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22 Practical Picture Books About Picky Eating

Updated May. 20, 2019

Having a picky eater can be tricky, especially with so many opinions on how to approach it as a parent. We've gathered our favorite children's books to read with your picky eaters to help them realize that trying a new food might turn out in their favor. Whether your child just doesn't like broccoli, or they hate any food that doesn't start with the letter "P," we're positive you'll find some help and laughs through these fun reads!

Top 10 Picky-eating Books

The Seven Silly Eaters book
#1
The Seven Silly Eaters
Written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Seven fussy eaters find a way to surprise their mother.

Escargot book
#2
Escargot
Written by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a darling, fun book! Along with the fun of talking about Escargot and racing to the salad at the end of the book, this has a great message of trying something new (like carrots) that you don't think you'll like, but end up loving. Plus, you'll learn a little French vocabulary along the way!

Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things: 1. To be your favorite animal. 2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book. But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there's a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one—with a little help from you!—he discovers that it's not so bad after all! A charming and interactive picture book ideal for picky eaters and animal lovers alike.

Gregory, the Terrible Eater book
#3
Gregory, the Terrible Eater
Written by Mitchell Sharmat and illustrated by Ariane Dewey, Jose Aruego
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Gregory, the Terrible Eater, wants orange juice and eggs for breakfast. His parents are terribly upset! Why can't Gregory eat striped ties and violins, like the rest of the goats? Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey have entered into the spirit of Mitchell Sharmat's upside-down, turned-around world with bold, wacky, expressive illustrations. The trio's exuberant collaboration provokes healthy laughter and even includes a colorful chart which gives fresh meaning to the concept of "junk food."

D.W. the Picky Eater book
#4
D.W. the Picky Eater
Written and illustrated by Marc Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

D.W. is very picky about what she eats. She doesn't seem to like anything. Her dining out days with her family are cut short when she refuses to eat her salad and flings it to the floor. Will her table manners improve in time for her Grandma Thora's special dinner out? Text copyright 2004 Lectorum Publications, Inc.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#5
Green Eggs and Ham
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This has always been a favorite of mine since I was a child, and it continues to be as I read it with my boys. The really fun thing is seeing my oldest (he is only in kindergarten) as he tries to read it to his little brother before bed. The rhymes are really something else. They are so fun and silly. We have loved this book during the St. Patrick's Day holiday with the green eggs but just as well as every other day of the year. We often bring up this story at meal times as well. When our boys don't want to try a new dish, we will quote this story and it brings a smile to their face and a brave bone in their body to help them give it a try.

Sam-I-Am tries to persuade his friend to try green eggs and ham.

Bear Likes Jam book
#6
Bear Likes Jam
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

We are big fans of Ciara Gavin and her characters and stories. We love that Bear Likes Jam is based on her own experiences as a mother trying to help her picky eater (and eating maybe a bit too much jam herself)! It's a fun, inventive story and a great way to help tackle the topic of picky eating habits with a young reader.

In their blended family, Mama Duck worries when Bear eats too much jam, but when the ducklings play a game with their vegetables, Bear starts to eat the strange green things on his plate.

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? book
#7
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?
Written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Mark Teague
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

How does a dinosaur eat all his food? Does he burp, does he belch, or make noises quite rude? Does he pick at his cereal, throw down his cup, hoping to make someone else pick it up? Just like kids, dinosaurs have a difficult time learning to behave at the table. However, with a little help from Mom and Dad, these young dinosaurs eat all before them with smiles and goodwill.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#8
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

Bread and Jam for Frances book
#9
Bread and Jam for Frances
Written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

Bread and Jam for Frances is a classic originally published in 1964 about little Frances who loves bread and jam and refuses to try anything else. Eventually, her parents stop offering other food, and after Frances eats bread and jam for breakfast, lunch, after-school snack, and dinner, Frances starts to get tired of it and discovers a new interest in trying new foods. The earliest readers may not appreciate the lesson unless they have some helpful prompting from someone reading with them. But if the reading happens together, it might be a great way to talk about the picky eating together. As a bonus, the book might introduce young readers to some new, old-fashioned words--like the "doily" Frances uses to set out a nice little school lunch picnic.

