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How "Green Eggs and Ham" Can Influence Your Kids in A Positive Way - Beyond Picky Eating

Jen Slack's picture
Green Eggs and Ham for picky eaters

I have always thought that one of the most influential books of my life was Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. I'm certain this book is the very reason why I am not a picky eater. And I have taken a "let's try it attitude", beyond food, towards many aspects of life in general.


Many of the books of the beloved Dr. Seuss were a part of my childhood, as they were with millions of others. For some reason, I do feel that this particular book shaped me more than the others did.

Published in 1960, it's been part of the libraries of children for many generations. Over 1400 of the reviews on Amazon.com, show that I'm not alone with the overwhelming majority reviewing it with five enthusiastic stars.

Repetition, Literacy and Memory Development

For those who aren't familiar, the book is about a character called "Sam I Am" who relentlessly pesters an unnamed character to try green eggs and ham. The unnamed character continually replies "I do not like green eggs and ham". The book continues this while rhyming in a repetitive fashion. Both rhyming and repetition are great for developing memory and literacy in children. Not only is it good for a book to contain repetitive phrases, but it's also good to keep reading the same book to children.

How Repetition Affects Our Memory

Beyond all of that, for me, it is the philisophical implications that I admire most about Green Eggs and Ham. As the story goes, although the unnamed character has decided that he doesn't like green eggs and ham, it also becomes obvious that he has not actually ever tried green eggs and ham.

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Throughout the story, the unnamed character is completely close-minded about trying this food.

Finally, he does decide to try green eggs and ham, for the sole purpose of stopping Sam I Am's relentless badgering. In the end, the unnamed character decides that he actually does like green eggs and ham and that he will eat them again, and again, in the future.

From this, I learned, early on, that it is never a good idea to say you don't like something, food or otherwise, until you've actually tried it. As a result, I am to this day, one of the most adventurous eaters I know. I enjoy just about any and every kind of food from a myriad of cultures and countries. There are very few foods I can actually say that I don't like.

The philosophy in general, "try it before you decide you don't like it", is a great one to learn at an early age, and not just regarding food either. I do believe that I tend to be more open-minded than many when it comes to wondering about new ideas, concepts and beliefs. I am willing to take a fair look at many ideas that many would dismiss readily without much thought.

After all, there is far too much to know, than to think that I know it all.

Reading Skills Are Enhanced With A Healthy Diet>

Did this, or another childhood book, influence you positively or negatively? Please comment below and thank you for reading.



Yes i totally agree with what you are saying about these Dr. Seuss books they were huge in my life growing up too . Thank you for sharing I hope parents go out buy these books if they don't already have them . Books are great learning tools . this day in age we rely to much on the internet and the hands on methods like opening a book sitting on the couch with our kids falls through the cracks ... Thank for this article Jen Slack keep up the great work .
Thank you Tina. I totally agree with you. Way too much technology in our kids' hands these days.