Our Favorite Real Food Children's Books
Updated: Aug 5
I love a good book and so do my children. I’ve found that reading is not only a great way to connect with my kids, but also a good way for me to introduce new or different ideas. One of the first ways I was forced to think about going beyond just talking about a new idea was when I discovered that my oldest daughter had eczema. It didn’t take too long to figure out the cause and our pediatric allergist confirmed my suspicions of a gluten and dairy allergy. My daughter was 2 at the time and loved to sit with me and read. So, at the recommendation of a friend, I picked up a book about food allergies for kids. My daughter loved it. It was great for me to be able to show her this other person that had to eat differently because certain foods made him feel bad too, just like her. That book was the start of my search for good books to help me continue the conversation about the importance of eating real food. I’m sharing 4 of our family’s favorite books with a real food focus; if you’re looking for another way to talk to your kids about real food, then these books might be helpful to you too.
by Kim Diersen and April Runge, illustrated by Carrie Hartman
This was the book that started it all. It’s wonderfully illustrated and very well written. The main character is a young boy, Gordy, who has a monster living inside of him and that monster makes him feel bad. The authors do a great job of communicating both the physical and emotional effects of the “monster” (bad food). After several “episodes”, Gordy’s mom becomes concerned and takes him to see the doctor. Gordy’s doctor puts him on a “magic diet” and his monster goes away until Gordy falls victim to temptation. I like the realistic and hopeful tone that the authors, who all have children with severe food allergies, portray. If you have a child on a restrictive diet or know someone who does, this book is a great resource.
by Katherine Pryor and illustrated by Anna Raff
Sylvia Spivens hates spinach and she is very vocal about it. When her class decides to plant a garden, Sylvia winds up with spinach seeds and can’t get anyone to trade with her. The book takes you through a progression of Sylvia’s reluctance to grow her spinach, the anticipation of the sprouting seeds and the result of her hard work and harvest. This is a fun little book about involving kids in growing food and the change it can make in their eating habits.
by Victoria Boutenko and illustrated by Katya Korobkina
Nic is a six-year-old boy who wants to grow up to be big and strong, just like his dad. On a walk with his family one day, Nic’s dad tells him that the giant oak trees they see in the park grow from tiny acorns. Nic thinks it’s a joke, but when his dad starts talking about how acorn seeds need sunlight and that the green leaves that sprout from the acorn have a magical green juice inside of them, Nic is hooked. After Nic and his dad talk a bit about the difference between how plants and humans grow, he learns that humans also need to eat lots of green things to grow big and strong. Nic gets discouraged when he finds he doesn’t really like the bitter taste of lettuce, so the family decides to find a way to help Nic eat his greens and enjoy them too. We love the pictures in this book and the way the family all comes together to help Nic achieve his goal. The book also has a smoothie recipe in the back!
by Sarah Morgan and Henry Bell
This is our most recent find and it’s been a really great addition to our home library. This book features Ruby and 4 of the buddies that live in her belly. The story is about the job each buddy has to do to keep Ruby healthy and what she needs to eat to help her buddies do their job. Our favorite buddy is “Biffie” and I’ll let you read the book to find out why. The last page of this book is a tear out page that you can put on the fridge to help continue the conversation about good food and encourage your family to eat 2 fruits and veggies from each color of the rainbow daily!
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