Sometimes, learning about new foods during a meal is just too hard, especially if everyone is stressed (hello COVID lockdown!). Sometimes, even getting your child to the table for meals can be hard. One way around this is to start conversations around food, separate from mealtimes (without the pressure to eat or taste it). There are so many great books out there to help start a conversation and spark curiosity about different types of foods. Here are a few of our favorites.
Normally we would recommend seeing what is available at your library first before purchasing anything, however, that may or may not be an option currently. We have included Amazon links to the books listed below, however, you may be able to find them cheaper through used (online) book stores. Many times, you can even find a used version under the book options (kindle, hard cover, etc.) on the Amazon listing.
Fed Up!: A Feast of Frazzled Foods – See Anxious Apples, Impatient Ice Cream, lettuce that’s Suddenly Salad…whether they’re about to be eaten, melting in the hot sun or being tossed in a salad bowl, Rex Barron’s eye-catching characters are altogether hilarious, tragic, and so nearly human! A fresh and unique ABC for all ages–see the real feelings of the foods you eat. Irresistible fruits, vegetables and other foods bring new meaning to the food chain and a dose of humor to eating.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet – Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to the colorful foods that will help them grow up to be healthy and strong. Children and parents alike will want to devour the fun facts and charming illustrations of fruits from the familiar banana to the not as familiar yumberry.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet – Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to a colorful variety of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. Perfect to read aloud, this vegetable buffet will delight children and parents alike with its yummy vegetable facts and vibrant illustrations. Learning the ABCs has never been so delicious!
Eating the Alphabet – While teaching upper- and lowercase letters to preschoolers, Ehlert introduces fruits and vegetables from around the world. A glossary at the end provides interesting facts about each food.
Play With Your Food – How many times have you picked up a fruit or vegetable and laughed at how much it resembles an animal or person? Play with Your Food shows you how to look at something ordinary and turn it into something magical. No special tools or techniques are needed, just you and your child’s imagination.
Food For Talk – While not technically a book, this is a great resource for families who have difficulty knowing what to talk about during meals. This resource is filled with conversation starters with quotes and questions for stimulating family mealtime. Artfully designed recipe size box with 200 index cards inside that sits on your dinner table to promote meaningful conversation and bring families closer together.
Why Do People Eat? – This book introduces young children to fundamental aspects of nature, science, and technology, inspired by the questions children ask about the world around them. Simple text and detailed illustrations answer questions in clear, step-by-step stages.
How are you Peeling? – Who hasn’t looked at a fruit or vegetable and seen a funny face? In How Are You Peeling?–by the creator of the whimsical Play with Your Food–the “natural personalities” of produce are enhanced with black-eyed pea eyes and the occasional carved mouth–then photographed in vivid colors. Parents can use it to talk about different emotions or to help children to identify and articulate their mood of the moment.
Fast Food – By the same authors as How are you Peeling?, Fast Food makes great inspiration for older kids who still need to practice looking at, interacting with, and touching fruits and vegetables to help them work up to eating them someday.
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