Everyone wants their children to eat more fruit and veg - right? And yet our children watch programmes and movies and read books that are often full of treats and sweets, ice cream and doughnuts, pizza and fast food.
A lovely activity to do either in the pre-school classroom or at home, is to read stories that present healthy food in a positive, fun way, thus making them more attractive to kids.
These books fall into two broad categories, in my humble opinion. The first category is educational books that teach the children about fruits and vegetables, how they grow and where they come from. For example, Are You What You Eat by DK Publishing. The second presents food in a fun way through stories, rhymes and pictures.
A simple idea to make these stories more interesting and interactive for the children is to incorporate the real food from the book into your story-telling. This can work in school as well as at home. In Kevin and Kate’s Food Adventure, they talk about carrots so you could simply prepare some carrots and eat them during the course of the story.
Here is a list of 5 books that would be suitable for this kind of activity :
Kevin and Kate's Food Adventures - These lovely Irish books look at growing vegetables, making bread and where milk comes from through the eyes of Kevin and Kate.
Bread and Jam for Frances - Talks about a fussy eater who only wants to eat - you guessed it, bread and jam! But then Frances the Badger eventually gets sick of it - the moral of the story being that you can get too much of a good thing.
Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli - This is a fun, bright, rhyming book about monsters and broccoli. It features the most stunning illustrations that the kids are bound to love. A good one for younger children.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: This classic children’s book can be twinned with lots of activities such as tasting all the foods the caterpillar tries (yes, even the desserts - if you have a fussy eater, getting them to try any new food is an achievement! It can also help normalise treats.)
I Will, Not Ever, Never Eat A Tomato: This Charlie and Lola book is a firm favourite with The Cool Food School. The story is funny and you can encourage everyone at the end to try “tomato squirters'.