Books and food have more in common than you think

I have been thinking a lot lately about books (obviously) and how we tend to pick up books that are bright and shiny, with an attractive cover, and rarely do we pick up a book with a simple, plain cover, regardless of what lies inside.

Now I would be the first person to say that there’s nothing wrong with having things look attractive and beautiful! God created beauty and bright colors, so clearly those things can and often times do, honor Him. However, as that old adage goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Food analogy

I think I must really, really like food, because I can draw an analogy back to food for just about anything. Bare with me here. I’ve noticed that kids seem to gravitate towards loving so many things that are not good for them but look and taste wonderful. For example, my kids love ramen and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. It drives me bonkers. They would literally eat that stuff all the time if I let them. So guess what? I don’t let them. We have Cheetos on a specific night of the week (except for potty training purposes, LORD help me) and that’s it. As for ramen, same thing.

I do that because I know that although their mouths are all about these foods and the levels of joy they produce, I also know that habits are hard things to break. So creating healthy eating habits and acquiring a taste for good foods is extremely important. Some battles are not worth the fight. However, this one is (to a point!).

For clarity, I’m no purist. I’ve already admitted that our children eat junk sometimes, so I’m not advocating for only super foods to be in your pantries. But it’s the general idea of sometimes forcing our kids to choose to do what’s right rather than what’s easy or what feels good.

Similarities with books

And this is very similar to reading books. There are books that are very fun to read, and they’re sort of like eating candy (or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos if you are a part of our family). Not a lot of anything being taught, but they are an entertaining read. Those books that require a little more chewing and a little more thinking are those we tend to avoid. They are the food equivalent of meat and veggies.

Good, quality books are not always what we turn to, especially as children. But that is where the nutrition is. That is where character is developed and exemplified. That is where we can learn through the experiences of others and understand different perspectives in a way that glorifies the LORD (when we choose our books wisely).

Children need parents with wisdom

Our children rarely have the wisdom to choose what’s best for them. Again, my children would feast on ramen for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a side of Flamin’ Hots if I let them. I remember talking to a mom years ago who told me that her daughter mostly ate Doritos throughout the day. That’s it. That’s all she would eat. And this child was probably 12 or 14. All I could think was her gut health had to be a mess. Eating Doritos for a treat is one thing, but living on them is an entirely different situation. For goodness sake, our kids need parents who will help them make good decisions even when they don’t like it, not a buddy to give them whatever they want with no discernment (Prov. 29:15).

Again, the same goes for books. Those bright shiny books with zero quality content aren’t always the most terrible things for our children. But they should be the exception rather than the rule. The more they consume quality literature, the more they will like it. Back to the food analogy, same can be said for the food we give our children. The more of the good stuff they’re used to, the more likely they will be to choose the good stuff on their own when they’re older.

Good habits

Bad habits are frequently, if not always, incredibly difficult to break. If we can set our kids up with some good habits while they are young, it will only help them when they are older. However, if we passively allow our children to do whatever feels good to them, we will be helping to set them up for struggling in their future.

So pick up some good quality books for your kids to read at MHM! They not only look fun, but they are awesome reads that have interesting, entertaining, and wholesome content your kids will most definitely enjoy!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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