Hello, my name is Tammy and I am the Menu Mommy. As a mother of two young children and a full-time teacher, I love and loathe dinnertime. It’s one of our favorite daily bonding activities, but putting dinner on the table can lead to sacrificing our family playtime. In my blog, I share time saving tips, recipes, and creative ideas for how to meal prep efficiently, bring your children into the kitchen for fun cooking, and provide healthy, appetizing dinners for the whole family.
One of the biggest struggles I hear from parents (myself included) is how to get children to try new foods. My husband and I love variety in our diet, and we want our children to develop an adventurous palette as well. One of my favorite ways to encourage children to try new foods is by using books to help them get excited about an upcoming meal. In this post, I will suggest some excellent children’s books that will help you do just that. Not only will these books entice your child to try your next culinary masterpiece, but they will also help promote an interest in literacy, allow for family bonding time, and maybe even start a new tradition in your home!
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
My son is obsessed with everything dinosaur and dragons come in as a close second. This humorous book talks about a dragon’s favorite food, tacos! Dragons Love Tacos is sure to get your child psyched about your next family taco night, and they’ll be eager to try various toppings on their tacos as well. After reading this book, you can create a taco bar using a variety of proteins and add-ons. Let your children assemble their own tacos to promote independent eating and avoid dinnertime objections. Who knows, they may even want a taste of some spicy salsa!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
As a mom, spaghetti and meatballs in marinara sauce is a great way to add extra vegetables to a meal by either mixing in chopped spinach with the sauce, shredded carrots to the meatballs, or adding spaghetti squash to pasta. What better way to foster excitement about dinner than reading a story where it falls from the sky!
First Book of Sushi by Amy Wilson Sanger
My sister and I are both sushi fanatics. We especially love making our own sushi, an art we are still perfecting. My sister and I could not wait to share our obsession with my son. We started him off with deconstructed avocado rolls when he was about ten-months-old. To celebrate the occasion, my sister bought him this adorable book, which teaches sushi terminology through inviting, scrumptious illustrations. It is still a favorite in our home!
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
I have a dream of someday planting my own “vegetable soup garden” just like Elhert does in this book. For now, I just have to settle with making vegetable soup inspired by this story. I recommend going all-out by bringing your child to the grocery store or farmers market to select their ingredients, having your child help wash and cut the vegetables (under close supervision), and cook your own vegetable soup! To save time, you can even make the soup in a slow cooker and your child can turn on the appliance to begin the cooking process!
The possibilities for incorporating books into mealtime to promote healthy eating are endless. While any of these books would make a fabulous addition to your child’s home collection, you can also check out your local library for these awesome books.
Do you or your child have any books you would add to this list?
Each Tuesday for the next several weeks a fellow mom/friend/community member will be sharing a fun recipe, tips to include kids in the cooking process, or a great family restaurant for “Take a Taste Tuesday.” If you are interested in sharing your eating and/or cooking fun be sure to connect with me via email!