Healthy Eating Songs and Rhymes
Date posted: January 22, 2018
It’s Family Literacy Week! Today we’re delighted to welcome Lindsey Krabbenhoft as our guest blogger.
Getting kids to eat healthy foods is one of a caregiver’s most important and sometimes daunting job. We know healthy foods help kids grow, fueling both their bodies and their brains. But eating is about so much more than food! Mealtime helps kids understand routines, lets them know they are cared for and loved, and can serve as a family bonding time. Incorporating songs and rhymes either before, during, or after eating together can make eating healthy food a fun and enjoyable experience for your little ones. Here are some of my favourite food themed songs and how to adapt them at home.
Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spatula
Healthy eating starts with having the right utensils. This is a great song to sing while you’re setting the table. Kids as young as age three can be involved in simple chores that contribute to the well-being of the family. It’s super fun to sing this one very slowly and then get faster and faster. We model actions for older children, but you can do this one with babies by moving their legs or arms around.
Get kids excited about fruit with this action song. The rhythm is great for kids who are developing their sense of movement. When you get to the end, don’t forget to go bananas! Want more? Check out our extra verses involving, oranges, potatoes, apples, and corn.
I love this song because it breaks down big words into clear syllables. This concept is known as phonological awareness and helps kids learn the sounds of a language. Ask kids for different fruits and veggies and make up your own verses. Or try substituting the names of the food you’ll be eating at mealtime together.
A silly and fun song that kids of all ages will love. If you’ve got more than one child they will love the call and response aspect of this one. Don’t stop at zucchini! Have kids change the lyrics to include any colour and vegetable combination that their hearts desire. Their enthusiasm for green things may just skyrocket.
Five Fat Peas
If you’re working on counting with a little one I highly recommend this fingerplay. Showing kids an actual pea pod either before or after doing the rhyme will help them visualize and remember better. Have them try to pop out the peas and eat them as a reward.
Way Up High in the Apple Tree
When kids know where their food came from it can make them more motivated to eat it. This song can be used for any food that grows on a tree. If you’ve got a toddler who needs to get their energy out have them practice shaking the tree before sitting down to eat.
I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas
This is a sign language infused version of the Raffi classic. Great for babies and toddlers, this song also teaches how to say please and thank you. When start teaching kids about healthy eating from birth we set them up for success.
For even more food themed songs and rhymes check out our complete playlist.
Lindsey Krabbenhoft is a children’s librarian in Vancouver, BC. She is the co-creator of a storytime YouTube channel and blog called Jbrary where you can find lots of songs and rhymes to sing with children.