What’s Cooking?

Felt Pizza Set by Melissa & Doug

If you read our post about kitchen sets, you know that Fair Play is currently on a kitchen play kick! As I explained in that first post, make-believe play is so important to children’s cognitive and language development. Kitchen play is a fun way to encourage pretend play but finding well-made, gender-fair options can be a challenge. Today we’re going to look at some of the pretend food options for your child’s kitchen play.

As you also know from the kitchen set post, Melissa & Doug is one of my favorite brands for gender-fair kitchen play options. They make tons of wooden and felt play foods (for the Amazon page with all of it, click here). I’m going to take a look at a few of my favorites today. One thing I especially like about their play food options is that most involve some sort of pretend “preparation.” Take, for example, the sandwich set. Instead of a fully-assembled play sandwich, your child has the opportunity to “make” a sandwich using the bread, cheese, veggie, and cold cut options. This set is available both in wooden and felt options for younger hands.

The pizza set pictured at the top of this post is also assembly-intensive. Melissa & Doug also offer a number of less traditional play food options – like sushi or stir fry. This sushi set is one of my favorite pretend foods since your child gets to assemble the sushi, slice, and serve!

There are plenty of unhealthy play food options, like apple pie or brownies, but there are also lots of fruits and veggies. Even the felt pizza is loaded with veggies. One non-Melissa & Doug healthy play food I think is great is this pita pocket set by Hape. Like the Melissa & Doug foods, it includes the components as individual pieces for your child’s creative assembly.

All of these sets and many more are available from Amazon with Prime shipping. They range from $13-$17 dollars per set. Because they are well-made, affordable and available, and gender-fair in color and content, Fair Play gives the Melissa & Doug play food and the Hape Pita Pocket 5 pinwheels.

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