The Vegetables We Eat
by Gail Gibbons

If you're having trouble getting kids to eat vegetables then Gail Gibbons' The Vegetables We Eat is for you.

Reading level: Ages 4-8

This childrens book is a great introduction to vegetables. Lots of vocabulary to be learned too! Example:

  • perennial
  • annual
  • botanist
  • harrow
Gibbons explains "Botanists group the different kinds of vegetables according to the part of the vegetable that is eaten." There are eight groups of vegetables we eat:
  • leaf
  • bulb
  • flower bud
  • root
  • tuber
  • stem
  • fruit
  • seed

Your child will enjoy bright, cheerful, colorful pictures of the vegetables (and their appropriate names) in each group.

I have to admit I learned (or was reminded) of a thing or two myself after reading this book.

Many people know a tomato is the fruit of a plant, but did you know eggplant, cucumbers, yellow squash, hot peppers, sweet peppers, zucchini, butternut squash, and pumpkin are also fruit vegetables?!

How to grow your own vegetable garden, the process vegetables go through to get to the supermarket (from planting to shipping), and interesting veggie trivia are found at the end of the book.

Nutrition Activities: After Reading The Vegetables We Eat

  • Visit a farmers market.
  • Identify the veggies you have in your refrigerator and ask your budding botanist to classify them in the proper vegetable groups.
  • Purchase one particular vegetable in 3 different forms and do a (blindfolded) taste test (Example: fresh green beans vs. frozen green beans vs. canned green beans).
  • Download and print this free (carrot) nutrition coloring page.
  • On your next grocery trip, have your child pick one veggie from each of the 8 vegetable groups (or pick veggies from one (different) group per week for 8 consecutive weeks).
  • Include veggies at all meals:
    • Breakfast: Make omelets with onions, spinach, broccoli, and/or tomatoes.
    • Lunch: Add sliced tomatoes to sandwiches or pack "finger veggies" like cherry/grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery stalks, and snap peas with kids' lunches.
    • Dinner: Serve "baked potato rabbits:" Decorate 1/2 baked potato like a rabbit: the eyes are peas, the noses are mushrooms, the mouths are pieces of red bell peppers, the whiskers are pieces of celery, and the ears are carrots.
    • Snacks: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

More nutrition books for kids I recommend.

More of my professional advice you may find helpful:

Nutrition for Kids

Quick Kid Friendly Meals

Your Personal Nutrition Guide Home Page

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

  • 1 cup water or skim milk or soymilk or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango cubes
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Top with a sprinkling of pumpkin flavored granola if desired.

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