Children’s books about food, a gift guide for 2018.
This collection of my favorite children’s books about food and farming is something I’ve been compiling for you for almost 3 years.
When Camille was little, I would take her to the library to choose new books, because, honestly, I would get tired of reading the same 20 books over and over to her. The first time we found a book about food, I suddenly became even more interested in reading to her.
I began collecting kids’ book titles that talked about food either in a cute silly way or a direct way that was meant to teach a lesson. I love all of these children’s books about food.
Fun fact, though: kids love repetition. So even though you feel like you just can’t read that silly rhyming book one more time, better grin and bear it. I’ve witnessed this when Camille picks up a book and pretends to read it. She knows all the words to her favorite books. And then, I can shoot a video of her ‘reading’ and send it to her grandparents to elicit praise about how gifted my child is. Little life trick for ya, hah.
Okay, onto the children’s books about food selections! Our tradition in our house is to open one gift on Christmas Eve, and that gift is usually a new book to read. This year, I picked up a collection of Princess books that are the ‘I Can Read’ books at the book fair a few weeks ago. I think it’s important to grab books that reflect your kids interests, which sounds obvious, but I say it because it’s a good reminder if you have a kiddo that doesn’t like to read. Sometimes, a comic book or a kid’s magazine (we love Highlights and Ranger Rick) is the gateway to reading for your kid.
Children’s Books About Food, the complete list:
1. CHOCOLATE MOUSSE FOR GREEDY GOOSE was the first book about food book I ever picked up, and we still love it’s playful rhyming. Parenting pro tip: when duck says ‘carrots? Yuck!‘ replace it with ‘carrots? YUM!’ And your kid will never learn to say carrots are yuck. Simple and easy to read children’s books about food.
2. YOU ARE MY LITTLE PUMPKIN PIE made me cry the first time I read it. I was deep in post partum depression, and it made me realize how much I was missing out on by being depressed. It made me turn over a new leaf; well, that and therapy. It’s just a cute rhyming story about how cute your little turkey is.
3. JULIA, CHILD was gifted to me, and it’s my favorite book on the list. It’s about two girls who try to make adults realize that they’re not living their best life by baking them amazing food. It’s great for ages 6+, but Camille still loves it at age 3.
4. JAMBERRY was recommended by a friend because she knows I’m a sucker for a good rhyme scheme that flows. Nothing drives me crazier than bad rhyming in a kid’s book with unequal syllables…looking at you, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, hah! That book rhymes for 2 pages and then quits, which makes me want to re-write the rest of the story. Jamberry is cute, simple and about picking berries.
5. BEE-BIM-BOP! makes me smile so much, especially because Camille loved to slurp soup when she was a babe. It’s about a family making bibimbap together from the grocery store to the dinner table. Cute rhymes!
6. THE VERY HUNGRY CATEPILLAR Are you even parenting if you haven’t read this to your kid 1000 times? I like this version because it has holes punched in the food and flaps for each fruit. It’s great to teach early counting and numbers, too.
7. BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL is a little old fashioned, but I still love the message of harvesting food to store for winter. It’s a cute book with animals, a mom and baby picking blueberries. The agriculturalist in me will overlook the anatomically incorrect photos of blueberry bushes.
8. MORE BLUERBERRIES! Yep, another book about blueberries. They are one of Camille’s favorite foods, what did you expect? It’s a cute story about two kiddos eating blueberries and taking a bath.
9. TOPS AND BOTTOMS Okay, you can say a lot of things about the social implications of this story, but we read it at face value. Simplistically, it’s a story about all the parts of vegetables that you can eat. If you want to dive deeper with your kids about sharing and equality (potentially share cropping and stealing), you can.
10. DANIEL TRIES A NEW FOOD We brainwashed Camille early with the Daniel Tiger song ‘You have to try new food ‘cuz it might taste good!’ (I can hear all of you parents singing that one with me). Since it comes from Daniel and not me, Camille believes it. I’ve literally sang this song to her and watched her eat Brussels sprouts. And asparagus. And cornbread. It works! This book is the follow-up to the episode about eating new food. Plus, it talks about frozen banana ‘ice cream’ which is Camille’s favorite thing ever. I have a recipe for healthy banana ice cream here.
11. TODAY IS MONDAY is an Eric Carle book based on the old song. You should probably google the song before you read the book, or else the book seems like a string of random words. Not that Eric Carle doesn’t have plenty of books that are quite literally strings of words, though. Hah, I love Eric Carle, but sometimes I need more words! He literally has a book without words, you know this, right?
12. PANCAKES, PANCAKES! I promise you I’m a huge Eric Carle fan. I had to decide between this book and Walter The Baker, and I chose this one because it’s more suitable for Camille’s age. Anytime barn yards animals are cooking breakfast foods, I’m in.
13. DRAGONS LOVE TACOS is such a cute book. Camille identified with the dragons because she doesn’t like spicy food, and every single time we eat tacos, we talk about this book.
14. LLAMA LLAMA YUM YUM YUM It’s about time someone made a scratch-and-sniff book for kids! This book makes me endlessly happy. We got it when we learned about all 5 senses, and it was a great way to breach the subject. Love the rhyming here, too!
15. CHICKS AND SALSA As a Texan who considers no meal complete without salsa, I adore this book about making salsa with animals.
16. ¡TODOS A COMER! (We are going to eat!) Camille showed an early interest in language (you might remember her at 18 months old saying the word ‘cardamom’ on my instagram). From there, she started choosing Spanish books at the library. My Spanish is decent; I studied it for 6 years, and lived in Costa Rica for a while. I like reading her a few new books a week that are in Spanish. This books teaches kids the alphabet using Spanish food. It’s a win-win for me! There are A LOT of words in this book, and you should know that everything is written in English and Spanish.
17. SHOULD I SHARE MY ICE CREAM? A silly book about sharing and melting ice cream. Camille loves it.
18. COOK-A-DOODLE-DO! My kid is a show-off in the kitchen, so she loves pointing out all the incorrect cooking and baking methods in this book. Overall, it’s a book about taking turns and working together to bake a strawberry shortcake.
One helpful tip I learned from teacher friends is that even if your kiddo is technically too old for board books, it’s great to pull them out again as they start showing an interest in reading. The words are simple and usually in large font on board books. Some of these children’s books about food are great for this.
I also just had 2 teacher friends tell me that most people stop reading to their kids by the fourth grade. They assume that since their kid can read by themselves, their job as a parent is done. It’s not true. Never stop reading to your kids. Never ever!
Camille is only 3, but I’m excited for the time that we can read chapter books together. I’ve actually been waiting over a decade to read the Harry Potter books with my kid. Once kids can read, I think it’s so fun to read a chapter book together each night. My teacher friends also tell me it’s important to let your kiddo read to YOU, too.
Leave me any book titles below that you think me and Camille might like! I hope you and your littles love these children’s books about food as much as we do!