Books for the Fussy Eaters in Your Life

Getting plenty of exposure to unfamiliar foods is known to increase a child’s acceptance of those foods, but it can often be difficult to achieve this without tears at the dinner table.  Recent research has shown that children who are exposed to unfamiliar foods via picture books, are more willing to these foods when offered them at meal times.

With Christmas coming up, I thought I’d put together a list of my favourite books aimed at getting kids to eat well.  All are available on  Fishpond or The Book Depository , and you should find most in your local library or bookstore.

4Lulu’s Lunch: An Utterly Delicious Interactive Book
by Camilla Reid, illustrated by Allie Busby
Age Range: 0-4 years
Join Lulu as she munches and crunches her way through this book. Help her fasten her bib, drizzle honey into her yoghurt, and peel a banana. Lulu shops with Mum for the ingredients for her favourite meal, then helps Mum to prepare it. Can you guess what her favourite dish is?


max and millieEat up, Max and Millie
by Felicity Brooks
Age Range: 0-4 years

“Yuck! Don’t like it!” is Max’s reaction to most food at lunchtime. Will things be better when Millie comes over to share a meal? Perfect for very young readers. This board book has bright, easy to follow pictures, and short sentences. Aimed at encouraging good manners and a love of food. Perfect for children who are refusing to try new things.

I eat vegetables

I Eat Vegetables! (Things I Eat!)
by Hannah Tofts, illustrated by Rupert Horrox
Age range: 2-4 years
Clear images of vegetables – includes words which describe appearance, textures and tastes.


dinosHow do Dinosaurs Eat their Food?
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
Age Range: 2-4 years
The popular HOW DO DINOSAURS…series continues with a hilarious look at dinosaurs at dinner time! When dinosaurs eat their food, what do they do? This book runs through the gamut of mealtime bad behaviour, satisfyingly concluding with impeccably behaved dinosaur dinner guests: ‘Eat up. Eat up, little dinosaur.’ A sure-fire winner with parents of young children – it will be an invaluable help with meal time manners.

veggie monsterNight of the Veggie Monster
by George McClements
Age Range: 2-4 years
Things get quite exciting at meal times when a boy has to eat his peas. While his parents watch his toes curl and his chair tip back they seem strangely calm, but then again they have seen the veggie monster before. This is a witty and diverting meal time drama that will strike a chord in houses everywhere where anything green seems to inspire equal acts of monsterish behaviour.

alligatorAlligator Arrived with Apples: A potluck Alphabet Feast
by Crescent Dragonwagon, illustrated by Jose Aruego & Anane Dewey
Age Range: 2-4 years
There’s going to be a feast! And everyone is here with food from A to Z! There is Elderberry Elixir from Elephant and Mocha Mousse made by Mouse. By the time Zebra Zips in with his Zaftig Zucchini, there will be enough food to feed a zoo! So come and join the party and don’t forget your appetite!

olivers vegeOliver’s Vegetables
by Vivian French, illustrated by Allison Bartlett
Age Range: 2-4 years
Do you like chips? Oliver does, in fact, he won’t eat anything else – until he plays a game with his grandpa. Whatever vegetable Oliver finds in the garden, he must eat. On Monday, he pulls up carrots, on Tuesday, it is spinach …This is an excellent book for parents with slightly fussy children and it introduces the days of the week.

oliver fruitOliver’s Fruit Salad
by Vivian French, illustrated by Allison Bartlett
Age Range: 2-4 years
Oliver, star of Oliver’s Vegetables, is back from his healthy week eating vegetables at his grandpa’s house. Suddenly, the fruit at home doesn’t seem quite good enough for Oliver. What is his mum to do?


very tastyVery Tasty Vegetables
by Bryony Jones
Age Range: 2-4 years
A bright and friendly board book featuring mouth-watering photographs of familiar and unfamiliar vegetables. This book introduces children to the concept of healthy eating day by day, while also learning the days of the week.  It encourages young children to talk about what they like to eat, to ask questions and to discuss the tastes and textures of their favourite foods.

rainbowI Can Eat a Rainbow: A Fun Look at Healthy Fruit and Vegetables 
by Annabel Karmel
Age Range: 2-4 years
Get your child eating all the colours of the rainbow, from juicy red apples to bright green broccoli your pre-schooler will love this fun look at healthy fruit and vegetables.  Simple text will encourage them to try new foods, from yummy orange and delicious yellow to scrumptious purple and tasty blue food too! Parent notes are great for more information on the nutritional value of each food.

tomatoI Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato
by Lauren Child
Age Range: 2-4 years
Lola is fussy.  Can Charlie trick Lola into trying some of her most despised foods?  “…those orange things that look like carrots are actually twiglets from Jupiter.”  Suddenly, even Lola is tempted to clear her plate.


lunchboxLunchbox: The Story of Your Food
by Chris Butterworth
Age Range: 4+ years
Who made the bread for your sandwich? What about the cheese inside? Who picked the fruit? And where did the chocolate in your biscuit come from? This book takes the reader on a journey to find out, from farms, orchards and factories and from across the world. Encourages children to think about where their food comes from, and what goes into producing the foods they love.

picnic We had a Picnic this Sunday Past
by Jacqueline Woodson & Diane Greenseid
Age Range: 5-9 years
In a cheerful, breezy tone, Teeka describes going to a Sunday picnic with her grandma. Through Teeka’s eyes, we learn about the family members, including Cousin Martha, who always brings a dried out apple pie, and Cousin Trevor, who never brings any food but struts around giving daisies he picked in the park to the pretty ladies. While the illustrations are of an African-American family, the experiences at a Sunday picnic are universal.

monsterThe Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids!
by Edward Miller
Age Range: 5-9 years
Beginning with a concise discussion of each food group and the newly redesigned food pyramid, and including sections on,this informative and lively book will help kids pick up nourishing foods and get into wholesome habits.

the vege we eatThe Vegetables We Eat 
by Gail Gibons
Age Range: 5-9 years
Vegetables come in many shapes, colours, and forms.  Glossy red peppers; lush, leafy greens; plump, orange pumpkins; and delectable little peas: vegetables come in many shapes, colors, and forms. Using her signature combination of a clear and informative text with plenty of illustrations, diagrams, and cross sections, this book provides a wealth of information about produce.

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