Do your kids love to help around the kitchen? Do they also love silly read aloud books that feature tasty treats? If you answered yes, then this post is for you! I’m going to discuss a few new and classic children’s books that are perfect for getting your kids off of the couch and into the kitchen.
“Dragons Love Tacos” by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
This is seriously my kids favorite read aloud book and has been for a solid year now. While this book may not invoke any deep thought, it is a TON of fun to read and the pictures are great. My kids also LOVE Tacos, much like the dragons in the story. We have them for dinner regularly because they are so easy to make and everyone will actually eat them. We make our tacos pretty basic and that makes them a great food for the kids to help prepare. One child can get the shells lined up on the cookie sheet, another can shred the cheese, and another can stir the meat as it cooks. Everyone is helping and it turns cooking a typical weeknight dinner into memories that will last a lifetime.
My taco recipe is pretty basic. Taco shells, a can of refried beans warmed in the microwave, cooked ground beef with taco seasoning and shredded cheese. Add any additional toppings you like such as sour cream, lettuce, and olive. You can’t get much easier than that. No, it’s not a gourmet meal, but it doesn’t need to be.
“Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon” by Jules Bass and Debbie Harter (affiliate link)
This book is a good read for a vegetarian family or someone who wants to talk about the differences between herbivore and carnivore. Herb is a vegetarian dragon while all of the other dragons have been eating villagers. The king captures Herb, thinking that he is a meat eater as well and is about to feed him to the alligators when Herb’s friend, a little girls rescues him. The King allows the other dragons to live as well if they agree to become herbivores as well. After reading this book, let your kids help you cut up veggies to make a vegetable soup. Here is a vegetable soup recipe that includes many fresh veggies in it.
“Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth” by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes
I can’t say enough good things about this book. The illustrations are beautiful. The story is engaging and fun. Ganesha loves sweets just like the rest of us. All of that being said, this is a book based on a Hindu story, so if that’s not your bag, skip it. Around here we read stories from all over the world and without bias based on religious views. If the book isn’t preachy, we’ll read it!
In this story, Ganesha is a kid who just loves to eat sweets and Laddoos are his favorite. He breaks his tusk on a jawbreaker laddoo. He then meets a man and uses his tusk to transcribe the Mahabharata. When he is done he is happy to have laddoos to share with his friends.
When we read this story we made coconut laddoos using this recipe and my kids loved them. There are a ton of recipes out there for laddoos in different flavors so be sure to find something that suits your family’s taste. The picture above shows the laddoos we made, but this was taken a couple of years ago before I needed pictures with good lighting and all that jazz, so forgive the poor quality of the pic.
“How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World” by Marjorie Priceman
I’m sure everyone has heard of this book. It’s a classic. It’s well written, has beautiful pictures and really helps to understand that our food comes from all over the world. This book actually has a recipe for apple pie right inside the book which is quite handy. I’ll admit that my kids aren’t a huge fan or apple pie so we tasted a few types of apples and made applesauce from baked apples when we read this book. Try this recipe for some seriously delicious applesauce.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
The caterpillar in this classic Eric Carle story is just so damn hungry. He eats a little bit of everything. If your kids are like mine they could graze and do the same thing most days. This would make a fun lunchtime project. Grab 4-5 of the things that the caterpillar ate and have your kids assist you in cutting them into bite size pieces. Wouldn’t eating bite-size pieces of sausage, cheese, strawberry, apple and plum be a fun lunch for the kids? Make it a game and have them eat the appropriate items as you read through the story.
“The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!” by Mo Willems
If you somehow haven’t read this book, you should. It’s a lot of fun and really silly. Throughout the book, the pigeon is trying to eat his hot dog in peace while the annoying little duckling asks him questions about the hot dog. The pigeon makes it perfectly clear that he has no intention of giving the hot dog to the duckling but in the end, they end up splitting the hot dog so that they both get to eat. In addition to being a fun book about food, it could also be used to show how 2 parts make a whole. OOOOh, look at that, math, cooking skills and reading all rolled into one
Obviously, the food associated with this book would be hot dogs. Make them simple, make the fancy, whatever your kids will actually eat. Let them make their own ‘dogs by adding the condiments themselves. Add chili, onions, relish, really whatever your crew enjoys. While you’re at it, cut up a wienie to work on parts to whole math.
If you’re into, fancy recipes or just bored of regular hot dogs, check out this post from Delish for some interesting ideas.
If you have any other books ideas for this list, feel free to leave them in a comment below. I’d love to keep this list updated as we find new books!
Thanks for reading!