The Longest Shortest Time

Books: For Having Fun Eating with Kids

I’ve never thought of food as a FUN thing to talk about until I met my friend Dan Pashman. Dan was on our latest episode, as well as the one in which he tried to convince me that food tastes better when soaked in baby drool, and the one in which he helped us concoct our signature cocktail.

Dan hosts The Sporkful podcast, and his whole mission is to help you enjoy your food to the max. His eating methods are often absurd, always fun. And he writes about them in detail in his book Eat More Better. Now, when I say Dan has “eating methods,” I don’t mean he’ll tell you how to get your kid to eat her broccoli; I mean he’ll tell you the most strategic and tasty way to eat your dipped chip or cheeseburger or triangle-shaped sandwich. If your kid is anything like mine, this kind of strategizing at the table will sound very familiar. And, I’ve found, if I embrace the strategizing and the food play, mealtime is way more fun.

I asked Dan for a list of books that have helped to make eating more fun in *his* house. Here are his picks—some grown-up reads, some kid-reads—along with his notes. —HF

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I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence by Amy Sedaris
The single funniest book about cooking and entertaining ever written. I will sometimes just sit and read it for pleasure. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything in the book, because I really don’t use cookbooks. But this is still my #1 favorite of all time.


The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
The original eater, the man who claimed you are what you eat, and said, “The discovery of a new dish confers more happiness on humanity than the discovery of a new star.”


Spork by Kyo Maclear
Fun kids’ book about being different. Because … SPORKS!


On Food And Cooking by Harold McGee
For eaters really in the mood to geek out, this is sort of the original text for people interested in food science. Harold McGee is the godfather of cooking nerds.


Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
From the author of Knuffle Bunny and I Am Invited to a Party!, two favorites with my kids. Love everything this guy does. —DP

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What are YOUR favorite books for fun with food?
Add ’em to the list! Down below in the comments.