May 14th, 2013
There’s so much talk these days about how to get kids to eat vegetables, but not a whole lot about how to get them to love veggies. (You know, eventually.) This whole teaching kids to eat healthy thing is not just about getting nutrients down the gullet. After all, we could do that with supplements and protein shakes. It’s really about fostering a love of healthy food that will sustain them over the course of their lives. And, sometimes, it’s easier to do that while away from the pressures of meal time.
Watch my latest video to get my three favorite tips for how to inspire veggie love. They are foolproof: there’s no way any of these will end in tears over green beans. I promise. You can also get my reading list after the jump.
Part of encouraging a love and understanding of food away from the table is about cultivating a family food culture. A family’s food culture is the way that everyday interactions with food shape the way a family thinks about food and their emotional connection to food. While not everybody is aware of it, every family has a food culture and it is either working with or against your parenting strategies at the table.
If you hope that your children will eat their veggies at the table, then find ways to celebrate veggies even while way from the table. Here are some books that can help you do that.
Add your favorite book picks, too!
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
I Eat Fruit! (and other books in the Things I Eat Series) by Hannah Tofts
Toddler and Preschool
Yum Yum Dim Sum (and other books in the World Snacks series) by Amy Wilson Sanger
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes by Mollie Katzen
An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina Friedman
Pete’s A Pizza by William Steig
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Five- to Eight-Years-Old
Who Eats What? by Patricia Lauber
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley
Where Does Food Come From? by Gary Goss
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulsen
Let’s Eat: What Children Eat Around the World by Beatrice Hollyer