Eating the Rainbow: 10 Picture Books About Fruits and Vegetables

Do your kids’ diets look a little … beige? It can take some strategic effort to get kids to eat (and enjoy!) a healthy variety of produce. Researchers like Dr. Juliana Cohen, who gave a helpful NPR interview on this topic, have some advice: Rather than force kids to eat fruits and vegetables, we can give them lots of exposure to produce prepared in a variety of ways. We can chat positively about fruits and vegetables, like noticing their colors and textures, describing their tastes, or marveling over how they help our bodies. Of course, books are always a great way to start conversations with kids. Check out these entertaining and delicious kids’ books about fruits and vegetables to help brighten your family table.

no no 9780763614614 Strawberries Are Red by Petr Horacek

This delightfully simple board book introduces one fruit for each color of the rainbow. The ending combines all the fruits into an exuberant fruit salad. This is a perfect title to get toddlers excited about the colors of fruits and vegetables — and it will make having a fruit salad with lunch a top-of-mind idea.

9781623368708 Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet by Mrs. Peanuckle, illustrated by Jessie Ford

The fresh artwork and fun facts in Mrs. Peanuckle’s Alphabet series make us happy, but this ode to veggies is a particular favorite. The pages celebrate produce for every letter of the alphabet, from expected items like carrots and beans to surprises like dandelion and fiddleheads. Maybe this book will inspire an alphabet-eating challenge in your home! And for a sweeter read, don’t miss Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet!

9780140501698 Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Sal and her mother head to Blueberry Hill to pick berries. When Sal wanders away, she and Mama each meet a member of a bear family. This classic story belongs on every child’s bookshelf, and it’s a lovely introduction to the pleasure of picking berries. Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk: Blueberries, or any other fruit or vegetable, make a satisfying sound when dropped into a bucket and enjoyed soon after.

9780385755214 Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks, illustrated by Sue Hendra

If you have a kiddo who likes monsters more than green veggies, this is your book. In marching rhythm and rhyme, the monsters list everything they’d rather eat than broccoli — until they realize it’s delicious!

9781524719913 Fruit Bowl by Mark Hoffman

Controversy erupts when Tomato rolls in, expecting a spot in the fruit bowl. Banana, Orange, Apple, and all the other fruits say Tomato belongs in the fridge with the other vegetables. Tomato presents a compelling case (teaching young readers about the biology of plant parts we eat along the way), but Old Man Produce settles the argument once and for all. Kids and adults alike will giggle over all the produce-themed puns.

9781946764065 Happy Veggies by Mayumi Oda

Known to many as the “Matisse of Japan,” Mayumi Oda is celebrated for her exuberant painting. In Happy Veggies, several of her illustrations have been compiled to create a vibrant introduction to vegetables in the garden. From spring to fall, explore the growing season of asparagus, carrots, eggplant, and more through colorful images that look good enough to eat.

9780593522950 Eat Your Superpowers! by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by Serge Bloch

Finally, a cheat sheet for parents who want to explain the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to their children! Funny, doodled-up photos and succinct text share motivating and memorable tidbits like, “Kale helps your skin make a scab whenever you bleed” and “Kiwis help your brain think quickly and clearly.”

9781570914911 The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

A young girl excitedly helps her mother plant their garden, only to be disappointed when no beautiful flowers pop up like in her neighbors’ yards. But, when their “ugly” Chinese vegetables are ready, the girl’s mother makes a mouth-watering soup, and hungry neighbors line up at the door. This story can inspire readers to try an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable and spark conversations about how foods can look, feel, and taste differently when prepared in a yummy dish.

9780823456840 The Fruits We Eat (New & Updated) by Gail Gibbons

The Fruits We Eat and it’s companion book The Vegetables We Eat, from kids’ informational book guru Gail Gibbons are newly updated and perfect reference tools to build children’s knowledge about how fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested for eating. Read the brief body text and marvel at the scientific drawings with younger kids, or dive into the labels, diagrams, and informative captions with older kids.

9780593690260 Kid Smoothies: A Healthy Kids’ Cookbook by Erin Fletter

Smoothies can be a fantastic opportunity to make fruits and vegetables more tempting to kids — or to quickly get nutritious food into their busy bodies! With recipes like “Dragon’s Lair Cocoa Smoothie” and “Pirate Smoothie” — to avoid scurvy, obviously — this author has kid appeal mastered. This title is a goldmine for families preparing food for little ones and for older kids who want to make their own smoothies.

The post Eating the Rainbow: 10 Picture Books About Fruits and Vegetables appeared first on Brightly.

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