Little Red Hen


It goes back to the classic tale, The Little Red Hen. If they want to eat, the child needs to help out. It’s a plain and simple message that kids of all ages can grasp.

When it’s time to help out in the kitchen, speak it as a statement, not a question. For example, “Can you come help put dishes away?” allows the child to say no. I offered a choice.

Instead say, “It’s time to come help in the kitchen.” Don’t make it optional and don’t let the child ignore me. Remind them of the Little Red Hen—those who want to eat have to help out!

Yes, involving children in the kitchen does slow things down. This is a critical investment of time with huge dividends in the long run. As a parent, it is my job to teach children life skills and this is one of them. I am doing the world a disservice if I bring a child up that expects to be waited on in order to eat. When I create this expectation even from the youngest ages, it becomes natural to help out.


Delicious! A Pumpkin Soup Story
Helen Cooper,
Great story about the importance of a “I might like it bite”

Little Pea
Amy Krouse Rosenthal
A great twist! Perfect for the child who snubs vegetables.

The Red Lemon
Bob Staake
Another great story about the importance of an “I might like it bite.”

Applesauce Season
Eden Ross Lipson
A fun story about cooking and eating the abundance of apples in the fall.

This is the Way We Eat Our Lunch: A book about Children Around the World
Edith Baer
A reminder for the child who has a hard time trying something new. Is a fun reminder that there’s lots of different ways of eating.

A Cool Drink of Water
Barbara Kerley
Beautiful photographs from around the world of people drinking water.

John Coy, Two Old Potatoes and Me
Discovering that two shriveled old potatoes can be planted and turned into a bountiful harvest

Tomie dePaola
Strega Nona’s Harvest
Fun book about the bounty of gardening and the joy of sharing

Eddie’s Garden and How to Make Things Grow
Sarah Garland
Wonderful book about planting a garden and enjoying the harvest

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden
George Levenson
Nicely done photographic documentary of how pumpkins grow.

Bumpety Bump
Pat Hutchins
Grandfather and grandson harvest in the garden in this playful story.

Starting Life Ladybug
Informative, colorful book about the life cycle of a ladybug

Denise Fleming
Where Once There Was a Wood
Bold images of woods, reminding us what used to be where all the buildings and parking lots are now