Having a hard time getting your little one to eat anything beyond pasta? Welcome to the club. While some kids are adventurous eaters, getting children to try, not to mention regularly include, a wider range of nutrition-rich foods in their diets is a battle faced by many a parent.
Here are two books that might help you stir up your child’s interest in fruits and veggies.
The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond, by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck.
Illustrations by Maria Bugaleta Larson.
Children of all ages will enjoy a stroll through the alphabet with this fun, multilayered book that celebrates a wide variety of produce including our common friend the Apple and the exotic African plum, Xemenia. The book is really two books in one. The first is a picture book with poems about fruits and veggies, going from A-Z. The second part of the book gets meatier (so to speak) with the veggies and fruits by providing tons of facts, maps, photos, riddles and jokes (“Why can’t clumsy farmers ever keep a secret?” You’ll have to read the book for the answer!) that will interest children and adults alike. You can introduce your child to a new fruit or veggie by following one of the many kid-friendly recipes included in the book such as Nectarine Nectar (basically a smoothie.) In addition, this book includes related book, video and online resources for additional exploration.
Winning the Food Fight, by Natalie Rigal.
Written by a research psychologist specializing in kids’ tastes, this book takes a scientific approach to understanding why children tend to prefer certain foods and have a deep aversion to others. Her solution to expanding a child’s willingness to eat a variety of foods lies in our learning to make eating an exploratory pleasure. Teaching children to not just eat, but to look at, smell, explore the consistency of and sounds made by food when they’re eating it can make meals a time of sensory experimentation and discovery. This pleasurable approach to eating is the secret to why “French women don’t get fat,” according to the author (who happens to be a French woman.)
By Terri Hall-Jackson, Care2 Green Living contributing writer