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10 Children's Books that Teach Kids About Their Food

The further we advance technologically, the further we move away from truly understanding where our food comes from. And that disconnect from “farm to fork” only widens with each generation that’s born into a world where everything we need is in a giant Supermarket — packaged and ready to eat.

Most modern kids aren’t raising and growing their own food. They don’t understand the life behind their meals. They don’t question how their food came to be, or even what kind of ingredients they’re putting into their bodies.

Yet as parents, we have a responsibility to close that divide. To teach them about their food and create healthy attitudes about nutrition, agriculture, and sustainability.

If this is a goal of yours, here are 10 children’s books to add to your collection:

  • Children’s Books for a Healthy Food Attitude 1 of 11
    002

    As Kathleen Kelly famously said in You've Got Mail, "When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does."

     

    That quote has always stayed with me (as did everything that Kathleen Kelly said). Children's books have a way of permeating our psyches in a way that television and movies simply can't. And so when you're trying to teach something important in a subtle and effective way — like creating healthy attitudes about food, for instance — why not use children's books? Click through for 10 of my favorite examples.

  • The Vegetables We Eat 2 of 11
    1123

    Not only will this book expose kids to a variety of vegetable types, but it explains how they're grown and why they're healthy to eat.

    Buy from Amazon, $7.19

  • Blueberries for Sal 3 of 11
    277

    For such a vintage-looking book, Blueberries for Sal certainly stands up to its "classic" status. I especially love exposing my son to the traditional practice of picking food and canning it for the winter. It opens up the conversation about seasonal food and farming practices, and it might even prompt you to do a little picking and canning yourself. 

    Buy from Amazon, $7

     

  • The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen 4 of 11
    318

    Open up the "farm-to-fork" dialogue with this story about a little boy who thinks he know where his food comes from: the supermarket. That's until a cow and some chickens show up to teach him where exactly his food is coming from.

    Buy from Amazon, $13.56

  • The Beeman 5 of 11
    417

    Rather than sit through the Bee Movie, this children's book teaches kids all about bees — where they live, what they do, and how honey is made. It's the perfect opportunity to discuss the insect-plant-food connection.

    Buy from Amazon, $2

  • From Seed to Plant 6 of 11
    516

    Teach kids how plants come to be, and how it all starts with a little seed.

    Buy from Amazon, $7.19

  • Good Enough to Eat 7 of 11
    61

    I especially like this one — a guide to kids' nutrition that explains everything from vitamins to the process of digestion. And it ends with a bunch of nutritious, kid-friendly recipes.

    Buy from Amazon, $6.29

  • Secrets of the Garden 8 of 11
    7

    Here's another valuable children's book to add to the bookshelf. Secrets of the Garden is all about the science of backyard gardens — how plants grow, and how the food chain plays an intricate role in gardening. 

    Buy from Amazon, $13.23

  • The Milk Makers 9 of 11
    9

    Most kids drink milk every day, but do they know where it actually comes from? This book describes the entire process — from cow to glass. 

    Buy from Amazon, $7.19

  • Milk: From Cow to Carton 10 of 11
    8

    Here's another children's book that describes the milking process — starting with what cows eat, and ending with all of the different foods made from milk. 

    Buy from Amazon, $5.39

  • To Market, To Market 11 of 11
    101

    Take a shopping trip through the Farmer's Market with this award-winning picture book, which details how each item is grown or produced. It just might make them look at those "boring" shopping trips from a different (and healthier) perspective.

    Buy from Amazon, $14.63

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