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Our Favorite Culturally Diverse Books about Food for Kids

One way to increase a child’s acceptance of a new food is to read about it! Children love to imitate their favorite characters and learn about other people and places. Read one of these books and then make a meal inspired by the story with your child.

1. Bee-bim Bop!

Follow a young girl as she helps her mother prepare bee-bim bop (“mix-mix rice”), a traditional Korean dish of rice with meat and vegetables.

Grade level: preschool - 3rd, ages 4 - 7

Try one of these 24 kid-friendly korean foods by Kimchimari


2. Stef Soto, Taco Queen

Follow Estefania “Steff” Soto as she struggles with her schoolmates defining her by her family’s Taco Truck and ultimately embraces her heritage when her family needs a champion.

Grade level: 3rd - 7th, ages 8 - 12

Make some Mexican Fruit cups with Yvette on her Muy Bueno food blog which translates to “very good!”


3. Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis

Learn about Edna Lewis, one of the first African American female chefs as she grows, harvests, and prepares food for her family. This book includes five kid-friendly recipes at the end!

Grade level: preschool - 3rd, ages 4 - 7

Want more Edna Lewis recipes? Check these out. We love the buttermilk cookies!


4. Hot Hot Roti for Dadaji

Read about how powerful and strong Aneel’s grandfather becomes after eating hot, hot roti.

Grade level: 1st - 2nd, ages 5 - 8

See how strong you become after eating hot, hot roti by following this roti recipe.


5. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Join a Native American family as they joyfully cook fry bread together. Learn about the history, celebration, and tradition surrounding fry bread through this deep dive into Native American culture.

Grade level: preschool - 1st, ages 3 - 6

Cook together with your child and make The Fancy Navajo’s recipe for Fry Bread or Blue Corn Cookies.

Looking for more books about the diversity of food? Check out these additional resources:

Introducing culturally diverse recipes is a great way to get your kids exposed to a variety of foods and support minority authors, so we can see more of these awesome books in the future.


About the author: Angela Loewen, Ashly Skaley, Megha Patel, and Rebecca Housh are dietetic interns at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They are passionate about nutrition and understand the importance of diversity both within their community and in the foods they eat. They enjoy trying foods from all across the world, as it allows them to feel immersed within different cultures without the need to travel. In their free time, they enjoy exploring Chicago’s diverse restaurant scene.

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