Children’s Literature Snacks

 

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Reading to and with our children is one of the most profound ways, as parents, we can help positively shape their worlds and development, even at a very young age.  It’s a gift of unlimited value that will stay with them…always.  Developing a love of books and the magic they contain is something I want for my children and for all children.  In this digital age children’s books with their crisp colorful pages still have the power to send us on a journey of discovery.  Escape to an island of beasts and become their king, eat your way through an epic picnic, discover the true meaning of friendship and sacrifice, explore the senses, and relate to real life childhood challenges.  Here are five of my favorite books in children’s literature and some fun ways to tie in healthy snacks to each book.

The Hungry Caterpillar

HungryCaterpillar

A classic book by Eric Carle full of beauty and and simplicity.  This book rarely gets old…I recently read it to a class of 2nd graders and the smiles on their faces were filed with joy and memories.  Our favorite Hungry Caterpillar snacks are melon caterpillars with pumpkin seed antennae and swiss cheese butterflies, using a cookie cutter and cream cheese or nut (or seed) butter to stick the pretzel to the cheese.

caterpillar lunch

 

caterpiller

 

 

Where the Wild Things Are

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The magical tale by Maurice Sendak of Max and the island where the wild things live.  Such a beautiful way to connect with children and their behavior and choices.  The illustrations are magical works of ark.  We like to make “Wild Waffles” to tie into this book, childhood imagination and creativity.  Simply spread waffles (we use Nature’s Path or Homemade) with nut or seed butter and decorate with healthy things like cheese, fruits, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

waffle

 

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Charlotte’s Web

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A beautiful way to begin chapter books with your children, this class tale by E.B. White (illustrated by Garth Williams) weaves the web of unlikely friendship.  We like to make “Cheesy Charlottes” by using pretzels and cheese rounds.  We use puréed black beans and water to make food paint for the face.

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

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The classic book by Bill Martin Jr. (illustrated by Eric Carle) is wonderful book that helps children learn about observing their world.   The repetition is language building and makes this a great first reader for older children.  I recently caught my five year old reading this book to my two year old – I may have teared up a little bit.  We like to use cookie cutters to make bear shaped sandwiches or make bear waffles with nut or seed butter, bananas and dried fruit.

bear lunch

 

Bear Waffles

 

 

Bread and Jam for Francis

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This sweet and classic book by Russell Hoban (illustrated by Lillian Hoban) has been one of my favorites for years.  I remember my mom reading it to me when I was young.  It’s a wonderful story about balancing the things you love and trying new things.  Francis knows what she likes but after her parents go along with her desire to eat only bread and jam she begins to get sick of it and think she just may be missing out, resulting in her discovering she likes spaghetti and meatballs.  My five year old often asks me to make my spaghetti and turkey meatballs just so we can play “Francis”!  We also like to make jam (like my Cranberry Jam) to tie into the book.

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Happy Reading!

iyla book

What books do you and your children love?  Share in the comments below.

Tara is mom to two energetic daughters Bianca and Iyla. Passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy, delicious and allergy-friendly food, she owns Yummy Sprout, which provides healthy culinary adventures through classes and more. Check out yummysprout.com. Tara has been featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and on Channel 3 WISC-TV on topics including “making your own baby food”, “cooking with kids” and “packing healthy school lunches”. She adores living in Madison and all it has to offer family life. Her favorite ways to spend time include messing up her kitchen while recipe testing, running, yoga, writing, painting, traveling and reading books with her girls.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I love this post! I’ll definitely use these ideas in my preschool class, especially when we do our Brown Bear and Very Hungry Caterpillar themes.

    The Llama Llama books have always been a favorite here 🙂

  2. This is an excellent post! I always love and am inspiried by Tara’s creativity!! Thank you for sharing:) The Fancy Nancy series is a regular request from my oldest, as is an older story called But No Elephants! I have several books that my mom read to me when I as a child that I now read to my daughters. Witches Four, Pickle Things is a guaranteed gigglefest and The Cats’ Pajamas is one close to my heart❤️

    • My 5 year old loves the Fancy Nancy books too! I haven’t heard of a few of those books, I am going to have to look them up…Thank you for sharing!

  3. Love this! Make Way for Ducklings, Pinkalicious, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (andthe rest of that series), everytbing by Mo Willems, I could go on and on! Great ideas Tara!!

  4. Thanks for the creative and fun ideas! I was reading your bio after the article and wondered of you have ever thought of doing a post about meal planning. This has become a way of life In our household and often get asked about how we do it. If be happy to provide input if you are interested but it looks like you have great experience/ background to share as well!

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