We know, we know. Mealtime can be a battle ground where broccoli never wins, and a brownie bribe is the common white flag of surrender. But parents can encourage positive attitudes toward food with fun children’s books that make veggies seem silly and cooking look like a lot of fun.

“Vegetables in Underwear” by Jared Chapman

Little ones will get a laugh at this picture book featuring various veggies—eggplant, broccoli, carrot, corn—wearing lots of different undies, from drawers to diapers. The book focuses on the silly, so kids won’t even realize they’re learning the difference between a radish and a turnip—and they might just show an interest the next time they see a green pea (which has a penchant for streaking) on their plate.

“The Rootlets: Super Rootabilities” by Vicki Marquez; illustrated by Jeremy Russnak

“Stop playing with your food.” The adventurous vegetable and herb characters in this book never got the old mealtime memo. Each of the kid superheroes is inspired by a plant—Brocc has a green afro, Carrotina has ginger pigtails, even Basil the dog sports leafy ears. And, channeling Popeye the Sailor Man and his muscle-making spinach, they get their super powers from plant-based foods and healthy habits.

“The Berenstain Bears’ Country Cookbook: Cub-Friendly Cooking with an Adult” by Mike Berenstain

The familiar bear family might just inspire youngsters to help plan and cook meals—the recipe book includes mini Berenstain Bear stories at the beginning of each section, as well as illustrations of the characters throughout. The 40 recipes are kid-friendly and easy to prepare so that everyone can be included in the kitchen.

“A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat” by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall

This simple, yet sophisticated tale will inspire conversations and cravings. Readers learn how four families in four different centuries make the same delicious dessert: Blackberry Fool. The book gives hints at historical changes both social—one of the four families is a slave girl and her mother—and technological—have you ever made whipped cream with a bundle of twigs? By the end, both reader and listener will want a taste of the time-tested dessert—good thing the recipe is included!