Melissa & Doug Food Play Sets

For Christmas after my son turned two, his grandparents bought him a play kitchen. He already had a set of pots and pans and a set of felt food from Ikea, but now he had a kitchen to cook it all in!

I went online to look for different options when it came to play food… even tutorials for making my own. When I was a kid, my sister had some plastic play food and it wore out pretty fast. Paint chipped and pieces broke because of fatigue and rough play. We were pretty hard on them, actually trying to take bites of the plastic pizza or fried chicken.

I decided to stick to only wood and felt play sets for TJ— and I’m still on the fence about making some play food from scratch.

Then I came across the food play sets from Melissa & Doug. There are a lot of different ones! Some are made of wood and some are all felt. Over the last couple of birthdays and this past Christmas, TJ has accumulated a total of four Melissa & Doug food sets and he adores each and every one of them.

A couple of them have come with a wooden knife and some pieces that Velcro together to let my son “slice” the food. I can’t even begin to describe the look of joy on TJ’s face when he “sliced” a piece of bok choy for the first time.

He had been more and more eager to help out when I make dinner, but I wasn’t ready to let him have a go at using a real knife just yet. This definitely scratched that itch for him.

Here’s what we have:

  • Stir Fry Slicing Set – It comes with a wok, velcro-tipped chopsticks, a knife and a variety of food pieces that can be “sliced,” including bok choy and red bell pepper. He loves that he has a wok just like his daddy and he has thoroughly enjoyed making lunch or dinner for us with a combination of yummy items like shrimp, mushrooms and snap peas.

  • Sushi Slicing Set – This set totally made me laugh when I saw it. The whole package comes in a wooden bento box. It comes with two sets of different rolled maki sushi that can be sliced with the big cleaver that is also included. There are also a couple of pieces of nigiri sushi that are stacked with velcro and secured in place with a piece of dark green satin ribbon as the “nori.” A little cup holds a piece of wooden wasabi and a couple of pieces of felt pickled ginger. I think this set is my favorite so far.

  • Sandwich-Making Set – This set comes with all of the fixings to make a sandwich and a hamburger. It comes with four slices of bread that can be “sliced” too. It’s a fun set that is often combined with some of the elements of his other play sets. I often get a piece of wooden cheese on top of my pizza or in my stir fry. I have also been served a hamburger that includes a couple of pieces of sushi. Yummy!

  • Felt Pizza Set – TJ really loves this set and I love all of the amazing detail that was put into it. This one is all felt except for a plastic pizza tray and a very authentic-looking pizza box that was the packaging. The top flap is tucked back when it’s on display. Genius idea, Melissa & Doug! This set comes with a ton of toppings: pepperoni, onions, tomatoes, peppers, olives, and mushrooms. It also includes thin, removable felt layers of pizza sauce and cheese.

Pizza has been my son’s play lunch of choice since he got the pizza set, often making a unique slice just for his mama and daddy. For some reason, he thinks I’d enjoy a slice topped with pepperoni, onions, a fried egg and a pancake. Yum!

Other fun meals have included a stir fry made with broccoli, tomatoes, pancakes and a lemon.

Since the start of winter and mama making more soups for dinner, TJ has been making more soups as well. Who wouldn’t love a soup made with sushi rolls, hamburger, bell pepper and shrimp?

My husband and I are starting to teach TJ about yummy food combinations, food preparation, and the four food groups. We both love cooking and we love to eat, so we hope to instill the same enthusiasm towards food onto TJ. We are also hoping that him continuing to be enthusiastic about his play food and kitchen will help him be a less picky child when it comes to eating real food. So far it’s been working a bit.

I am really impressed with the durability of these pieces and how well-designed they are. No paint is chipping, no Velcro is peeling off and no pieces have broken.

The design of the pieces really makes TJ think about the food he’s preparing and I know he loves how grown up it makes him feel to get to slice his food and make a meal for his mama and daddy.

TJ plays in his kitchen each and every day, and has for more than a year— not many toys can make a claim like that. I almost wish he had a bigger kitchen so I could get him more play food, but his fridge is over-flowing!

Where I bought mine: One Lucky Mama
What I paid: between $12 and $15 per set (some were on sale)
Average price range: $9 – $23 (depending on the set)
Where it is available: Amazon, Melissa & Doug, One Lucky Mama, and many, many other stores!

One Response to Melissa & Doug Food Play Sets

  1. Great recommendation – Melissa and Doug toys always seem to be such high quality too.

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