10 Children’s Books About Food

Here is a list of picture books that gently encourage kids to try healthy foods. These excellent food-themed books both entertain and teach kids about fruits and veggies, food groups, and where food comes from. Do you have a favorite food-themed book? Please, share in the comments below!

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. This beautifully illustrated alphabet book introduces kids to new fruits and vegetables. Ages 2+

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. Describes growing vegetables and using the vegetables to make vegetable soup. Growing Vegetable Soup includes a delicious vegetable soup recipe that can be made with veggies from your local farmers’ market if you do not have time to grow all of the vegetables yourself. Ages 2+

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle. An entertaining tale to get kids thinking about where the ingredients in their foods come from. In Pancakes, Pancakes, a boy named Jack asks his mother to make him a pancake. Before Jack’s mother can make a pancake, Jack must help her by threshing wheat, gathering eggs, churning butter, etc. If Pancakes, Pancakes sounds appealing, you might also like Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie de Paola (an excellent wordless picture book with a remarkably similar plot) or How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman (a whimsical story about a girl who travels around the world in search of ingredients for an apple pie). Ages 3+

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child. My kids love Lauren Child’s stories of siblings Charlie and Lola! In I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, Charlie tricks Lola into trying new foods by making up stories about each one. For example, Charlie tells Lola that the carrots he has served are orange twiglets from Jupiter. By the end of this story, Charlie and Lola are both having fun pretending to eat ocean nibbles (fish sticks), cloud fluff (mashed potatoes), orange twiglets (carrots), moonsquirters (tomatoes), and green drops (peas). Ages 3+

The Edible Pyramid: Good Eating Every Day by Loreen Leedy. Another favorite of my kids. While the USDA has recently ditched the food pyramid and replaced it with my plate, The Edible Pyramid remains a fantastic, kid-friendly introduction to the basic food groups and can be used to help encourage kids to eat a variety of foods. Ages 3+

Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington. Pizza is my favorite food to cook with kids, so I sought out a good picture book about pizza. Pizza at Sally’s is written by Monica Wellington, whose colorful illustrations are always a hit with my kids. In Pizza at Sally’s, Wellington simply introduces the ingredients needed to make pizza and describes how Sally makes a pizza. Please, share your favorite books about pizza in the comments below! Ages 3+

Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens. A trickster tale with fantastic, Caldecott-worthy illustrations that teaches kids that we eat various parts of plants. For a meatier lesson about vegetables and plant parts, pair with The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons and let kids examine and taste various types of vegetables. Ages 4+

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. I love all Frances books, and Bread and Jam for Frances is one of my favorites. In Bread and Jam for Frances, Frances initially turns up her nose at all food other than bread and jam. However, when her mother decides to serve Frances only bread and jam, Frances quickly misses eating a variety of foods. I absolutely love Hoban’s descriptions of foods in this books as well as his both humorous and realistic portrayal of Frances’ feelings. Ages 4+

Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food by Lizzy Rockwell. An introduction to nutrients and the digestive system for kids ages five through nine. My kids really enjoy Lizzy Rockwell’s companion book about exercise: The Busy Body Book; the two could be read together. For more explicit encouragement for kids to eat healthy foods, see Eat Healthy, Feel Great by William Sears. Ages 5+

The Popcorn Book by Tomie de Paola. This book is chalk full of interesting information about popcorn. The Popcorn Book depicts two friends making popcorn. While one friend makes popcorn, the other friend reads facts about popcorn from a book. Despite the lack of plot, Tomie de Paola’s charming illustrations and the book’s subject matter — popcorn — are sure to appeal to a good number of kids. Ages 5+

You may also be interested in:

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20 Responses to 10 Children’s Books About Food

  1. Kelly Doolittle says:

    Rah, Rah Radishes is my current favorite!

  2. Reblogged this on mangia che ti fa bene bimbo! and commented:
    libri libri libri!!! ci piaciono tanto i libri!! sopratutto quando parlano di cucina per i bimbi!!! delightful childrens books ha fatto questo post davvero interessante con dei libri da avere in bibliteca a casa!! ed in cucina ovviamente :D

  3. heatherhaupt says:

    Eat Healthy, Feel Great is my favorite food and nutrition book. I blogged about our food adventures with it here: http://cultivatedlives.blogspot.com/2010/09/green-means-go.html

    My kids like to ‘train their tastebuds’ by trying new foods (most of the time) and we are constantly talking about green light foods, yellow light foods and red light foods. It helps them understand why we don’t always eat yummy (but unhealthy) food.

  4. kat says:

    Eat You Peas Ivy Louise is pretty funny as well.

    I love Bread and Jam for Francis, our copy is over 30 years old (my mother saved it from my childhood)
    Seven Silly Eaters is another great one about picky eaters. Since I have 5 such children, we tend to collect books that feature eating issues!

    • Amy says:

      My parents saved our copy of Bread and Jam for Frances too! I have a great little collection of books that my parents saved, but many of the picture books are too brittle to let my kids handle by themselves.

      I haven’t heard of either Eat Your Peas or Seven Silly Eaters. Thanks for sharing!

  5. In addition to the books listed, a few others we enjoy:
    The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
    Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
    Today is Monday by Eric Carle, my kids like to create their own weekly menus and sing the tune
    World Snacks series by Amy Wilson Sanger two of our favorites are First Book of Sushi and Hola! Jalapeno
    Vegetables by Sara Anderson, for the bright, bold veggies

  6. Beth says:

    What fun! I love doing activities based on books! If you are interested, I am starting a Linky Party if you want to link up at http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-ever-linky-party.html

  7. Anonymous says:

    I love Grace Lin’s The Ugly Vegetables, too.

  8. jama says:

    Hi Amy!
    This post is right up my alley :). I’ve done food-related picture book roundups on my blog, too. A few recent titles I’ve enjoyed:

    Easy as Pie by Cari Best
    How Did That Get in My Lunchbox by Lucia Gaggiotti
    Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji by F. Zia
    Rah Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre

    I like all the books you’ve included here, except Edible Pyramid, which I haven’t seen yet. Thanks for the heads up — will check it out!!

  9. pragmaticmom says:

    I LOVE your book choices!!!! We have about half of them in our bookshelves and they are very beloved! Love your post! Thank you!!

    Pancakes, Pancakes (my youngest adores this book!)
    Tops and Bottoms (a book club book for 1st grade)
    I will never, not ever, eat a tomato (love lola!)
    Eating the Alphabet (love her artwork!)
    Bread and Jam for Frances (my personal favorite!!!) I quote it when we eat spaghetti and meatballs much to the bemusement of my children!

  10. Little Pea is another cute “food” book.

    • Amy says:

      Yes! I like that book too. At a certain age, kids think the joke of making little pea eat candy is so funny.

      • Have you read, Spoon by the same author? It is written with the same wit. The other utensils in the story esteem Spoon’s special pot banging abilities; it’s the dish that gets to run away with the spoon; and they delight in his ability to jump into bowls of ice cream.

        Thanks again for sharing these food inspired stories, Amy!

    • dki (@dki) says:

      Seconded! Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is also awesome. Another favorite is called Carl’s Odyssey. It’s a picture book about a little garlic lost in a grocery store. My niece and nephew love it!

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