Can reading picture books together help you raise a healthier eater? I recently shared my thoughts and my Picture Book Recipe for Raising Healthy Eaters.
If you'd like to give it a try, all you have to do is head to the library to pick out a couple of the following books (and then you can connect all kinds of dots from there):
Catch them before they become picky (toddlers):
The Carrot Seed, by Ruth Krauss (author) and Crockett Johnson (illustrator).
Jamberry, by Bruce Degen (family favorite - may have inspired my daughter's love of strawberries!)
Eating the Alphabet Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z, by Ruth Krauss (author) and Crockett Johnson (illustrator).
Vegetable Garden, by Douglas Florian.
Books picky eating preschoolers can relate to:
Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell Hoban.
Oliver's Vegetables, by Vivian French (author) and Allison Bartlett (illustrator).
Oliver's Fruit Salad, also by Vivian French.
The Seven Silly Eaters, by Mary Ann Hoberman.
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss.
D.W. the Picky Eater, by Marc Brown (a fun one, suggested by Jen Robinson)
Little Pea, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Jen Corace (recommended by @TaraLazar via Twitter)
Increase Understanding by blending Fiction and Nonfiction:
Where Does Food Come From? by Shelley Rotner and Gary Goss (ages 3 through 6).
The Vegetables We Eat, by Gail Gibbons (ages 7 through 10).
The ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond, by Steve Charney & David Goldbeck (2 books in one - alphabet book for preschoolers and extended info and connections for ages 4 through 12).
Ages 2 to 6:
Seed in Need: First Look at the Plant Cycle, by Sam Godwin (author) and Simone Abel (illustrator).
How a Seed Grows, by Helene J. Jordan (author) and Loretta Krupinski (illustrator).
Busy in the Garden, by George Shannon (author) and Sam Williams (illustrator).(poetry)
From Seed to Pumpkin, by Wendy Pfeffer.
Jack's Garden, by Henry Cole
In the Rabbitgarden, by Leo Lionni (carrot, apple connection)
Let's make rabbits, by Leo Lionni (fantastic art connection)
A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds, by Jean Richards (author) and Anca Hariton (illustrator).
Bread Comes to Life: A Garden of Wheat and a Loaf to Eat, by George Levenson (author) and Shmuel Thaler (photographer).
The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree, by Gail Gibbons.
Ages 6 to 14:
The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle
In Our Backyard Garden, by Eileen Spinelli (author) and Marcy Ramsey (illustrator) (poetry)
From Seed to Plant, by Gail Gibbons.
The Reason for a Flower, by Ruth Heller
A Seed is Sleepy, by Dianna Hutts Aston (author) and Sylvia Long (illustrator).
Seeds, by Ken Robbins (photographic book).
Seeds, Stems, and Stamens: The Way Plants Fit Into Their World, by Susan E. Goodman (author) and Michael J. Doolittle (photographer). *For mature readers between the ages of 9 and 14
Hands-on Cooking and Gardening Connections:
What shall I grow? by Ray Gibson.
Grow It, Cook It, by DK Publishing (includes photographs and recipes).
My Backyard Garden, by Carol Lerner (for serious gardeners and strong, independent readers)
Kids' Container Gardening, by Cindy Krezel
101 Kid-Friendly Plants: Fun Plants and Family Garden Projects, also by Cindy Krezel (great info for parents).
Bring out the playful side of food:
Food for Thought: The complete book of concepts for growing minds, by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers (photographic book to bring laughs and imagination).
The Little Red Hen, by Jerry Pinkney (add some drama, storytelling, and writing for ages 3 through 6).
The Giant Carrot, by Jan Peck (author) and Barry Root (illustrator) (A very funny book for ages 4 through 8, recipe included).
Tops and Bottoms, by Janet Stevens (great for starting conversation about different types of vegetables).
Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman (tie in creativity and individuality for ages 6 through 10).
Increase Cultural/Geographical/Historical/Global Understanding for ages 5 through 12 (pull out a world map or globe!):
Josias, Hold the Book, by Jennifer Riesmeyer Elvgren (author) and Nicole Tadgell (illustrator).
The Market Lady and the Mango Tree, by Pete and Mary Watson.
Sweet, Sweet Fig Banana, by Phillis Gershator (author) and Fritz Millevoix (illustrator).
How My Parents Learned to Eat, by Ina R. Friedman and Allen Say.
The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart
Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney.
A Cool Drink of Water, by Barbara Kerley.
Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown (European version)
Stone Soup, by Jon J. Muth
If you'd like to start at the beginning of this series, starting with Bread and Jam for Frances, please read the post, Of Picky Eating and Avid Reading. I've also sprinkled in some book selections from posts prior to this series.
I hope these help! Please feel free to share your experience, and even add favorite books to the list. I will continue to do so as I add blog posts about them. More ideas are popping into my head already...