Feeding your little bookworm.

So your child’s gotten her “taste” for reading… Now what?

How about using reading to introduce her to new foods?

I grew up with Paddington Bear & his marmalade. I’ll never forget the first time I tried marmalade. After all, if Paddington could live on it, it must be good! Well, it wasn’t. (I’ve since developed a taste for it.) But because of Paddington, I was so excited to give it a try!

The same went for The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe. I was in a British shop near our house once growing up when I saw it: Cadbury Turkish Delight. Oh how I begged my parents to buy me some! Again, I’d grown up hearing about it & just had to try it. Let’s just say I couldn’t understand what Edmund saw in that stuff.

(Rereading these anecdotes, I realize I’m not really proving my point very well. & I’m making myself out to be the pickiest eater ever.)

My point is that I was introduced to these foods through the books I read, & those books made me want to expand my culinary horizons.

Even if your book isn’t talking about marmalade or Turkish Delight, it’s easy to come up with foods for your little bookworm. Some book series have even come up with corresponding cookbooks, like Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes, which includes things like Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake from Matilda & Mr. Twit’s edible beard from The Twits. (We had this one growing up, so that’s why I remember them.) The Boxcar Children series & Little Women have cookbooks, & on a library search I found no fewer than three different Winnie the Pooh cookbooks.

But almost any book can become a menu if you use your imagination. We bought dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets because The Munchkin likes her dinosaur books so much, & to this day they’re still one of like 3 ways she’ll eat chicken without negotiating. We also use cookie cutters a lot: like “princess sandwiches” in the shape of tiaras.

If you’re reading a book about another culture, make a meal from that country. Like try some Chinese food for Tikki Tikki Tembo, crepes for The Little Prince, or pelmeni & borscht for Baba Yaga.

So put on your thinking caps, break out the cookie cutters & cookbooks, & get creative in the kitchen with your little bookworm!

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