Only what you need for your baby. Really. (OK – and some fantastic things you don’t that are pretty cool.)
Astrid loves vegetables. I don’t feel like I can take much credit for that because I’ve tried to get her to like fruit too and it hasn’t worked at all. We just got lucky. (Well, that and her first foods were veggies, so that might’ve helped a little.) Like most toddlers, she also likes “helping” in the kitchen, so play food became an early focus of my little kid shopping.
I have to say, for the size of the market, I’m not super impressed with the offerings (lots of heavy wood “food” that’s unwieldy and unrealistic – are you listening Melissa & Doug??), but I am loving on the Hape Garden Salad. After hunting for something that seemed fun and not just heavy (the food group and the actual toy!), I ordered the Garden Salad as soon as I found it.
Like the Kidoozie veggie set, it’s – I don’t know what the right phrase is here – “anatomically correct” (??) and looks like an actual salad. Felt lettuce leaves and carrot sticks and little wood tomato and cucumber slices with seeds, rings of red and yellow pepper and some onion slices to boot. The set also includes oil and vinegar bottles, a pepper shaker that makes a shaking noise, salad serving tools and a plastic bowl for the whole healthy meal.
Unlike most of the rest of her play food which lies there like plastic or wooden bricks, this looks like something I bring to the table for dinner, and she plays with it every day. I also love that it’s a.) small, and b.) a healthy example.
Hape Garden Salad set, $25 at Land of Nod (they’ve re-named it the Leafy Keen Salad Set, but it’s the Hape Garden Salad) or $28 at Amazon