Frances is a fussy eater. In fact, the only thing she likes is bread and jam. She won't touch her squishy soft-boiled egg. She trades away her chicken-salad sandwich at lunch. She turns up her nose at boring veal cutlets. Unless Mother can come up with a plan, Frances just might go on eating bread and jam forever!

The Picky Eater book
#10
The Picky Eater
Written by Betsy Parkinson and illustrated by Shane Clester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Piper the piglet is a very picky eater, who will only eat food beginning with the letter "P"--and somehow her parents must break her of this strange quirk, and get her to eat other good foods.

Books About Food & Picky-eating

Green Eggs and Ham book
#1
Green Eggs and Ham
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This has always been a favorite of mine since I was a child, and it continues to be as I read it with my boys. The really fun thing is seeing my oldest (he is only in kindergarten) as he tries to read it to his little brother before bed. The rhymes are really something else. They are so fun and silly. We have loved this book during the St. Patrick's Day holiday with the green eggs but just as well as every other day of the year. We often bring up this story at meal times as well. When our boys don't want to try a new dish, we will quote this story and it brings a smile to their face and a brave bone in their body to help them give it a try.

Sam-I-Am tries to persuade his friend to try green eggs and ham.

Bear Likes Jam book
#2
Bear Likes Jam
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

We are big fans of Ciara Gavin and her characters and stories. We love that Bear Likes Jam is based on her own experiences as a mother trying to help her picky eater (and eating maybe a bit too much jam herself)! It's a fun, inventive story and a great way to help tackle the topic of picky eating habits with a young reader.

In their blended family, Mama Duck worries when Bear eats too much jam, but when the ducklings play a game with their vegetables, Bear starts to eat the strange green things on his plate.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#3
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bread and Jam for Frances - Lemony Snickers - Bread and Jam for Frances is a classic originally published in 1964 about little Frances who loves bread and jam and refuses to try anything else. Eventually, her parents stop offering other food, and after Frances eats bread and jam for breakfast, lunch, after-school snack, and dinner, Frances starts to get tired of it and discovers a new interest in trying new foods. The earliest readers may not appreciate the lesson unless they have some helpful prompting from someone reading with them. But if the reading happens together, it might be a great way to talk about the picky eating together. As a bonus, the book might introduce young readers to some new, old-fashioned words--like the "doily" Frances uses to set out a nice little school lunch picnic.

  2. The Picky Eater - Piper the piglet is a very picky eater, who will only eat food beginning with the letter "P"--and somehow her parents must break her of this strange quirk, and get her to eat other good foods.

  3. How to Feed Your Parents - Who's feeding whom? Matilda Macaroni loves to try new foods! Unfortunately, her parents don't. They only like pizza delivered, burgers from a bag, and noodles from a box. What's a girl with adventurous tastes to do? The engaging heroine of this fun, twisted picture book manages to turn the tables on her finicky parents and teach them that dinner can be more than chicken nuggets. There's also a recipe for quiche that young cooks can try!

  4. Felix Eats Up - When picky eater Felix finds himself in a pickle, his best friend, Fiona, gently helps him widen his culinary horizons. Felix brings the same lunch to school every day: sprouts on buttered oat bread. He will also eat pasta with butter. And he loves macaroni and cheese. No need to try anything new. But on the night of his friend Fiona's half-birthday celebration, Felix finds himself facing down an unfamiliar -- and anxiety-provoking -- menu. Will he leave the restaurant hungry, or can Fiona convince him to give new tastes a try? With singular compassion and humor, Rosemary Wells once again shows how the balm of friendship can help buffer a familiar moment of childhood angst.

Want to see even more books about picky-eating and food?

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