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Food: it’s what’s for dinner! Whether your kid already has a more sophisticated palatethan you or you haven’t yet taught them to eat like a normal human (aka like a French child), eating is one of the ties that bind us all. These 9 books will teach them about a range of cuisines, where their food comes from, and how manners get you more cake than tantrums do.
Bon Appétit! The Delicious Life Of Julia Child
Lest your children grow up thinking food television was always a mess of absurd cooking competitions involving screaming chefs and bizarre ingredients, here’s a beautiful and fun picture book biography of the legendary Julia Child. Bonus points for any book that can get kids interested in tasting codfish balls.
First Book Of Sushi
Remember when sushi was an exotic Far East import, not a $5 snack from the gas station? Since it’s only a matter of time before bento boxes come with a toy (come to think of it, someone get the trademark office on the phone…), make sure your kid knows their miso from their maki with this rhyming primer on Japanese cuisine.
The Donut Chef
This retro-styled book tells of a modern problem: a crowded marketplace turning what used to be simple, wholesome foods into Guy Fieri-fied culinary mutants. Thankfully, in this story a little girl helps the titular chef wins his bakery war by reclaiming his soul with some good old-fashioned glazed donuts. Which is highly preferable to selling your soul for one. Mmm … donut.
Dragons Love Tacos
There are 2 equally important lessons to take away from this New York Times bestseller. First, consuming too much hot and spicy salsa will cause you to shoot flames out your nose. Second, everyone loves tacos, even mythological fantasy creatures that may or may not have ever existed. That’s how good tacos are.
Even if the traditional Korean rice dish isn’t a staple around your house (and if it isn’t, seriously, get on that, because it’s delicious), the joy of helping mom and dad in the kitchen is universal. That tradition is the central theme of this story. It just happens to be conveyed through a food that’s exceedingly fun to say.
To Market, To Market
Anyone who can make paper-cuts and a grocery list feel action-packed deserves your immediate attention. That Nikki McClure also manages to make kale interesting merits your immediate purchase. Because your child deserves to know exactly where their food comes from — and no, that doesn’t mean “The guy in the truck who brings it to our house.”
The food truck revolution has rolled over every major city in the nation at this point, but in a way kids have been obsessed with these things for decades. Just ask Mr. Softee. This book is an illustrated ode to those glorious mobile kitchens that bring all manner of cuisine — from falafel to cupcakes — directly to your doorstep.
If you name yourself “Rowboat,” you pretty much have 2 career options: children’s book author who writes about pink magic cakes, or guy who sells them out of a van at Phish shows. (Or, uh, actual rowboat. So 3 options.) Fortunately, Rowboat Watkins chose the former and created a book that will teach your kids to say “Please” and “Thank you.” Because they may not listen to you, but they always respond to dessert.
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth
This story, illustrated by a Pixar animator, is a modern, sugar-infused take on the ages-old legend of the poet Vyasa reciting the epic poem Mahabharata to Ganesha, who transcribes with his tusk. That’s Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god of all beings, not to be confused with ganache, the chocolate god of all frostings.
(Top photo: Stocksy)
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