Books to Belly: Bear Feels Sick Noodle Soup


A few years back, my kids who ate anything and everything became picky. It was so upsetting to me. I nursed both of them for the first year and made my own baby food. I took pride in their healthy diet. It was so important to me for them to continue eating well.

During a library visit, the book Dragons Love Tacos screamed to me and a light bulb went off. This is how my idea of "Books to Belly" came to be. We read the story and then made tacos. The combination of the kids making the connection from the story to the food, and helping to prep the meal worked - they ate everything! We have continued this on successfully about once a week. At first they were little, so the prep consisted of washing the lettuce and putting the cheese on a plate. Today, they both love being in the kitchen and are given more tasks to complete our meals. It was so well received in my home that I now share the idea with other families through teaching a Books to Belly library class. I’m so happy to be able to share it with you all here.

Here, the story Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson is paired with noodle soup.


Bear feels sick and his friends take care of him by keeping him warm and making him soup and tea. Once he feels better, he thanks them for all they did. Soon he realizes that they have all become ill. So, just like his friends did for him, Bear takes care of his sick friends.

This is a perfect opportunity to discuss the importance of hand washing - especially before eating. It’s also good to teach them to sneeze into their elbow instead of their hands to prevent the spread of germs. Singing a hand washing song is helpful with little ones so they don’t wash too quickly. Singing this 2-3 times should be perfect. We also made a craft to go with the story with cut-outs of our traced hands. We glued on pom-poms to represent the germs.


Top and bottom, top and bottom.

In between! In between!

Rub them both together, rub them both together.

Now they’re clean: squeaky clean!


I can’t think of a better way to take care of someone you love than by feeding them a healthy heart-warming meal like noodle soup! The kids can help clean the veggies and pour the chicken broth in the pot (with assistance).

Noodle Soup


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 cup of onions, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 2 32 oz containers of chicken broth, or homemade
  • 1 package of wide egg noodles



  • In a large pot over a medium flame, heat oil.
  • Add onions and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add spinach cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add broth. Season with salt and pepper if desired and bring to a boil. Reduce to low flame and cook for about 45 minutes


In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook according to package directions. Once cooked, add desired amount in the soup. My kids love lots of noodles, so I add about half. I put a little butter on the leftovers and use them for another meal.

The best thing about Books to Belly is spending special time with your loves. Have fun and enjoy!

Picture of Tara Lotufo

Author: Tara Lotufo

Tara lives in New York with her husband David and children, Chloe and Max. Being a New Yorker can be difficult come winter, so Tara spends a lot of time in the kitchen with her kids, who have become her little sous chefs. They enjoy mixing and measuring, pouring and prepping, and eating! They’re her inspiration for creative meals and the reason she’s such a happy mommy. Tara blogs about food, cooking and all things delicious.

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