Story by Eric Carle
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a classic children’s story that I remember reading when I was a child and one that is still popular with children today, due in large part to the fuzzy main character’s voracious appetite. Throughout the story, the very hungry caterpillar devours a growing number of apples, pears, plums, strawberries, and oranges- until the weekend, when he decides to satiate himself by consuming a feast of a different nature! The young caterpillar changes his health-conscious approach to meals and eats 5 desserts, 2 types of meat, a slice of cheese, a pickle, and a slice of watermelon. Satisfied, on Sunday he can eat only a single green leaf before falling asleep and awakening as a big, beautiful butterfly.
Carle’s familiar, colorful fable is a great way to introduce children to different types of produce, especially as the season changes. For picky eaters, it can also be used as an encouragement to get them to try new foods, just like the very hungry caterpillar did in the story! It’s also a great way to talk to older children about balancing healthy foods like fruit, meat, and cheese with sweet treats like cupcakes and pie.
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