The holidays are filled with food. Family gatherings and holiday parties nearly always feature big spreads, and treats appear from everywhere. It can be a challenge to manage all the food and stress of the holidays. 

Here are some books about food and eating to spark a conversation about healthy holiday eating.

How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate? by Dan Graham, PhD

It’s hard for some kids to wait for something that they really want! A marshmallow now or ice cream later? In this lively, rhyming picture book, twins Dell and Pete face a series of humorous choices that test their ability to stay strong in the face of temptation.

Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers that explores techniques to help kids build impulse control and learn to delay gratification.

Pete and Dell are sweet-toothed brothers who learn strategies to help them delay gratification in this rhyming picture book… A solid conversation started on topics of self-control.” —Kirkus Reviews

Hear this story read aloud.

Here are some tips from the Note to Parents and  Caregivers:

  • Turn your face: Temptations can become less powerful if we stop looking at the thing we want.
  • Take some space: Putting some distance between ourselves and the tempting object can make self-control easier. Distancing ourselves from current emotions can also boost self-control. 
  • Imagine: We can use imagination to change the way we feel about something tempting. 
  • Do something fun: Distracting ourselves by doing something we enjoy can help shift our focus from the thing we desire to the fun we are having.

Read the whole excerpt from the Note to Parents and Caregivers in  How Can I Wait When There’s a Treat on My Plate?

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!

Princess Penelopea Hates Peas is the story of a princess who cannot be convinced to try her peas, no matter what the king and queen do. The book offers parents an opportunity to encourage kids to try new foods. There is a note to parents and caregivers in the back that provides useful tips for getting children to eat a variety of foods. The accompanying illustrations are whimsical and colorful, and help turn a topic that some children may hesitate to embrace into a book that is a great deal of fun to read.” —Foreword Reviews