Children's books about food, a gift guide for 2018.
You may also like my other gift guides: Gifts for Her, Gifts for Him, my Gift Guide for Minimalists, or my Gift Guide for Newlyweds.
This collection of my favorite children's books about food and farming is something I've been compiling for you for almost 5 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 Simplistically, this is 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. Never have I ever eagerly awaited a sequel for a book more than DRAGONS LOVE TACOS 2.
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. 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. Now, at age 5, Camille is in a Spanish school, so start 'em young!
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!
Other gift guides I have: Gift Guide for Minimalists and Gift Guide for Newlyweds.
Stephanie @ Long Distance Baking says
My mom read the first four Harry Potter books to my sister and me, and we were definitely over 4th grade. It’s a great memory because I LOVE Harry Potter and feel like it’s such a big part of my childhood, all because she brought that first book home ❤️
1000000% agree about books that don't rhyme well. My husband reads to our 4 month old, but will only read books that rhyme well- if they don't rhyme he won't do it. He's also taken to singing them as a result. Its very sweet.
Love this list! Can't wait to send it to my mom as a "what to get the baby list"
You have to include Strega Nona on this list!!!
You should read “Pancakes” it’s a board book that is super interactive and it reads through a real recipe. Actually very similar to your pancakes for two recipe! They also have “Pizza” where you actually kneed the dough and “Tacos” where they get to chop the veggies. My kids still pick them up every time the books are available at our library.
This is not food-related at all but since Camille is into princesses, you might check out The Princess in Black series. They are chapter books, but every page still has pictures. I would say it takes me about 20 minutes to read the entire book to my son. He LOVES this series. It is about a princess named Princess Magnolia who is secretly a monster-defeating superhero called The Princess in Black. Very silly, very entertaining.
Christina Lane says
Thank you so much, Sarah! It sounds totally up her alley!
Can I eat this? By Joshua Stein is another great one about the kitchen and food. Great design highly recommend his other book as well.
Christina Lane says
Oh thank you for the rec! It looks adorable!
Have you seen a book called "The Wonky Donkey" it is so funny. There is a you tube video of a Scottish Grandma reading it to her young grandson and she can hardly keep it together. It may be younger than you read to your Camille but really is too funny. Picked up a copy for our 2 yr old grandson.
I'm all in for this list- but don't hate on Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! That was one of my very favorites as a child and I still have it today at 32!
Karen C says
I just heard an interview with a foodie recommending a book with drawings by Mary Azarian, of woodcut fame. sounded fabulous, all about food AND the food chain, including the farmer, the delivery guy, all down the line. Googling, I found "Before We Eat." sounds perfect for kids to learn the source of the food they eat.
Leave me any book titles below that you think me and Camille might like! Excuse me! This should say: Leave me any book titles that you think CAMILLE AND I (not me) MIGHT LIKE. Get a child's grammar book- there's one called "Eats, shoots and Leaves" by Lynn Truss. A favour to Camille from you would be for her to hear you speaking correctly and getting your pronouns right. "I" is for the subject, "me" is for the object. People make this mistake all the time but it is not hard to understand and get right. If children hear it used correctly by parents right from the start then they don't have to correct their "hearing" later on.
Thank you for your list. The Little Cat and the Greedy Old Woman
by Joan Rankin is another book Camille will love. There are messages on several levels...sharing, having pets, controlling anger etc. You will love it!
I'm sure your comment was well intentioned, but goodness it sounds rude and patronizing. She has a master's degree and writes (successfully) for a living; I'm sure she is teaching her daughter impeccable grammar. Perhaps the book recommendations would have been sufficient here.
Christina Lane says
THANK YOU for saying this. I appreciate you so much! That comment got under my skin and stuck with me for a few days.
Your comment made me feel so much better! I'm not super public about this, but I have my daughter in an educational pre-school, and I use home-school materials at home to teach her letters, numbers and the basics of reading. When someone makes an offhand comment that I'm not raising my daughter properly, it really STINGS.
Thanks again, Julie. You are an amazing human, and I'm so glad you're here :)
Oh my word. I don't correct other people's grammar unless I find errors in the grammar of the person doing the correcting. Christina, you are correct. It's "me and Camille." ("Camille and me" is preferred, but both are grammatically correct.) You use "me" instead of "I" in a prepositional phrase, the phrase starting with "for." I would've left it alone, but Jan is blasting you for being incorrect when she, in fact, is incorrect.