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Explore nutrition tips, kids’ meal plans, kids’ activities, recipes and more from pediatric nutritionist, Melissa Halas, MA, RDN, CDE.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This is a fantastic read to help your kids form healthy eating habits and to choose good foods that will fuel their bodies!

Story by Eric Carle

What is the book about?

“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.

After Reading this Book to Your Child:

  • Each week try one of the fruits either fresh or frozen that the very hungry caterpillar ate.
  • Use the book as a tool to teach your child to recognize healthy meals and snack options, and encourage them to come up with their own nutritious meals!
  • Together draw out your own day of meals and snacks and see if any of the foods they’ve eaten are the same as the very hungry caterpillar.


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About the Author

Picture of Alexandria Hardy, RDN, LDN

Alexandria Hardy, RDN, LDN

Alexandria is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian (RDN, LDN) employed by Lancaster General Health. She has been featured in the Lebanon Daily News, York Daily Record, Smart Magazine and blog, Fox 43, and on ABC 27. She has served as a panelist for the Giant Healthy Kids Summit and was featured as a guest on the television show "Medically Speaking". Her specialties include nutrition education, creation of health & wellness communications for print, development of nutrition focused programming, corporate wellness, weight management, sports nutrition, and type 2 diabetes.

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