The Best Play Food Sets Are Here! See Our Top Picks

Whether you are a parent simply looking to teach your child about eating healthy or you’re developing the interest of the next junior master chef, finding the best play food sets can help you give your child an enriched play and learning experience. These days, play food sets have grown varied and each one has become more sophisticated than the last--from basic pots and pans, to full kitchens the size of children--playsets involving food and cooking have indeed evolved. Faced with all these choices in the market, how does one choose the best play food sets out there in the market?

Why Invest in Best Play Food Sets

It is important for kids to know that their food choices each day can affect their health and how they feel (source). One way that parents can inculcate this fact to their kids is through nutrition education. Nutrition education is a cost effective way to foster healthy eating habits for a lifetime (source).

If you are a parent who finds it challenging to teach kids about proper nutrition, Nutrition.gov recommends the use of websites and games (source). Knowing that kids naturally love toys, you can take advantage of the best play food sets to teach about proper nutrition.

Benefits of Best Play Food Sets​

Best Play Food Sets Promote Creative Thinking

The best play food sets are among the best educational toys for young kids along with building toys, STEM toys and more. These toys offer numerous benefits for the overall development of kids. Above all, the best play food sets spark creative thinking. Creative thinking are the keys to work and economic prosperity (source).

As such is with real-life cooking, there is much imagination and creativity involved in play kitchens. Using the best play food sets, kids are free to create various scenarios like cooking for the family or friends or acting as a chef in a restaurant. Creating imaginary dishes using the best play food sets allows kids to express themselves creatively.

Best Play Food Sets Educate Kids About Healthy Eating

Parents can use some of the best play food sets out there to help teach their kids about healthy eating. Parents can look for the best play food sets that feature ingredients for healthy eating such as fruits, vegetables and fish. During play activity, parents can stress the importance of a balanced diet and what kinds of food are healthy to eat.

Best Play Food Sets Develop Motor Skills

Some of the best play food sets have pieces that can help kids hone their motor skills--rolling food trays, cutting up ingredients that can be put back together, and balancing food trays from table to table. These best play food sets promote active learning and help kids improve their eye-to-hand coordination.

Best Play Food Sets Enrich Social Skills

Play kitchens encourage group play and interaction. Boys and girls alike would enjoy pretend cooking, serving and eating using the best play food sets. They can also help in developing communication skills, as the kids interact with their parents or friends during play.

Criteria When Comparing the Best Play Food Sets

Of course, with the variety of play food sets available at toy stores, it might be beneficial to keep these criteria in mind when choosing the best play food sets for your kids:

Compare the best play food sets based on age-appropriateness

Find the best play food sets that match the age of your kids. Some younger kids would appreciate simpler best play food sets that are composed of a variety of food items such as fruits and vegetables. For older kids, a more sophisticated best play food sets might be more appealing. Among the popular options are tea sets complete with dishes and cutlery and full-sized kitchens where kids can pretend to cook. 

Compare the best play food sets based on parts and pieces

Coupled with age appropriateness, the best play food sets should come with parts and pieces that are safe for kids. You can also choose to get the best play food sets that are made up of soft materials for younger children who might be inclined to throw parts and pieces around.

Compare the best play food sets based on materials used

Diligently look into the materials used for the best play food sets you are comparing. As there is a high chance that children can “pretend to eat” the pieces of the play food sets should be made of materials that are non-toxic. Watch out for parts that kids would tend to lick, things that peel off that they might ingest, or things that would react to water and liquids.

Compare the best play food sets by checking the hazard points

Pay attention to hazard points like sharp edges or pointy corners when comparing the best play food sets. For free-standing kitchens, you could check for stability to ensure the playset does not fall on the children.

​DIY Play Food Set

In case you want to experiment and make your own simple play food set for your kids, this video might help.​

Best Play Food Sets

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Learning Resources New Sprouts Soup's On! is a unique play food set in that instead of using the usual plastic or wooden material, it uses soft and durable rubber. The pieces are solid with no openings where water can get trapped during playtime. They are also colorful but not painted, so no need to fear about losing the color over time.

The total number of pieces you get with this play food set is 23, which includes vegetable chunks and wedges and noodles as well as bowls, spoons and tureen with lid. They are soft and easy to hold.

This toy is among the best play food sets that enable kids to improve their eye-hand coordination, helps them recognize colors, and gives them quality time to enjoy on a pretend play.

PROS

  • Soft and easy to hold
  • Solid and durable
  • Not painted

CONS

  • Some pieces may cause choking hazrd

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Melissa & Doug came up with this beautiful wooden play food set that is ideal for helping kids improve their dexterity, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. It also introduces kids to the different fruits and colors.

With a total of 17 pieces, this play food set includes 7 pieces of sliceable fruits, a wooden knife and a wooden crate. The fruits have vibrant colors and realistic details, making them attractive to kids. What’s interesting is that the fruits make a realistic "crunch" when sliced.

PROS

  • With crisp color
  • Easy to play
  • Realistic fruits
  • Pieces are durable
  • No sharp components

CONS

  • Some users reported that the paint flakes after several use
  • Not much number of pieces

Quality

Price

Our Rating

This set is among the best play food sets for kids who love to pretend baking and decorating cakes. It allow kids to elaborately decorate a cake, slice it into 6 pieces and serve. This works because of its Velcro attachments which can be easily sliced and put together.

There is a total of 37 pieces in this play food set which is composed of 1 knife, a round cake, and colorful cake decors. Kids can easily decorate the cake by inserting the candles and other pieces into the holes on top of the cake. This is among the best play food sets that are effective in helping kids enhance their fine motor skills.

PROS

  • Pieces are colorful
  • More pieces to play with

CONS

  • Numerous tiny pieces may cause choking hazard

Quality

Price

Our Rating

This is a dual-purpose play food set as all the pieces are actually designed to work as an eraser, but kids can play with them too. They are soft, colorful and durable. They also look just like the real thing. The best part is that you get a total of 60 unique food eraser pieces with no duplicates.

When you buy this play food set, you’ll get the food erasers individually wrapped so you can also have the option to give away the individual pieces. In case you are not happy with this set, it comes with a 365-day satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer.

PROS

  • Bright colors
  • Durable
  • Soft
  • No duplicate pieces

CONS

  • Some erasers are very tiny and easy to lose

FUNERICA Cutting Play Fruit Toys Set

Quality

Price

Our Rating

This toy is among the best play food sets that parents can use to teach kids to be responsible in the kitchen.  Kids can use it to pretend to shop, slice and cook a meal. With numerous pieces to use, kids can do a wide range of fun and interactive activities with this set.

Among the pieces in this play food set are a grocery basket, cutting board, knife, chef hat, stove, pots and pans, and other utensils. There are also color vegetables that kids can wash and slice. All the pieces are idea for tiny hands.

PROS

  • Vivid colors
  • Well made
  • Vegetables can be sliced
  • Allows for multiple activities

CONS

  • Some users say that the pieces are much smaller than they expect

Among the listed best play food sets in this review, our top choice is the Learning Resources New Sprouts Soup's On! It has the best overall features including the quality of materials used. As the pieces are made of soft and durable rubber that is not painted, it is generally user-friendly and safe for kids. The pieces also have vibrant colors that are quite attractive. Its main drawback is that it is more expensive than most of the food play sets on this list.