Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmat

            Gregory is a picky eater.  Imagine a goat who does not like old tires and shirt buttons? Gregory would prefer to eat things like eggs and orange juice, revolting!  How does he learn to try new foods?  This silly story will delight any picky eater.


  • Food magazines and a paper plate per child
  • Ahead of time, ask the parents to send in labels from foods the children have eaten at home (soup label, cereal box, granola wrapper)
  • A Food Pyramid for children 
  • Food cards (Made into a domino game/Make sure to include at least six of each kind).
  • Parachute or sheet
  • 5 brown grocery bags or boxes


  •             Average (just like everybody else)
  •             Fussy eater (picky eater)
  •             Revolting (nasty)
  •             Develop (learn to like)

Before Reading the Story

            Ask the children if they know what it is to be a picky or fussy eater.  Has anyone ever called them that?  Tell them that the story today is about a goat that was a fussy eater.  Ask if anyone knows what goats eat (everything)?  Let’s find out about Gregory the goat. Introduce the book.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, needs, questions; and for other varied purposes.

Reading the Story

After Reading the Story

            In the story, Gregory ate too much junk food; can you recall some of the things he ate?  Ask the children to help you make a list of people junk foods.  Show them on a food pyramid how little junk food they should be eating versus other foods.

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.


            Make several sets of the food card dominos and cover them with contact paper for the children to name the foods as they play.

Mathematics/Patterns Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, out in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as color, shape, or size. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and in using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

Music and Movement

            Sing Happily We Eat Our Foods to the tune of Merrily We Roll Along.

Happily we eat our food, eat our food, eat our food

Happily we eat our food to grow up big and strong.

(Hold up a food picture card and sing about it)

 Happily we eat our carrots, eat our carrots, eat our carrots

Happily we eat our carrots to grow up big and strong

(ask the children which food category the food belongs to and then do another)

Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one answer to a question, task, or problem.



            Make sure you have plenty of magazines with food pictures for the children to cut out.  Then give each child a paper plate that is divided into four sections.  Ask the children to make a balanced meal by cutting the food pictures and gluing them to the plate.  Remind them to look for a fruit, a vegetable, a protein and a milk product.  Glue each type to a different part of the plate.

Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment.

Sand and Water

            Put play foods into the water table for the children to wash and sort. 

Mathematics/Patterns & Measurement; shows increasing abilities to match, sort, put in a series, and regroup objects according to one or two attributes such as shape and size.

Library and Writing

            Bring the food label collection to a wall space and let the children help tape them to the wall.  You can either put them on your word wall under the correct beginning letter or make a collage type arrangement and then ask the children to show you which are their favorite three items.  Write their name beside the item.

Social & Emotional Development/Self-Concept; begins to develop and express awareness of self in terms of specific abilities, characteristics, and preferences.

Dramatic play

            Encourage the children to cook nutritious meals in the kitchen.  Can they name the foods?  Can they tell which food group the food belongs in?

Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; grows in eagerness to learn about and discuss a growing range of topics, ideas, and tasks.

Math and Manipulatives

            Make another set of the food dominos and cut out the foods to be individual cards.  Make a food pyramid on a piece of large paper and tape it to the wall.  For each food group write the number of servings per day.  The children can then sort the food pictures (add more from magazines) and put the correct amount of foods into each food category.

Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to associate number concepts, vocabulary, quantities, and written numerals in meaningful ways.

Outdoor Play

            Take your plastic foods outside along with 5 brown grocery bags.  On the front of one write grains and draw some pasta, on another write vegetables, fruits, meats, and milks.  Have the children grab onto the edges of a parachute or queen sized sheet.  Put several of the plastic foods in the center and let the children see if they can bounce them around the parachute/sheet.  If one falls off a child can then take it and put it into the appropriate bag. 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; participates actively in games, outdoor play, and other forms of physical exercise that enhance physical fitness.


Have the children stand in a circle and put the bags (from Outdoor Play) in the center.  The teacher tosses a food to a child who them must name it and put it in the proper food group bag.

Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses an increasingly complex and varied spoken language.


About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.