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Foods are very motivating and often part of a child’s first vocabulary.  

  • Familiarise yourself with the child’s favourite foods and build up from there.
  • Encourage parents to use 2 food choices as snacks to develop requesting.
  • Shopping at Coles / Woolworths is a great vocabulary rich activity!

Word Lists

apple, biscuit, bread, butter, carrot, cheese, chicken, chips,. coffee, egg, fish, icecream, grapes, orange, milk, pasta, sandwich and more.

Download our take-home word list below.

Play Themes

There are always a lot of food-themed imaginative play toys at any toy store.  Make sure you have a good set of plastic/ wooden food.  Accessories include tea set / cafe set,  shopping bag and money.

Toddlers learning their first words like to ask for snacks and this can be a good way to use these food words day to day.  

Home corner setups like a toy kitchen with pots, pans and a microwave are great props for your playtime.  You can even use empty recyclable items (eg butter container, yoghurt pot, milk carton) in your play.

Here are some ideas for play themes to encourage food related vocabulary.  

Toys I Like at Kmart

1. Cafe

Set up a cafe and put in some orders. The waiter can serve you some items.

2. Picnic

Put your play food in a bag and lay out a rug on the floor for a picnic.

3. Cut up Fruits

There are lots of sets of velcro cut-up-fruit. Use a chopping board and make a fruit salad or a smoothie.

4. Shopping

Buy some foods from a ‘shop’ and pay for the items with money/card. Set out the food items on a table and check out each item as you call it out.

Downloads & Worksheets

Kids Books

This is our recommended list for toddlers and preschoolers learning about fruits and vegetables.   Some of these books have simple pictures to name, whilst others have a story like ‘Handa’s Surprise’ for preschoolers already starting to use longer phrases

  • Handa’s Surprise.  A girl goes walking with a basket of fruit on her head.  Little does she know that as she walks the animals have been stealing them!  This is a visually appealing book with a nice steady rhythm and sequence.   Great for preschoolers linking ideas.   Words to Try – lemon, pineapple, mango, pear, apple.
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Everyone knows this story!  A great way to rehearse all the fruit and vegetables throughout the caterpillar’s journey.  Why not play this out with some real fruit and a puppet?  Words to Try – apple, orange, cherry, strawberry.
  • Oliver’s Fruit Salad. You can learn different fruit names as Oliver prepares a fruit salad at home for his family.  Why not make one at home after reading the book?  Words to Try – pineapple, apple, pear, strawberry.
  • Eating the Alphabet. A fruit and vegetable dictionary from A to Z!  Great way to learn new words.
  • The Ugly Vegetables.   A story about planting vegetables in the back garden.  Although they are not as pretty as flowers, they turn out to be delicious!  This is a nice one to followup outside in your own garden.
  • I will not ever never eat a tomato. From the Charlie and Lola series.  Lots of fruits and vegetables (and other foods) in this book which have been magically turned into other things.  Carrots are orange twiglets and mashed potato is cloud fluff.  This is a more advanced book for a preschooler but great for learning describing words.  Words to Try – tomato, carrot, potato
  • The Vegetable Patch. This is from the Farmer Tim series.  A donkey discovers the farmer’s vege patch and decides to help himself.
  • Farmer’s Market Day. This is a sweet book about a little girl visiting the fruit and vegetable stall at her local farmer’s market.  She unwittingly topples over things as she walks through picking up some fruit.  Lots of describing words for older preschoolers to talk about.  A nice rhyming text goes throughout the book which you can help your child to listen to.  It’s also a great news experience to practice at retell.