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Midwest's Monthly Book and Cook:  "Eating the Alphabet"

It's Story Time!

"A child’s body needs nutrition, not just food.”  Julie Webb Kelley


Eating the Alphabet

Author: Lois Ehlert

Colorful photos and upper and lower class letters introduce children to a delicious array of fruits and vegetables from around the world.

Purchase on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.


Before the Lesson

Objective: Promote nutrition education, exercise and literacy in young children.

  • Gather fruits and vegetables for each letter of the alphabet for a surprise bag and taste testing. 


Read and Discuss
Read Eating the Alphabet and discuss.

Pass out real or toy fruits and vegetable that are shown in the story (apple, banana, etc.). As you come to the section that has that item ask, “Who has the banana? What color is it? What does it taste like? Feel like? Smell like?” Continue in this manner as you read the story interacting with students and getting them to think about the different aspects of each fruit or vegetable they are holding.

Discuss: Talk with children about different fruits and vegetables that start with each letter.  Focus on some that may not be as common, such as beets. Explain that beets grow under the ground, but the leaves grow above ground.  Ask children to come up with other words that start with “B”.  Record their ideas on a large sheet of butcher paper (divide into sections for each letter of the alphabet or have one sheet for each letter).

Paper Bag Guess: Place one or two beets in a paper bag.  Ask children to reach in and describe the feel and shape of the object. Pull out the beet and have children describe the size, shape and color.

Taste and Tell: Gather children together in circle time and offer tastes of raw and cooked beets. Ask questions like: What do beets taste like? Is there a difference between raw beets and cooked beets?

Follow this process throughout the week or month as you introduce different fruits and vegetables to children to explore.



  • Fruit and Vegetable sort.  Hold up laminated pictures of various fruits and vegetables. Discuss which category each one is in as you say the name.  At the end, give children copies of each picture and ask them so sort them onto two plates: one labeled Fruits and the other labeled Vegetables.  Children can color the “food” the appropriate color.
  • Make a class Eating the Alphabet book. For each page, write “Eating the Alphabet, yum, yum, yum.  ___ is for ________.  I want some.



Download the Recipe Ideas here

Download the Story Time PDF here

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