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Book Reviews

Our Food: A Healthy Serving of Science and Poems (A Book Review)

Our Food: A Healthy Serving of Science and Poems by Grace Lin & Ranida T. McKneally (Author)
illustrated by Grace Zong
Age Range: 5 – 8 years old
Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 40
Available for Sale: June 14, 2016

Synopsis (from Charlesbridge Publishing)
A colorful, bountiful book about the food we eat.

Award-winning author Grace Lin joins science writer Ranida T. McKneally to get kids talking about the science of food, the five food groups, and what a healthy meal looks like. Answering questions like “why are so many vegetables green?”, “What’s the difference between brown bread and white bread?”, and “Why do beans make you gassy?”, cheerful haiku poems and a simple Q&A format make this book a nutritious treat.

The information in this book aligns with both the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Plate guidelines. Back matter includes further information about healthy eating and nutritional guidelines, as well as a glossary.


Like many kids, my children can sometimes be absurdly stubborn about eating their vegetables.  However, my daughter does love eating salad and broccoli and my son loves corn and broccoli.  Thankfully, they both like a variety of fruits like pears, oranges, cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mango and apples.

This book is a wonderful introduction to the five food groups (fruits, grains, protein foods, vegetables and dairy) and healthy eating.  Short haiku poems accompany nutritional information that answers questions like: “Why do we eat?”  “Why are so many vegetables green?” “Why are some cheeses so stinky?” “What’s the difference between whole milk and skim milk?” and more.  There is also a handy glossary at the back of the book that contains the different vocabulary words and their definitions that are used throughout.  The illustrations are bright and colorful and include a diverse group of five children visiting their local farm.


As a parent, I really like this book and the overall message of teaching kids about nutritional eating.  Getting my kids (and husband) to make healthier food decisions is sometimes an uphill battle, but I try to be consistent and persistent when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables.  I’m glad books like this one exist to help illustrate the importance of healthy eating in a way that’s fun, educational and easy for kids to understand.

I think this book will be an excellent resource to refer back to as my kids get older.  There are so many great facts mentioned that I think older kids (and adults) will appreciate.

For example, do you know what makes popcorn pop?  That’s something I’ve often wondered, but never took the time to research the answer.  Thanks to reading this book, I now know “when you heat popcorn, the small amount of water inside the kernel turns to steam.  The steam softens the endosperm and turns it into a jelly.  Trapped by the strong, hard shell, the steam can’t escape, and pressure builds up inside causing the shell to eventually crack and pop!”  Another interesting fact I learned is “the color of a fruit gives us a clue to the nutrition in it.  For example, orange fruits like apricots and cantaloupes are rich in beta-carotene.”

After reading this book I made a list of some things I can do as a parent to help my kids make healthier food choices.  Here’s what I came up with:

  • Continue to set a good example for my kids
  • Create fun, positive experiences around food
  • Continue to let the kids help me in the kitchen when preparing meals and snacks
  • Continue to expose them (in a pleasant way) to the healthy foods they initially reject

Check this book out with your little readers to help get them excited about eating healthy.  Great for home and school libraries!

Your turn: How do you get your kids to eat healthy?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Our Food: A Healthy Serving of Science and Poems (A Book Review)

  1. I feel like I should know the answer to why should know the answer to why so many vegetables are green, but I don’t! I’m always amazed at how much more likely kids are to try a vegetable if they grew it themselves.

    1. I know I learned why so many vegetables are green back in elementary school, but honestly if you asked me this question a few weeks ago I wouldn’t have remembered the answer! Haha! The green color comes from a pigment called chlorophyll. And yes, I agree if kids grow fruits and veggies they are more likely to try them. Thanks for stopping by!