As a parent or caregiver, it feels like you are always feeding a child. Helping your child develop a healthy relationship with food is an important parenting task. In recognition of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 22-28, we featured books about food and eating that can help you with a variety of concerns.



Princess Penelopea Hates Peas: A Tale of Picky Eating and Avoiding Catastropeas by Susan D. Sweet, PhD and Brenda S. Miles, PhD
Once upon a time there was a princess named Penelopea. Penelopea lived in Capital Pea, where people ate peas by the pound — pureed, poached, and pan-fried! There was just one problem. Penelopea hated peas. So she came up with a plan — but it led to a catastropea of epic proportions! Eventually, in an effort to make peas disappear from the kingdom forever, she tries just one pea…then another… then another…and discovers they are positively pea-licious after all. Includes a section for parents and caregivers with ideas for introducing picky eaters to new options and encouraging children to eat a variety of healthy foods.

“Picky eaters will relate to this story, and the end notes give parents lots of great advice on how to broaden their children’s horizons when it comes to eating.” —Mom’s Radius
Read interviews with the book’s authors:
Meet Magination Press Author Brenda S. Miles
Meet Magination Press Author Susan Sweet


Max Archer, Kid Detective: The Case of the Recurring Stomachaches by Howard J. Bennett, MD
Meet Max. Max Archer, Kid Detective. Max helps kids solve problems. Max’s friend Emily has stomachaches. A lot of them! So, Max and Emily investigate the big three causes of stomachaches — lactose intolerance, constipation, and stress — and determine what causes Emily’s stomach to hurt. Without even realizing it, Emily has been under stress, so much that her tummy feels it! Using kid-friendly stress-busting strategies, Emily learns how to get back on track and feel better. Be sure to check out the extra fun activities at the end of the book. There’s a Q&A section at the end written just for parents.

“With a casual question-and-answer format and colorful cartoon illustrations, the title follows Max’s explanations to Emily — and the reader — about how digestion takes place and the three main causes of a stomachache: lactose intolerance, stress, and constipation…kids will enjoy learning about basic body functions, which are references in a diagram that traces the route of the digestive tract ‘from start to rather gross finish.’ A final section ‘just for parents’ adds more.” —Booklist


Full Mouse, Empty Mouse: A Tale of Food and Feelings by Diane Zeckhausen, PhD
What can two little mice do when they are chased by the cat, hounded by the dog, and threatened by the deadly mousetrap? Billy Blue tries eating more food to soothe his distress, and Sally Rose stops eating altogether. But when stuffing and starving themselves don’t help, they learn to look for answers in their hearts, and with their family and friends.

“Full Mouse, Empty Mouse provides a wonderful way to open the door for conversations about food and feelings that could lead to greater health and happiness for readers of all ages.” —Holly Hoff, Director of Programs, National Eating Disorders Association


My Big Fat Secret: How Jenna Takes Control of her Emotions and Eating by Lynn R. Schechter, PhD 

Jenna is having a tough time in middle school. She just turned 12, she hates gym, and she’s overweight. Jenna has good friends and cool hobbies, but when some of her classmates make fun of her, she just feels so bad! And to make things worse, when Jenna feels sad or mad or stressed out, she starts to eat and she just can’t stop! Through Jenna’s story, kids will learn how to say goodbye to emotional eating and hello to a healthy lifestyle. They’ll see how to create an action plan to stop overeating before it starts, identify emotional triggers that push them to food, and get healthier by taking better care of their bodies and minds.

“…Written as e-mails between Jenna and her friends, family, teacher, and school counselor, the text chronicles the girl’s journey from an emotionally out-of-control eater to a happier, healthier adolescent. Help that includes healthy recipes from her dad and an action plan and a list of emotional triggers to watch for from her counselor puts her on the path to better control of her emotions and eating. The email format and overall art design — colorful cartoons depict Jenna and her correspondents — will appeal to tweens.” —School Library Journal


Sharing books with your child can help them develop a healthy relationship with food. Sharing books about and talking about feelings can help, too. Click here to check out books about emotions.