Have you ever meet a picky eater? My own kids have gone through picking eating stages.
I think that is important to determine why kids may be selective when trying a variety of foods. Could it be that the child has sensory sensitivities? Has the child only been offered a handful of choices in the past? There are so many reasons a child may not feel comfortable about trying and eating new foods.
When we are working on introducing new things, I find it is easier when we use books for kids. My hope is that the books on this list help encourage your child to try new foods.
I read A LOT of books in prepping this list and I must admit that I wasn’t thrilled with many of the choices specifically about picky eaters. There were several that chose to display the picky eaters as brats. I was disappointed in this portrayal of the main characters. My hope is that more books will be written in the future that address a variety of kids and there situations that cause them to be selective eaters. The books in the picky eater section are the best of the ones that I found.
BOOKS FOR KIDS
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I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child shares the story of Lola who is a fussy eater. Her brother’s creative imagination helps coax his sister into eating her meals.
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman and beautifully illustrated by Marla Frazee gives us the glimpse into a family with seven children all of which only like to eat one food. Peter only likes warm milk. Lucy only drinks pink lemonade. Then there is Mac who only eats smooth oatmeal. Needless to say, their mom grows very tired of making seven different things for seven different kids. Mrs. Peter’s birthday is coming up and the kids all decide to combine their favorite foods to create a cake for their mom.
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann introduces us to a little girl who ate so many pink cupcakes that she turned pink. The doctor gave her the diagnosis of “Pinkititis” and the only remedy was to eat things that were green for a whole week. Well, she doesn’t listen and continues to eat pink cupcakes. Finally, when she gets worse and turns red, she decides to eat things that are green. My kids loved this book. I wish it didn’t portray the green foods as being icky though.
Too Pickley! by Jean Reidy takes us down the road of all the excuses we hear for why kids don’t like something. It’s “too slimy” or “too sticky” and the list goes on and on. It’s a very quick read with bright pictures and one that most selective eaters will identify with in relation to their own preferences.
Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat is the story of a goat who didn’t like normal goat food. He preferred fruits and vegetables. His parents take him to the doctor where it is advised that they start to introduce one new food at a time. Gradually, his parents are able to balance his diet with things that he likes with traditional goat foods.
Is there drama in your house when certain foods are served? Night of the Veggie Monster by George McClements walks us through the dinner dramatics that can occur when a food we don’t think we like is served.
Pickysaurus Mac by Sandra Miller Linhart is one of very few books I could find that addresses the sensory challenges that some children deal with at mealtime.
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert introduces kids to a variety of fruits and vegetables from A to Z. This would be a fun challenge for your kids to try a new food for each letter of the alphabet.
Jack & The Hungry Giant by Loreen Leedy starts like the traditional Jack & The Beanstalk story. But, instead of the Giant wanting to eat Jack, he invites him to stay for a healthy meal. They explore the food groups and prepare a yummy healthy feast. Now my son loves to make sure his plate looks like the giant’s plate. This has been the best book for my 4 year-old!
There is a series of books for early readers about healthy foods. Photographs and simple text explain the benefits of eating healthy. Great for young readers who want to read on their own about the topic. Titles include Vegetables, Fruit, Grains, Dairy, Protein and more.
Trying New Foods
Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds is a super silly book about farm animals that get tired of their same old same old feed. They decide to liven things up by using ingredients from the garden to create some tasty Mexican dishes. This is a fun book that may encourage little ones to try some new ethnic foods. The last page even hints to a new ethnic food path to explore too.
The King and Queen in The Prince’s Breakfast by Joanne Oppenheim set off on a food adventure to try and expose their son to some new foods. They travel to the city of Agra where the chef steams rice cakes with chutney and to Mexico for fried eggs, avocados, salsa and cheese. But, it isn’t until someone introduces the Prince to KETCHUP that the youngster discovers yummy foods. I could totally relate with this book because my kids love ketchup on everything!
Princess Picky by Marjorie Priceman is similar to The Prince’s Breakfast. A little Princess refuses to try new foods. Everyone at that palace tries to convince her to try new things. Finally, she meets a wizard who gives her some magic seeds. He promises that here wishes will come true if she plants them. Will it work?
Books with Recipes
Encourage kids to try different foods by reading books about new foods. All of these books have recipes included!
Cooking with kids is another great way to get kids to experiment with new tastes. Here are a few of our favorite cook books for kids.
Also, if you would like more advice about helping picky eaters expand their food likings, you can check out Peace But Not Quiet’s post How to Help Your Picky Eater.
Enjoy exploring books about food with your kids!