef, or make a real sandwich while your child makes their pretend sandwich and compare!
For every young chef, this set develops fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, colors, number skills, sorting, and grouping. It also encourages healthy eating. Suited for ages 3-5 and a manufacturer’s warranty may be requested from customer service.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are Melissa & Doug?
Melissa and Doug are actually a real couple that have six kids of their own. They were both raised by teachers and knew they wanted to develop meaningful products for young children. They started the business out of their house, delivering toys with their own vehicle and taking as much customer feedback as they could to continue improving the products.
Because of their own large family, they were able to test toys at home first and work out as many kinks as possible before sharing with their customers. They started their toy line with textured wooden puzzles, and slowly began developing other meaningful toys including play food, knowing children love imitating adults.
The toy product line named Melissa & Doug has become very popular over the last 25 years and is a trusted brand beloved by many parents and children. All products are heavily tested to ensure safety. Paints and coatings meet or exceed government requirements to limit levels of heavy metals, lead, and phthalates. Results are verified by accredited testing laboratories.
Company employees test new products in their own homes before they’re released for sale to the public. Click here for more information.
The goal of the company is to provide toys that allow for imagination development, open-ended thinking, and encouraging kids to find new possibilities. Kids will develop the ability to create something from nothing and enjoy true “free time” when given the opportunity to just play.
Play reveals passions, promotes creativity, problem-solving, and allows kids to try their ideas without worrying about making mistakes. Toys without screens or batteries provide a welcome break to the sometimes-overwhelming information coming from technology today!
Who are Learning Resources?
Founded over 30 years ago, Learning Resources has focused on providing toys that develop a love for learning as well as critical skills. With products for ages under 2 through 5th grade, they provide fun activities for a verity of subjects from English language learning, to math, science, geography, and ESL.
Learning Resources also takes great care in ensuring toys are safe and exceed safety standards, including being free of chemicals such as BPA, phthalate, and lead. Products are made with PVC and low-density polyethylene. Every toy is evaluated against standards of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).