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The 11 Best Play Food Sets for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Play food sets can provide toddlers endless opportunities for imaginative play. They also compliment play kitchens very nicely when gifted together.

If you are thinking about buying some play food, but you are not quite sure which set is the best, you have come to the right place.

I have put together some information on the benefits of play food, if play food aligns with Montessori, and listed some of the most unique and fun play food sets I could find!

image of kids playing with pretend food with text overlay that reads 11 best play food sets.

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The benefits of play food sets for toddlers

Pretend play is a normal and healthy part of a child's development.

Through pretend play, children attempt to recreate what they experience or witness in real life. This helps them make sense of the world around them.

Play food sets are beneficial for children, as they allow for imaginative play opportunities.

With play food, toddlers and preschoolers pretend to prepare, cook, and serve meals for themselves and others.

Playing with play food helps develop:

Play kitchens and food are open-ended toys and are great for helping children play independently.

Is play food Montessori aligned?

Montessori favors real-life tasks over pretend tasks. This does not mean there is no place for imaginative play in Montessori learning environments and homes, however.

In Montessori homes, children work with their caregivers on real-life kitchen tasks, but they also experiment and explore cooking concepts through the use of play kitchens and play food.

Though this is a debated topic, my educated take on the play kitchens and play food sets is that they actually complement the Montessori philosophy nicely.

image of children using play food sets.

The 11 best play food sets for toddlers & preschoolers

When you think of play food sets, you might just think of the standard ones you see on social media a lot or the generic plastic ones you've seen in the big-box department stores.

There are so many different fun kinds of play food sets, though. There's no reason to settle when it comes to these sets.

Hopefully, you can find a set, or combination of sets, that reflect the food culture in your household.

1. Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set

What toddler doesn't enjoy the taste of sweet fruit? This play food set lets small children pretend to slice and prepare fruit treats for themselves and their friends.

Sale
Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set -…
  • CREATIVE CUTTING FRUIT SET: The Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set…
  • ATTRACTIVE WOODEN CRATE: This Cutting Fruit Set for kids includes…
  • TEACHES CONCEPTS OF PART AND WHOLE: Our food set features…

2. Learning Resources Farmer's Market Color Sorting Set

This play food set comes with mock produce baskets that can be used for sitting activities or for farmer's market play.

Sale
Learning Resources Farmer’s Market…
  • Learning Toys for Toddlers: Develop toddler color recognition and…
  • Explore New Foods: As they play fun games of pretend with these…
  • Preschool-Ready Skills: With the help of color-coordinated play…

3. Wooden Barbecue Grill Toy

Many parents involve their toddlers and preschoolers in kitchen activities, but outdoor grilling remains a mystery, as it's not safe to let children help us grill.

This is a really fun set for kids to play with while the caregiver is grilling.

Sale
Melissa & Doug Wooden Deluxe Barbecue…
  • Fire up imaginative pretend play with a wooden BBQ grill, smoker,…
  • Includes wooden sliceable play food pieces that look…
  • Grill includes built-in timer, dials to raise and lower…

4. Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Set

Going out to a restaurant is such a treat for kids. Getting to replicate the experience with parents and siblings is equally special.

Complete with a coffee tank and menu, this play food set really has everything kids need to recreate a special dining experience.

Sale
Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant…
  • DURABLE PLAY FOOD AND ACCESSORIES: The Melissa & Doug Star Diner…
  • FULL KITCHEN ACCESSORIES: Our play food restaurant kit features…
  • CREATIVE PRETEND PLAY: This set also includes 7 wooden pieces…

5. Learning Resources New Sprouts Stir Fry Play Food Set

We are a household of stir-fried vegetable lovers. So, I was so excited to find this veggie and Wok set.

If your child has not yet been introduced to all the delicious ways vegetables can be prepared, this is a fantastic play food set to do just that.

Learning Resources New Sprouts Stir Fry…
  • Spark imaginative play with this realistic stir-fry play food set
  • This play food set for kids builds imagination, vocabulary, motor…
  • Easy-to-handle soft plastc pieces include a wok, tongs and to-go…

6. Growing Vegetables Wooden Playset

This is such a cute play food set that doubles as a gardening toy.

Toddlers and preschoolers get to “dig up” their own little vegetable garden and cook up a healthy, fresh meal in their play kitchen.

My Little Garden | Growing Vegetables…
  • Grow Your Own Garden: Show off that green thumb of yours by…
  • Grow Your Own Garden: Show off that green thumb of yours by…
  • Sow The Seeds: Learn all about gardening with realistic tools,…

7. PairPear Wooden Play Food Cutting Meat Set

This is a fun play food set for toddlers and preschoolers that focuses on meat and cheese.

It comes with a play knife so kids can pretend to cut the play food, as well.

PairPear Wooden Play Food Cutting Meat…
  • Fun for Toddler – Just like you are really cutting through Meat!…
  • Great Wooden Play Food with realistic features – This engaging…
  • Safe and High Quliaty – Made from durable natural material with…

8. Let's Make a Pizza – Pretend Food Playset with 4 Wooden Pie Slices

This is a great play food set for topping-averse toddlers. It gets them excited about experimenting with their pizza.

This is my favorite pizza-making play food set, as the pizza ends up looking a lot more realistic that with other sets.

Let's Make a Pizza – Pretend Food…
  • Mamma Mia: Everybody loves pizza. Encourage your little chef to…
  • What's On The Menu: Fully stocked with 4 wooden slices of pizza…
  • No Play Kitchen Required: Smart box art design with prepping…

9. Learning Resources New Sprouts Soup's On!

There's little that's healthier or more comforting than home-cooked soup.

I just love this set, as it helps children understand the creativity and simplicity that comes with preparing soup.

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NEW SPROUTS SOUPS ON
  • Sold as 1 Each.
  • Serve your own special recipe with this colorful tureen, bowls,…
  • Colorful veggies and jumbo noodles make a healthy dose of…

10. Hape Egg Carton

Do you have a toddler who enjoys cracking eggs with you while you cook? If so, they are sure to enjoy this unique Hape egg toy.

Hape Egg Carton Kitchen Toys Children…
  • Egg carton with six eggs: it's breakfast time! How do you want…
  • Real life details: The package box comes in the shape of egg…
  • Educational kids toy: fried or boiled egg? Children can prepare…

11. Melissa & Doug Fill & Fold Taco & Tortilla Set

This is a really neat play food set that lets kids cook taco filling ingredients on a play skillet, then wrap them in a play tortilla.

The ingredients all fasten together inside the tortilla with hook and loop strips and children can then pretend to add their favorite sauces.

Sale
Melissa & Doug Fill & Fold Taco &…
  • 43-PIECE PLAY MEXICAN FOOD SET: This Tex-Mex play food and…
  • MULTIPLE INGREDIENTS: Our set includes a durable hard taco shell…
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE: This taco-themed play food set inspires…

You see, there are so many play food sets to choose from and each of them has something unique to offer children in the way of creative play.

Do you have a play food set that your child absolutely loves? Leave a comment or drop me an email. I'd love to hear about it!

Cheers and don't forget to subscribe!

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