What would children feed the hungry caterpillar if it were written today?

junk food 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the classic children’s picture book written and illustrated by world renowned children’s author, Eric Carle is celebrating its 45th Anniversary today, the first day of Spring.


To mark the book’s 45 year anniversary, The World of Eric Carle commissioned a Censuswide poll which asked over 2,000 UK parents and children what ten foods they would choose for the hungry caterpillar to eat if the book was written today. The overall top ten foods families chose for the hungry caterpillar to eat included a wide range of options such as bananas, carrot sticks, broccoli, pasta, burgers, fish fingers, eggs and soldiers, porridge, chips and cheese strings. Some surprising results from the poll include:


  • UK kids opted for a number of healthy foods when choosing what they would like the hungry caterpillar to eat. Bananas came top of the list and were voted the most popular food choice by over 67.2% of children aged up to 16 years.
  • Out of the 1000 UK children polled, foods such as carrot sticks, porridge and broccoli all made it into the top ten for the hungry caterpillar to eat if they had written the book today.
  • Mediterranean snacks are more popular with kids than may have been anticipated. 1 in 5 children chose olives for the hungry caterpillar to munch on.
  • A third of UK Dads voted for Hungry Caterpillar to eat sushi which didn’t make the top ten lists of either Mums or children.
  • Cheese strings proved popular with both parents and children. Parents voted it as the 10th top food (41.10%) and the fifth most popular for children (60.3%).
  • Unsurprisingly, parents’ overall top 3 choices were the healthy food options bananas (73.4%), carrot sticks (66.5%) and broccoli (65.7%).


The poll also revealed that not only would UK families choose The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the most memorable book from their childhood, they would also pick it as the No. 1 book to read to their children. Results are as follows:


  • Nearly half of the 1000 UK children aged up to 16 who were polled voted for The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the most memorable book from their childhood.
  • UK children also voted The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the number one book to read to their children when they grow up
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar was also the number one book chosen by UK mums to read to their children (65.5%)


Eric Carle, acclaimed American children’s author comments on the anniversary celebrations: “I am delighted and honoured that my book The Very Hungry Caterpillar is enjoyed by so many readers in the UK. The story grows out of my long time interest in nature and my own imagination. How wonderful to think about the caterpillar eating cheese strings, sushi and olives! It is tremendously rewarding and heartwarming to know that my book is loved by readers whose own parents enjoyed the same book as children. Thank you friends in the UK and Happy Spring to all!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar remains one of the most read children’s book in the UK, selling over 36 million copies worldwide since its publication in 1969 and translated into more than 55 languages. It is known that The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold the equivalent of a copy per minute since its release, with researchers estimating that the perennial classic is read an average of nine times a year by the nation’s 5.5 million primary school children.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *