12 Foodie Board Books to Get Baby Excited About Mealtime (PHOTOS)

CafeMom Contributors | Mar 9, 2016 Baby

My very first book of food

In a world filled with fast food and prepackaged snacks, raising kids to appreciate whole foods and develop healthy eating habits is no small task. But you can start the conversation about healthy eating early by making it fun and entertaining. And what’s more fun to a baby or toddler than story time?

These 12 fun and colorful board books will have even the tiniest tykes excited about fruits, vegetables, and family mealtimes. See which ones you’ll want to add to your baby’s bookshelf.


Karissa O'Reilly is a freelance writer living in Westchester County, New York. A mom of two and (mostly) healthy eater, Karissa has been dying to try xigua ever since researching this piece.

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  • “Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z” by Lois Ehlert


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    The board book version of this highly acclaimed publication is just as mesmerizing as the original. Bright and beautiful watercolor collages of every fruit and vegetable you can think of (and some you can’t) adorn the pages. Each food is spelled out in both upper and lower case letters for pre-readers to more easily identify. The book features familiar grub and some more exotic fruits and veggies your kids will be asking to try. (Xigua, anyone?)

  • “Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant” by April Pulley Sayre


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    Oh boy, bok choy! You’ll find yourself rhyming in the produce aisle after a few readings of this adorable, catchy book. The fun chants celebrate veggies in a way that will have kids excited to try their greens (and purples and yellows).

  • “Go, Go, Grapes!: A Fruit Chant” by April Pulley Sayre


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    This follow-up to Rah, Rah, Radishes! is a sweet celebration of fruit. The chants are just as infectious, and the farmers' market photos illustrating the book are so familiar that kids will be pointing out their favorites on your next grocery run.

  • “Mealtime” by Elizabeth Verdick


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    Part of the award-winning Toddler Tool series (which includes Clean-Up Time, Listening Time and more), this book teaches children table manners and the importance of good nutrition. The pages are illustrated with happy, smiling kids using good manners and trying new foods. In fact, the “always try one bite” rule enforced in this book just might work like magic in your home.

    More from The Stir: Why I Serve My Kid Food I Know He Won't Eat

  • “Eat: A Board Book About Mealtime” by Elizabeth Verdick and Marjorie Lisovskis


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    The pretty black-and-white photos of babies accompanied by bright illustrations will draw the attention of even the tiniest “reader”. The book shows babies enjoying their meals from bottles, breasts, and bowls and helps to encourage reaching, grabbing, and interaction during mealtime.

  • “Pancakes, Pancakes!” by Eric Carle


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    Carle’s books are always visually stunning and fun to read. This story follows Jack as he makes pancakes from scratch for his family. There are no frozen pancakes here; Jack’s ingredients are as locally sourced as you can get. Flour is collected from the mill, eggs from the hen, milk from the cow -- and butter is churned from fresh cream. The steps involved will help toddlers appreciate how their food gets from a farm to their table.  

  • “I Can Eat a Rainbow” by Annabel Karmel


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    Each two-page spread in this book shows off fruits and veggies in a different color of the rainbow. The best part? There are adorable, edible animal sculptures decorating the pages, including a sweet piglet made from apricots and orange peppers with an orange peel tail.

  • “Jamberry” by Bruce Degen


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    Kids will be begging for berries after reading this classic tale of a boy and a bear frolicking through all kinds of berry bushes.

    More from The Stir: 7 Sneaky Tricks for Turning Your Baby into a Foodie

  • “Green Eggs and Ham (Nifty Lift and Look)” by Dr. Seuss


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    Sam-I-Am has been convincing kids to try new foods since 1960. Nothing can compare to the original, but this board book adaptation is perfect for babies’ and toddlers’ shorter attention spans. Best of all, tiny hands can lift the flaps to find out where those eggs and ham are hiding.

  • “I Love to Eat: Deluxe Touch-and-Feel” by Amélie Graux


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    This interactive and multilingual book prepares baby to sit down and eat a healthy meal. Little fingers can run over different textures to learn about some of the things needed at mealtime (such as a high chair, a bowl, and cereal). Then kids will learn to say each word in English, French, and Spanish.

  • “Growing Vegetable Soup” by Lois Ehlert


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    In this book, a father gathers vegetables from a garden with his child. Once they’ve collected potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and corn, they’re ready to make a delicious soup.

  • “My Very First Book of Food” by Eric Carle


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    A caterpillar isn't the only hungry creature in an Eric Carle book. With each page split horizontally down the center, this simple board book allows kids to match animals with a food they enjoy. It's a good reminder that every living thing needs food for energy.

    More from The Stir: Adventurous First Foods for Babies Around the World

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