07/08/2009 04:46 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Why I Love...Playing With Food

Lots of parents worry about their child being a fussy eater. We come up with all sorts of strategies to get our children to have a more positive attitude to food. But sometimes, no matter what you do, your child will still see new foods as something to be feared rather than enjoyed.

This is where play can help - if your child doesn't want to get involved in the kitchen, they may prefer role play games with pretend food instead. And the world of play food has come a long way since strings of plastic sausages.

These are the latest on the menu:

Some of the best food toys to tempt your fussy eater that food isn't so scary after all

  • Haba is a German company which makes lovely toys and games. Their game The Food Pyramid (left) encourages an interest in nutrition by asking children to work out whether a cheese sandwich is better than an apple. They also do some beautiful soft toys in the shape of fruit and veg. Bambino Goodies recommends this and others in the range here.
  • But it's not all healthy eating, as they also do a toy Doner Kebab. Yes, it's never too early to get your child ready for when they're a feckless student and kebabs are the mainstay of their diet.
  • It's debatable whether children need encouraging to try more fast food, but if that's your dilemma, you can get play sets of McDonalds (Drive Thru version), KFC and pizza.
  • As a healthier option, the Veggie Gang Toys (below) invite you to make friends with Billy Broccoli, Casper Cabbage, Sally Swede and others.
  • Mr Potato Head is the ultimate play food, and he's now available as a chef set. Let's hope he never tries to make chips, could be a case of toy cannibalism.

Of course, you can always go the opposite route and turn your food into a toy, as my daughter did when she took a carrot and four matchsticks to make Dennis the Dog. Easy to take for walks and no poopy scooping involved.