The Tot 10: Food Toys For The Budding Chef
Because food toys are a great way for your tot to expand their vocabulary, hone their hand-eye coordination, practice role-playing, and learn healthy eating habits, we’ve listed 10 products you’re going to want to know about.
Play-based learning is beloved by parents and teachers around the world because it helps develop a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development all at one time. (It’s also fun!) By engaging in something meaningful like pretending to have a picnic, creating a monstrous pizza or getting your family’s breakfast ready before school, your child is more likely to absorb the information and get a firmer understanding of the who, what, why and where because the experience will become a happy memory and easier for them to retain.
Food toys are a favorite of educators because they allow children to role-play, take turns, share, expand their vocabulary, learn patience, practice manners, pack away, and develop healthy eating habits. Whether kids are playing on their own or with friends, food toys like the Milton and Goose Essential Play Kitchen can facilitate hours of fun and learning. As children get older and develop writing skills, food play can evolve to writing shopping lists, creating and following recipes and taking orders. It can also be an introduction to different cultures and cuisines from around the world.
It’s especially important to teach healthy eating habits from a young age. According to the Novak Djokovic Foundation, researchers have found evidence that eating behaviors and meal habits in early childhood have an impact on children’s food preferences and eating patterns in adulthood. A balanced diet is also crucial because it provides children with the nutrients they need to grow.
When it comes to choosing a food toy, we are adamant that they are non-toxic and safe for little mouths and hands to explore, because let’s be honest – these things usually go straight to the mouth. Not to worry, brands like Hape, Green Toys, Papoose, Moulin Roty, Papoose and Odette Williams are pioneering the way for 100% non-toxic, safe and sustainable toys. The other great thing about these brands is their commitment to quality. Their toys are pieces that will be used between siblings and even generations.
Some kids may prefer more craft-based toys that can be done solo and provide a calming sensory experience. If over-stimulation is an issue, we recommend the Green Toys Meal Maker Dough Set or the Papoose Felt Bento Box Sushi Set.
The Milton and Goose Essential Play Kitchen is a fantastic way to encourage imaginative play and sharpen your child’s vocabulary, math skills and gross motor skills, all while having loads of fun.
Once you have the kitchen, you’re going to need the essentials! Hape’s Healthy Basics are made from non-toxic and sustainable wood and are absolutely perfect for Cooking 101.
Also sustainably produced out of child-safe wood, metal and non-toxic paint – your little one can get even more advanced in the kitchen with Hape’s pots and pans set.
Made in the USA of 100% cotton linen, this hand silk-screened apron comes with wooden utensils and will quickly become your favorite heirloom gift to give. Best part? It’s machine washable!
Is your child thinking about opening Patisserie?! Then they 100% need the Moulin Roty Baking Set. Packaged in a vintage inspired suitcase, the real, useable set includes everything a little baker could need including stainless steel cake tins.
Want to work on fine motor skills? The Hape Sushi Selection set is a wonderful way to introduce your child to chopsticks, which promotes kinesthetic training.
A pretend Sushi Chef’s favorite, the Papoose Bento Box Sushi Set is made from 100% wool felt, is Fair-trade, non-toxic and made in Nepal.
If your tot loves craft time, they’re going to love the Green Toys Meal Maker Dough Set. Made from recycled milk jugs and organic flour, it allows kids to safely explore the world of food!
A great one for both young and old kids, the Green Toys Sandwich Shop let’s kids create wild sandwich combinations and even take orders!
This innovatively designed salad set encourages healthy food choices while incorporating imaginative role-play and storytelling.