As a preschool teacher of 18 years, I can tell you for certain that books are a magical tool when it comes to opening up the world to young children. From the comfort of their couch or bed, children can be transported to fairytale villages, travel with knights on extraordinary adventures or see creatures and places they have yet to even imagine.

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Books also have the power to introduce uncomfortable topics in fun, yet relatable ways to children. They have the ability to show children other people’s journeys and address concerns they themselves may have difficulty expressing. Books open the door for conversation.

Even about vegetables.

Last week, I made Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffins with my preschool students. Yep, muffins that are basically a green, veggie-loaded smoothie in muffin form. They are truly one of my most popular, kid-approved recipes on the blog. However, in order for some children to take a bite of a new, unfamiliar (and green!) food, you have to go the extra mile.

Like a book. About spinach. About a little girl who thought she hated spinach…until she had a wonderful, hands-on experience with the glorious green veggie that totally changed her feelings about it. A book called Sylvia’s Spinach.

I read the book before the preschool children (who were definitely not all veggie lovers) helped me bake the green muffins. The book told a story that so many of the children could identify with; the story of being scared to eat spinach. But when they saw Sylvia come around at the end of the book, the children too started to wonder if they might like spinach after all.

Just that moment of wonder opened the door for many of the children to try a bite of Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffin…and many discovered a way that they actually LOVED spinach.

After my little project, I started to think about the many many wonderful children’s books that I had read to my students and my own daughter about vegetables over the years. Books that made vegetables fun, and interesting, instead of scary and foreign.

And since I know firsthand the power of a wonderful children’s book, here are some of my personal favorite veggie-loaded children’s books.


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Sylvia’s Spinach

best for ages 4+

A wonderful fictional story about a little girl named Sylvia who thought she didn’t like spinach…until she as asked to grow some for her school garden. It tells a story many children can identify with, walks them through Sylvia’s journey to taking that first bite of spinach and encourages being open minded about new foods.

Plants Feed Me

best for ages 3+

A beautifully illustrated book that breaks down the different kinds of plants that we eat, how we eat them, the life cycle of a plant and what plants need to grow in a simple, child-friendly way.

Sophie’s Squash

best for ages 4+

A sweet fictional story about a little girl who befriends a squash after a trip tot he farmer’s market. It tells about the fun, imaginative adventures of Sophie and her squash have together, while also covering decomposition and the life cycle of a plant as part of the story.

Edible Numbers

best for ages 2+

A simple book about counting and numbers with colorful photographs of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Wonderful for promoting counting and number recognition in young children while also talking about a vast number of edible plants.

Edible Colors

best for ages 2+

This book contains beautiful and vibrant photographs of colorful fruits and vegetables. It shares that the same food can come in many different colors (carrots can be yellow, white, orange, red or even purple) as well as showcasing the many pieces of produce that share the same color!

Anywhere Farm

best for ages 3+

A wonderful little story that shares that you don’t need to live on a farm or even have a lot of dirt to your name in order to grow your own food! Wonderfully inspiring for those urban farmers in all of us and some great ideas of how to grow veggies in our own little place in space.

Growing Vegetable Soup

best for ages 2+

A simple, easy to follow book that shares all of the work that goes into growing vegetables of your own. The colorful illustrations are engaging and the book ends with a vegetable soup recipe to make with your child!

If You Pant a Seed

best for ages 3+

Simple and beautifully illustrated, this book shares the process of seed to plant while also also sharing the importance of compassion and joy of generosity.

Tops & Bottoms

best for ages 4+

A fun fictional story about a lazy bear and a crafty hare. This book teaches children about the different parts of plants that we eat and crops, while also bringing up a moral dialog about fairness and honesty.

Rah, Rah Radishes

best for ages 2+

Do your kiddos love repetition? I know my students love when they find a common phrase in a book and will chant right along with me! This little story will have your kiddos reading right along with you while showcasing a variety of vegetables.

The Carrot Seed

best for ages 2+

A sweet story about a little boy who plants a carrot seed and, despite everyone telling him it will not grow, continues to water and care for it until ti does indeed grow! A story about believing in yourself as well about wonderful carrots.

Before We Eat: From Farm to Table

best for ages 4+

In this vibrantly illustrated book, the author shares about all the people involved in getting the food we eat on the table. About so much more than just vegetables, it is a wonderful story about the process of creating food and being grateful for the hard work of others.