Eating the Alphabet

Turn grocery shopping into an alphabet adventure and turn eating balanced meals into a delicious alphabet experience.

  • Target Age:  3-6 
  • Learning Goals:  words, letters, letter sounds
  • Related Episode: King Eddie Who Loved Spaghetti


  • Grocery Store
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Marker


  1. Sit down with your child and make a grocery list. Ask your child to come up with vegetables and fruit, grains, and protein.
  2. Have them identify the first letter in each food.
  3. Show your child the list and read it to them when it is complete. Be sure to point out the beginning letters.
  4. At the grocery store have your child hold the list. As you put food items in the cart, have your child identify the first letter of the food and then help him/her find, read and check off the food item. They are likely to remember what was written if they helped create the list prior to the shopping trip.
  5. If your child is too young to keep track of a list, say each food you are putting in the cart and emphasize the beginning sound. Help your child think about which letter that food starts with or simply have him/her repeat the beginning sound.
  6. You could also play "I Spy." For example, "I spy a food that is green and starts with the letter "B" or the "b" sound.
  7. When you are eating this food ask your child to recall the letter the food starts with. Say the word with emphasis on the beginning sound to help them figure it out. Ask your child,"What letters are you eating for lunch/dinner today? How many sounds is your plate making?"

Take It Further
  • Read Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert.
  • Put on a performance and dance to your favorite music. Use ribbon sticks or scarves to create letters in the air.
  • Have your child cut out pictures of his/her favorite foods and glue them onto a paper plate. Discuss VARIETY and BALANCED meals. Have them label the grains, vegetables, fruits, and protein.

Talk About It
  • What is your favorite meal? Who cooks it? Would you want to eat ONLY that every day?
  • Why do we need to eat healthy food?
  • Discuss opposites: healthy and unhealthy foods.

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