Reading with children

a blog by Magic Tales

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Inculcating a Love for Eating and Mealtime among Kids through Children's Books

In the bustling daily routines of children, mealtime often becomes a chore. Many parents grapple with how they can help their child cultivate an interest and care for eating wisely and enjoying mealtime. We, as book lovers and advocates for imaginative learning, believe that children's books can be a powerful tool to influence this.
Reading is not only magical for the journeys it takes us on, but also for the interesting lessons it teaches us. They are a resourceful tool when it comes to talking about difficult topics - and yes, that includes meal times too! So, if you're struggling to get your child to care about eating and mealtime, why not harness the power of books?
1. Choose Children’s Books that Highlight the Joy of Good Food
There are a myriad of children’s books that do a great job in talking about the joy of eating good, wholesome food. Books like 'Green Eggs and Ham' by Dr. Suess, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle, and 'Eating the Alphabet' by Lois Ehlert use fun narratives and colorful images to familiarize kids with different types of foods.
2. Use Food-Related Stories to Teach Valuable Lessons
Books like Robert McCloskey's 'Blueberries for Sal' or Maurice Sendak's 'In the Night Kitchen' are not only fun stories but they are also lessons in the importance of sharing, taking turns, and understanding the effort that goes into preparing food. These wholesome stories subtly inculcate the importance of food, and make mealtime a more valued occasion.
3. Incorporate Props from Their Favorite Stories
Bring meal times to life by creating meals inspired by their favourite stories. You could make some 'Green eggs and ham' for breakfast, prepare alphabet-shaped sandwiches after reading 'Eating the Alphabet', or even encourage berry picking like in 'Blueberries for Sal'. This not only makes meals interesting, but also gives kids something to look forward to.
4. Connect Mealtime to Reading Time
If your child enjoys storytime, linking it with mealtime can be a great incentive. Reading books about food at the dinner table can act as lure & motivation for eating. This can also set a positive tone around food, making mealtime more enjoyable for your child.
Ultimately, both reading and eating are not just acts of consumption, but also nourishment - for the mind and the body respectively. By linking the two, you are helping your child to associate mealtime with a joyous activity, making it less of a chore, and more of a delightful experience. So, let our favourite books bring joy to every part of your child's day, including mealtime!

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