Books to engage interest in eating and cooking:
One way to excite children about eating and/or cooking is to start from an existing interest. Most children love reading/sharing books. So why not spark a curiosity about food through stories? Stories may encourage children to make healthy food choices in later life.
Some of these story books encourage an appreciation for the foods we eat. Others are very informative and educational for young children. A few books are great for picky eaters and encourage positive attitudes towards food. Some of the books even introduce a real recipe that can be prepared in the kitchen by children with adult support. The rest are vaguely linked to food but are more just fun books to read!
A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Most children love this story about a caterpillar’s diet before he changes into a beautiful butterfly. Good for counting skills too.
Avocado Baby by John Burningham
A fussy eater loves eating an avocado which makes him strong.
Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey
Sal can’t resist eating the delicious blueberries. Little bear cub also can’t resist them. A lovely story where both end up following the wrong mother.
Eating The Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
A great book with bright and colourful pictures introducing fruit and vegetables to children.
Eddies Kitchen by Sarah Garland
Eddie loves cooking and makes a wonderful birthday cake for his grandad. There are some other fun recipes too.
End Of The Rainbow Fruit Salad by Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak & Marianne Welsh
A lovely rhyming story/recipe book introducing different fruits. Great for colour recognition and counting skills too. This story also promotes healthy eating.
Garden Safari Vegetable Soup by Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak & Marianne Welsh
Perfect for sharing with your toddler and inspiring you to get in the kitchen together. A fun rhyming book encouraging healthy eating.
Go Go Grapes! by April Pulley Sayre
A really fun to join in rhyme with colourful photographs. A great way to learn the names of different fruit.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss
A fun rhyming story that children like to join in with. The boy learns that you shouldn’t say you don’t like something unless you have tried it.
Green Is A Chile Pepper by Roseanne Thong
A rhyming story about food and their colours.
Gregory, The Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat
A fun story about a goat who is a picky eater. He prefers to eat healthy foods!
Guacamole by Jorge Argueta
A fun poem about guacamole with a recipe.
Handas Suprise by Eileen Browne
A bright and colourful picture book about a little girl who carries a variety of fruits in a basket. They get eaten one by one by various animals.
How Did That Get In My Lunchbox? by Chris Butterworth
A basic introduction into where some of our food comes from.
How To Make An Apple Pie by Marjorie Priceman
A lovely story about gathering the ingredients needed to make an apple pie.
I Will Not Ever Never Eat A Tomato by Lauren Child
A great story to share with picky eaters. Lola ends up eating the fruit she most hates purely down to it being called something else.
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
A beautifully illustrated book about a boy and a bear searching for a variety of berries.
Lady and Bella’s Alphabet Kitchen by Annette Bridges
A fun story about two dogs with an a to z of recipes.
Lidia’s Egg-Citing Farm Adventure by Lidia Bastianich
A story introducing where eggs come from with recipes including eggs and chicken.
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A fun story about a pea who dreads dinner time and is only allowed his vegetables if he eats his sweets.
Oliver’s Fruit Salad by Alison Bartlett
Oliver learns to enjoy the colourful and tasty fruit by making a fruit salad from the fruit that his grandpa grows.
Oliver’s Vegetables by Alison Bartlett
Oliver will only eat chips until he visits his grandpa and learns all about vegetables.
Pancakes Pancakes by Eric Carle
Children will learn the ingredients needed to make a pancake. A fun story for younger children.
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
A story mainly about friendship but the animal characters make pumpkin soup along the way. A recipe is included.
Rah Rah Radishes by April Pulley Sayre
A really fun to join in rhyme with colourful photographs. A great way to learn a range of vegetables.
Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham
There are some surprising things to be found in this sandwich! A fun sandwich shaped book with lift the flaps.
Sylvia’s Spinach by Katherine Pryor
Sylvia finds that growing the vegetable encourages her to enjoy eating it.
The Hungriest Dragon by Kimberly Segraves
The Incredicle Edible Alphabet Book by Aunty Rozzy
A fun way to learn about healthy food and the alphabet along the way!
The Yummy Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta
This may inspire little chefs to try new things. Some interesting foods are covered as children consolidate learning the alphabet.
Too Pickley by Jean Reidy
A fun and great to read out loud text. Perfect for picky eaters.
Why not try and find books that encourages your child to want to cook something?
Do you have any favourite books of this type that you could share with us?