Adults and children see scale in relation to dolls differently. Most kids just don't care about scale perfection! Our adult side thinks things ought to go together, they should be the right size,--''scale''-- just like what we see in real life. Kids don't.
With American Girl doll collecting there are two camps: one camp wants larger items, the other likes smaller things. Even Mattel is confused about scale, just look at the pets they sell for the Girl dolls! Most of them are far too small in relation to a 9-year-old girl. A cat will often come up to a girl's knees; dogs are much taller. A Golden Retriever would have to be at least 12 inches tall! People don't want that much space consumed by the girl's possessions!
When most people think of how large some of the items would really be if they were scaled perfectly to a girl, they make the error of thinking of the scale in relation to a girl doll being an adult size. Most nine-year-olds are far shorter than an adult! 18 inches is 1/4 of a 6-foot tall adult. We'd need to get most items at 1/4 of the size of a real item. And when was the last time you saw a 6-foot 9-year-old girl?! I still think 1/4 is too large for many american girl-sized items. For example, a full-sized loaf of bread is more than 12 inches long. I think most of my customers would be upset if my loaves of bread were 3 inches or more long! I think 1/5 is closer to reality for bread: 12/5=2.4 inches. 1/5 is not a miniature size supported by any supplier anywhere!
Soost of the Mattel/AG items run a tad small. These are some of the reasons why Lovvbugg has so many different items--and why I try to be very accurate with the dimensions I put in my descriptions.
When you look at the food, think about how it would look in relation to a girl's hand, not an adult's.If a real hot dog is six inches long, a doll hot dog would have to be at least 1-1/2 inches long. That's OK. However, I do find a lot of things that really run a little small, but I know people will like them, anyway, and they have sold well for 25 years!
We adults just cannot always get perfect scale so we need to look for items that fit in with the display/collection we are building. I know a lady who has made display boxes full of mini confections (bakery treats). Some run large and some run small in the same box. The finished product looks fantastic!
Buy what you like, when you look at it with you child eyes it will look PERFECT!