Real Food Toys For Children

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

Do you have a little play kitchen or toy tea set for your toddler or young child to cook up and serve imaginary meals?

Did you find yourself frustrated as I was when you bought the huge box of play food to go along with the kitchen set only to discover that the toy foods overwhelmingly included unhealthy choices like boxed cereal, processed condiments, french fries, fast food boxes, and pasteurized milk cartons?

I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t want my children playing with these fake food toys as I felt it would establish an unhealthy subconscious memory in their minds.

In the end, I ended up throwing away over half the play food I had purchased keeping only the vegetables, fruits, eggs and chicken drumsticks!

Now there is no need to waste money on play food that you don’t want.

I was thrilled over the weekend to receive an email from a reader names Bess Taylor who recently turned her sewing hobby into a business.

She hand sews the most beautiful little healthy play food you’ve ever seen!   She even told me that her healthy fats play food set shown in the picture to the right was inspired by my post Five Fats You Must Have in Your Kitchen!

If you’ve been looking for safe, healthy toys for your children that promote the correct nutritional message into their little developing brains, these toys are worth checking out!

Just remember that these lovely toys are hand sewn so if you want them for a birthday or Christmas gift, order ahead of time to give Bess time to prepare your order!

To see the full line of BessMess toys, click here.  She even has a little toy jug of raw milk for your child’s play refrigerator!


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Comments (20)

  1. Thanks for posting this. My 2 year old got a play kitchen for Christmas with a box of “food”. There was an egg in there, sunny side up…but the rest was french fries, donuts, pizza, burgers on buns, cherry pie…it’s amazing! I love to sew and am now excited to make some real food for my kids…!

  2. So cute! A few Christmases ago I made an advent calendar for my kids where each day was a clue to find one piece of felt food I had made for them. Strawberries, kiwi, eggs, bacon, carrots, chicken legs, etc. By Christmas they had a whole basket of cute felt foods that they loved playing with. I had fun making them too, but they were a lot of work. :)

  3. Ikea sells these! One set has a cloth basket filled with fruit and veg, the other set has a soft cutting board, knife, bacon & egg breakfast & sandwich-type stuff. All fabric. I really hate plastic, so I got them for my childbirth classes for when I talk about nutrition. They are really reasonably priced too.

    • I have the IKEA sets as well. I have them in my waiting room for children to play with while they are waiting for their lesson. They LOVE them! One basket is full of fruits and the other is full of vegys! Yea!! (no junk food play sets….yuk)

      While I’m on the subject…..has anyone noticed the overwhelming array of “character-based” toys on the market? What ever happened to the simple toys that sparked imaginative play?? (not just imaginative scenes based on an already existing character from a movie or tv show).


  4. Stephanie B Cornais April 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Those are awesome!! I just did a felt food exchange with some friends and it was so much work. I would be trilled to pay for some good felt food for my daughter! Thanks!

  5. Elizabeth Jaconelli April 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Love this! I did the same thing, tossing out the unmentionables :). I will definitely check her stuff out!

  6. This is fantastic! I too was searching for more appropriate food sets. Ikea had some nice fruit and vegetable ones and we found some Plan toys wood ones with proteins. I also gave my daughter used bottles and jars from our pantry – honey, cottage cheese, raw butter etc. I love seeing talented people take the initiative and fill a gap in the market! Will definitely share this!

  7. Love it! We were given some wonderful wooden playfood sets, and they have real foods like veggies, fruit, and bread. They are attached by velcro and come with a special knife to slice them. They are made by ‘Melissa & Doug’. Ikea also has real food playsets, the foods are made of felt, which is a great alternative to potentially toxic plastics. My kiddos put their playfood in their mouths but I don’t have to worry about it.

    • We also have the Ikea food sets. I don’t think there’s any fake food in those. One of them is a sandwich set and includes sausage, cheese, and what looks to be whole grain bread … OK, so there’s a slice of white bread, too, but maybe we can pretend that’s GF rice/millet bread. :-)


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