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I have been a Home Start volunteer for a numbers of years now and often attend training sessions and seminars, all based on expanding my skills towards better helping the family I am connecting with. At one such training session I mentioned a child in the family I visited at the time, at eight years old he was heading in the same direction as his morbidly obese mother - he barely knew what an apple looked like, instead always eating very high fat foods. The gentleman I spoke to gave me this healthy food playset for the young lad, also giving me pointers on how to prompt both him and mum into a healthier diet and overall lifestyle. Unfortunately the family disappeared, to this day I don't know what happened but I never saw them again despite having pre-arranged appointments. After a while I gave the playset to my granddaughter; she had a collection of plastic foods and I thought this would make a nice addition, the smart plastic shopping basket being very useful as she was running out of storage space for her 'groceries'. The idea of this set, as opposed to others available, is to encourage children to choose the healthy option over the more popular burgers or fish fingers. The pieces represent cooked chicken breasts, apple slices, a kiwi fruit, peas, spaghetti bolognese, a glass of milk plus many other items of a healthy nature. They are all exceedingly well constructed, the plastic is thick but has a certain amount of bend to it to reduce the risk of the food breaking. It is the type of hollow plastic that will bend if trodden on, but will rarely split. The colours are rather muted which I found a little disappointing, although they are rather true to the bland hues that 'healthy' food tends to come in! My granddaughter plays very regularly with this food set, it's completely unlike any of her other plastic foods and I think this is the main appeal for her. She enjoys creating proper meals for us all, rather than simply putting plastic burgers and cardboard boxes of fries onto her plastic play plates. With this set she can offer us chicken and potatoes, vegetarian options and even mix it with her less healthy food for pub style meals such as chicken and chips with a small salad on the side. I can't say I've noticed her taking more of an interest in healthy eating since beginning to play with this set, having said that my granddaughter tends to habitually go for healthy options rather than fat laden junk food anyway. My one 'complaint' would be that the majority of the foods in this set are main meal components whereas I'd like to see more healthy snack foods included, quite simply because this is where a childs decision comes into play as a nutritionally educated parent will be the one to choose their actual meals. This isn't really a complaint, more a suggestion for the next range of healthy play food - if indeed there is a next range. Overall, however, I am more than happy with this set of play food and so is my granddaughter. The fact that the components can be stored in the 'shopping basket' means it's unlikely pieces are going to become lost and there is barely a mark on any of the foods, despite numerous play sessions with the set.
We brought this healthy play dinner set for our daughters for christmas last year to go with there new kitchen, it is more expensive than a lot of the other play foods on the market and we only chose to buy this due to the fact that it came with a shopping basket which i thought would be a nice addition to the till and shopping trolley we had already brought them, it cost £10. It is great for young children for pretend dinner play and is suitable for children 3 years and over, i have known people to give these to younger children but in my opinoion the carrots are very small and could easily be swallowed. The food is made of good quality plastic so should last a long time and is very realistic looking, in the basket you get carrots, spagetti, a jar of spagetti sauce, chicken breast, peas, beans, potatoes, 4 apple slices, french bread and milk. My daughters have had hours of fun playing with this set and the youngest has even had a go at eating some of the pieces, It is a good way of teaching children what is healthy to eat. Aswell as the dinner set there are two other sets to buy, the breakfast set and the lunch set all containing other healthy foods and is great if you have all 3 as you have a very good variety of foods.
Set contains a variety of nutritious food options to play with.