Munchy Trunks

The UK’s number one baby food brand, Ella’s Kitchen has today launched the world’s first 'Eat Along Book’ for little ones, co-written by popstar and mum of two, Frankie Bridge. The book has been designed to help boost developmental motor skills and hand-eye coordination, whilst exploring new tastes and textures through fun, sensory food play at mealtimes – to help little ones on their journey to developing a healthy relationship with food.

In line with research* suggesting that sensorial, hands-on activities with fruit and veg can actually enhance children’s willingness to try and accept these foods at mealtimes, the storybook “The Munchy Trunks” is written by Frankie, with the help of the in-house nutritionist at Ella’s Kitchen and brought to life with bright and brilliant illustrations by Fhiona Galloway, to encourage little ones of weaning age to play and interact with different foods.

The storyline follows a little explorer who learns the grips and grabs needed to pick up, hold and eat a variety of foods, through the creative device of mimicking various animals as he turns into them, and makes his way through the magical fruit and veg land. As the story unfolds, little ones are encouraged to eat along with the little explorer and animals – with helpful icons throughout the book showing parents the different grips and grabs to practice as their little one grows. The book also includes a list of suggested foods to try as they read the story, for inspiration on different finger foods to give their little one, depending on their stage in the weaning journey.

The playful and educational tale – perfect for little ones from six months – has been released to celebrate the launch of five new products being added to Ella’s Kitchen’s much-loved Finger Food range. The new products, including Munchy Fingers, Mini Puffs and Puff Pops, are the perfect partner for the book as they also help to develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills needed for little ones to pick up, hold and feed themselves at mealtimes.

Co-author of the Eat Along Book, Frankie Bridge, said: “As a mum of two boys, I’ve been through the weaning journey myself, watching them try new foods for the first time and getting used to different tastes and textures. I did lots of research about what I could do to get them to enjoy nutritious foods, but in the end, it all came down to making mealtimes a fun experience!

"I’ve loved working with Ella’s Kitchen to bring this Eat Along Book to life – a story designed to be read to your babies and children at mealtimes, as they explore new foods that will excite their tiny taste buds. I hope the characters in the book will help your little ones practice different grips and grabs to pick things up and eat for themselves. I hope you enjoy!”

CEO at Ella’s Kitchen, Mark Cuddigan, commented: “We are so excited to be launching the world’s first Eat Along Book, along with new products to our Finger Food range which are made just for little ones on their weaning adventure. The book has been designed with sensory play at the forefront, with hands-on activities weaved in throughout to encourage little ones of weaning age to play and interact with their food, in order to increase familiarity, curiosity and willingness to try different tastes, to ladder back up to our ultimate mission which is to help little ones develop a healthy and happy relationship with food.

“The book has been written to support parents through the weaning journey, helping to make mealtimes more fun, all while encouraging their little ones to enjoy lots of exciting tastes and textures. Our range of Finger Foods, which includes five new tasty additions, is the ideal companion to the book as they give your little one the chance to explore for themselves, encouraging little fingers to play and learn through a fun sensory experience. We hope your little one has as much fun eating along to the book, as we did creating it.”

Trustee at Flavour School, Dr. Nicholas Wilkinson, explained: “We are passionate about sensory food education – it’s a great way to get kids exploring veggies and fruits with all their senses. Simple, fun sensory activities grow confidence and curiosity in exploring foods and flavours, and children learn vocabulary and conversation skills to express and share their experiences. We want all children to keep exploring so that they discover lots of delicious, healthy foods that they enjoy.

"We are excited to be partnering with Ella’s Kitchen on this fab little ‘Eat Along Book’. We think it’s a great way to start exploring veggies and fruits with your little ones, to create good habits that will last a lifetime. The money raised through the book will be used to help support and train schoolteachers in delivering sensory food education, enabling even more children to enjoy exploring food with all their senses, and to express their food preferences with confidence."

“The Munchy Trunks” is perfect for babies aged from six months and is available to purchase for £2.50 along with the new range of Finger Foods at ellaskitchen.co.uk or via the Kindle app for £1.50. You can also listen to the audiobook for free via popular podcast platforms, such as Spotify.

All proceeds from the sale of the physical book and 35%** of every eBook sale, will be donated to registered UK charity, Flavour School, whose mission is to promote sensory food education to help children develop happy and healthy relationships with food.

* Dazeley & Houston-Price (2015) Exposure to foods & non-taste sensory properties. A nursery
intervention to increase children's willingness to try fruit and vegetables. Appetite 84: 1-6:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195666314004486

**All royalties from eBook sales will go to Flavour School.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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