🤫 7 Secrets for ESL Learners - FREE download

English for Babies: Food

Note to parents: Learn English with your baby. All underlined words are explained in Wordchecker below.

Read and Listen: New Words

apple, banana, milk, cheese, cookie
  1. apple
  2. milk
  3. cheese
  4. banana
  5. cookie

On my lap

  1. Put the baby on your lap.
  2. Listen to the new words.
  3. Point at the picture on the screen.
  4. Repeat using your voice.
  5. Ask your baby to point to a food picture as you say it.
  6. Ask your baby a question:
    "Where's the apple?"
    "Where's the cookie?"

  7. Tell the baby the answer:
    "There's the cheese."
    "There's the banana."

  8. Show excitement when he points.
    Clap your hands and say:
    "That's right, milk!"
    "You found the apple!"
    "Good job!"

Song, Rhyme or Story time

Apple Tree

Way up high in the apple tree
I saw an apple smiling at me
I shook that tree as hard as I could
And down came the apple
Mmm good (kiss the baby)

Language Tip: You can adapt this favourite by changing it to the "cookie tree" or the "banana tree" when you teach new words.

Yummy Food

This rhyme is for mothers to use at mealtime. Change the word milk to whatever you are feeding your baby. Repeat each time your baby tries a new food at mealtime.

Yum Yum Yummy
milk in my tummy
Yum Yum Yummy
Thank you Mommy

Development Tip: A familiar rhyme like this may help your baby try new foods.

Cheese Please!


There once was a boy named Joey. Joey loved cheese!

All Joey wanted for breakfast was cheese.
"Cheese please!" Joey said in the morning.
Mama gave him some cheese. Joey ate it all up.

After Joey's nap it was time for lunch.
"Cheese please!" Joey said.
Mama gave him an apple. Joey cried.
"Cheese please!" he said.
Mama gave him some cheese with his apple. Joey ate it all up.

Soon it was dinner time. Mama gave Joey some banana.
"Cheese please!" Joey said.
Mama gave him some cheese with his banana. Joey ate it all up.

After dinner, Joey wanted dessert.
"Cheese please!" he said.
"Oh?" Mama said. "Don't you want a cookie?"
Joey smiled and took the cookie. He ate it all up.
"Milk please!" he said.


What's inside?

Snack time can be the baby's favourite time of the day. Make it fun by teaching your baby English food words.

  1. Find three small food containers that you use for baby's snacks.
  2. Break up three of your baby's favourite foods and separate them in the containers.
  3. Put your baby in her highchair, or sit on the floor with your baby.
  4. Give your baby the three sealed containers to play with.
  5. When she picks one, say: "What's inside?"
  6. Open the container and let your baby take a piece of food.
  7. Say the word as she tastes it: "Apple. Yummy."
  8. Give her another piece and repeat: "Apple. Yummy."
  9. Close the lid and let her pick another container.
  10. Continue opening and closing the lids, and teaching the food words until snack time is over.

Food Collage

  1. Look through a grocery flyer with your baby.
  2. Point out foods that your baby knows.
  3. Cut out an apple, a banana, a cookie, or your baby's favourite foods.
  4. Paste or tape the paper cutouts on a sheet of blank paper.
  5. Hang the collage in your kitchen.
  6. Point out the new food words whenever you and your baby pass the collage.

Grocery Baby

Teach your baby English at the grocery store.

  1. Choose one food word on each shopping trip, such as "apple".
  2. Tell your baby you need to find an apple.
  3. Say: "Let's look for apples. Can you help Mommy find an apple?"
  4. Give your baby an apple to hold, or put it in the cart where he can see it.
  5. As you shop repeat the word "apple" as often as you can.
  6. Say: "What are you holding?" Point to the apple as you say it.
Language Tip: If your baby throws the fruit or vegetable, try teaching him a rule in English. Say, "No throwing food." Give your baby a second chance. If he still throws the food try giving him something different to hold like a box of cookies.

mealtime: the main eating times in the day
feeding: giving someone something to eat
familiar: well-known (repeated often)
breakfast: morning meal
nap: sleeptime during the day
lunch: meal in the middle of the day
dinner: meal near the end of the day
dessert: small treat (usually sweet) after dinner
container: plastic dish with a lid used for holding food
sealed: closed
lid: the top of a container
collage: a large picture made with many different small pictures
cart: a basket on wheels in a grocery store