Culinary Adventures: 7 Dietitian-Endorsed Books for Happy Eaters

As an expert children’s dietitian, I understand the struggles parents face when dealing with picky eaters. That’s why I’m excited to share some engaging food stories that can be a game changer for your child’s approach to food on World Book Day 2024.

Do you want to help your child build a healthy relationship with food and improve the variety of foods they eat? Tired of reading the same storybooks and looking for some new recommendations? This dietitian-approved blog post is for you!

Whether your child will eat anything or is a fan of only beige coloured food, storybooks are a great way to build positive mindsets around food! They can also promote dietary diversity by making your child familiar with new foods and help them learn about where food comes from and how it is prepared.

Best of all, this storytime away from the kitchen table can provide an entertaining, pressure-free environment for your child to learn about healthy eating! It may even have knock-on effects when you do sit down at mealtimes. Especially for picky eaters, books can be a fun, non-threatening way to learn about foods.

Immerse your child in a pressure-free, entertaining world of storytelling away from the dining table, creating a foundation for improved eating habits.

Check out these 7 handpicked favourites:

1. Every Night is Pizza Night

by J. Kenji López-Alt (Reading age: 3-5 years)

Pipo says it’s a scientific fact that pizza is the best food EVER and she loves to eat it every. single. day. Sound familiar? She decides to prove this by visiting her neighbours and trying all of their favourite foods. Will Pipo discover there are more foods to love than just pizza?

2. Green Eggs and Ham

by Dr. Seuss (Reading age: 3-7 years)

This is a classic! Whilst published in 1960, this book has stood the test of time as it tells the story of Sam-I-am as he tries to convince a grumpy character to try green eggs and ham. He is adamant he does not like them. Can Sam-I-am convince him that only by trying food can you know if you like it or not?

3. How Did That Get In My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food

by Chris Butterworth (Reading age: 5-8 years)

This book goes into detail about farm-to-fork in a really visual way, answering the question “where does our food come from before it gets to the store?” We learn about bread, cheese, tomatoes, apple juice, carrots, chocolate chip cookies, and oranges. Even as an adult you may learn something new!

4. I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato

by Lauren Child (Reading age: 3-5 years)

Lola is a fussy eater so her brother, Charlie creates fun and quirky names for her list of foods she would “never eat”. Carrots become orange twiglets from Jupiter! Potato becomes cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fiji! Why not try to do the same and come up with creative names for food at your next mealtime?

5. Which Food Will You Choose?

by Claire Potter (Reading age: 3-8 years)

At Nutrition 4 Kids NI we love to focus on colour and encourage you to think about the rainbow when preparing meals. In this book, Mummy is bored of beige foods, so she takes her children to the supermarket to play a game. Each day they have to pick 3 foods of a certain colour and then the story tells us what meals they made. After each colour, you as the reader are asked which 3 foods you would choose and how you would eat them. Lots of illustrations and an easy ‘game’ to replicate in real life during your next supermarket visit!

6. Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli

by Barbara Jean Hicks (Reading age: 3-7 years)

This is a really fun rhyming storyline about monsters who are served broccoli at a restaurant. But monsters eat tractors, rocket ships, and wheels. Will they change their mind about this green tree-like food (and convince your child too)?

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle (Reading age: 3-5 years)

No list of food storybooks would be complete without mentioning this famous book! It’s so popular you can find pop-up, magnet, and textured versions of the book as well as many toys. If you’re unfamiliar with the storyline, the caterpillar simply cannot satisfy his hungry as he eats through various different foods. Holes represent bites taken from the food which children will love to poke their fingers through. Beyond food education, this is also a great book for counting, learning days of the week, and explaining the life cycle of a butterfly.

Happy reading!

Need more support?

At Nutrition4Kids, we’re passionate about guiding parents in their journey to raise happy and healthy eaters. Join our mailing list for a wealth of expert advice on creating food fun plates and other valuable strategies to overcome fussy eating challenges. Would you like a tailored one-to-one online consultation with Dr. Kirsty to support you and your child in any challenges they may have with eating? Kirsty will work with you to create a bespoke & tailored approach to helping your little one, whatever the issue! Together, we can transform mealtimes into moments of joy and exploration.

Written by Dr Holly Neill, Nutritionist & Dr Kirsty Porter, Children’s Dietitian

 

 

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