Eat, Listen, Love: Top 10 Children’s Songs About Food

02/12/2014 at 11:21 AM ET

Best Kids' Food Songs

As any mom or dad who has ever attempted to cook while their hungry kids were yammering in the background knows: Music is the answer.

And with the recent passing of the iconic Shirley Temple, we’re betting that parents across the country will be showing their children some of her most famous film clips, like her charismatic performance of “On the Good Ship Lollipop” during Bright Eyes, or her spunky rendition of “Animal Crackers in My Soup” in Curly Top.

With Temple and her candyland tune as our inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of our ten favorite food songs for kids. Add them to your playlist for anytime you need to soothe, distract or simply buy yourself some time to prep the tacos.

1. “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” Shirley Temple
The best thing about this song will be watching your child’s face as she listens to the lyrics and starts to imagine. Flying her own plane? Landing on a chocolate bar? Lemonade stands everywhere? The utterly expressive Temple makes everything seem possible.

2. “Apples and Bananas,” Raffi
In this popular sing-along anthem from One Light One Sun, Raffi isn’t just belting out a silly tune — he’s also teaching kids about vowels. And if they watch this concert video, they can also learn a thing or two about why fashion has come a long way since the eighties.

3. “Banana Song,” City Stomp
Whether you’re making banana bread or just want your kids to dance off their cabin fever as they peel, chop, mash, and stir, no music library should be without this classic. The version by the Brooklyn-based rock band City Stomp is a fun anthem that’s silly enough for kids but edgy enough that parents will be singing along as well.

4. “On Top of Spaghetti,” Tom Glazer
A delightful ditty played in preschools everywhere, this ballad teaches important lessons about meatballs, sneezing, physics and how the three relate. There’s no action in this video, but Tom Glazer’s folksy rendition from his Greatest Hits album is still the version to beat, for the sweet, sing-songy children’s chorus and funky 1970s cover art.

5. “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” The Muppet Show (feat. Judy Collins)
Vintage Muppet Show! Judy Collins! Snarky comments by Statler and Waldorf! There’s so much right with this video, even if the ending is a little dark by today’s sanitized kiddie standards. But hey, we all knew it was coming.

6. “C is for Cookie,” Sesame Street
Thank you, Cookie Monster, for being a guy who knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to say it. We dare you to find a more fun way to introduce your kids to the letter “C.”

7. “Bagel,” Music for Aardvarks
“I’m good in the morning, good at night, a little bit of butter and I taste just right, come on and gobble me up,” sings Aardvarks founder (and former punk rocker) David Weinstone as he pays homage to the humble bagel on the album Taxi. Whether or not they’re hooked on these circular breakfast staples, kids will love the funny lyrics and creative musical stylings.

8. “All Around the Kitchen,” Dan Zanes
If you can get past the bizarro video, you will come to adore Zanes’ infectious tune from his Family Dance album, which has undertones of folk and bluegrass and gorgeous vocal harmonies.

9. “Victor Vito,” Laurie Berkner

Warning: You will find this catchy call-and-response song from Berkner’s same-named album stuck in your head at the oddest moments, like during yoga class or in the middle of a conference call. We gve props to Berkner making vegetables like rutabaga and collard greens sound cool.

10. “Soon As We Cook Sweet Potatoes,” Pete Seeger

Like Temple, Seeger was another legendary entertainer who recently passed away that your kids need to know about. This sweet, soothing song from his children’s album Song and Play Time is a great introduction to his uplifting, banjo-powered brand of American folk music. Thanks to the Smithsonian, you can also listen to the whole album here.

—Lexi Dwyer


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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