Only what you need for your baby. Really. (OK – and some fantastic things you don’t that are pretty cool.)
Let’s face it: if you’re cooking dinner, your child is too. They like you, these kids of yours. So if you’re in the kitchen dicing vegetables, chances are, they’ll want to help. Especially with those colorful paring knives. Yeah, those are big draws in our house. Anyway, sooner or later, you’ll go looking for some play food for little Mario to manage on his own so your pork chops and their trychinosis can be left in peace. Let me recommend the Kidoozie veg and fruit set.
They’re fantastic. And I did some shopping around, trust me. For one, they come in their own little cloth shopping bag, so they can all be stored together. For another, all the fruits and veggies can be pulled apart (or “cut” with the enclosed plastic knife) as God intended: the orange splits into sections and the peel comes off, the cabbage “peels” back, the corn husk comes off, and so on. Little pieces of Velcro hold all the pieces together and has held up remarkably well – no issues so far and it’s been nearly a year since I handed the little bag of produce over to Astrid. I much prefer this set to any of our wooden food, which is much heavier and less life-like – which is probably why it’s also much less popular with the toddler crowd.
Most of the other sets I considered are either whole pieces of plastic or wood that can’t be separated/”cut” to see inside them, or they’re like Plan Toys’ set: they come apart, but at one arbitrary seam only. Small World Living Toys Peel n’ Play set is almost identical to the one we have (although only veg, no fruit) and I assume it’s also great, albeit slightly more expensive.
Get ’em excited about produce early – and give them something to cut up on the counter, other than their fingers!