The Education of a Foodie


The Wooden Sushi Slicing Playset indoctrinates your three-year-old into the Cult of Sushi, but also teaches her knife skills, which could prove useful if other foodie children try to steal her lunchtime panino.

For those foodie parents who want the ultimate gift for their own toddler or the toddler of friends–we give you the Wooden Sushi Slicing Playset. This thoughtful gift not only teaches kids how to wield a knife, it also teaches them reverence for the raw fish traditions of Japan. Heck, this sushi looks every bit as good as the stuff you find in salad bars. And it comes in a bento box, the way real Japanese food does.

The product was created by Melissa and Doug, a Wilton, Connecticut-based manufacturer of educational toys. The set makes audible cutting sounds as you slice the sushi, and includes chopsticks, pink pickled ginger, a blob of wooden wasabi, and, of course, a silver sushi knife.

Of course, it’s left to the doting foodie parents to teach their child about sustainability, and for that purpose the set contains shrimp that’s been farm-raised in Thailand, despoiling the groundwater and displacing small fishing communities up and down the coast, and bluefin tuna belly, which has been way overfished. Maybe the parents want to initially nail those pieces of sushi down in the bento, until the kids learn enough culinary self-restraint to simply not touch those pieces.

Perhaps more important, the sushi playset lays to rest forever something my parents used to tell me: “Don’t play with your food.”