The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Caterpillar Fruit Stamps

How and What Do Butterflies Eat?

This craft and recipe was inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To see all our Very Hungry Caterpillar activities, click here

Here's an easy and tasty nature lesson for your young reader:  Butterflies eat nectar, water, and other liquids through a little pipe that looks like a straw. The straw is called a ‘proboscis’ and it is curled under the butterfly’s head most of the time.

To see wonderful close-up photos of a butterfly eating visit What Butterflies Eat at The Butterfly Site

After viewing the photos have fun with your young reader pretending to eat like a butterfly. Try this simple craft and recipe and don’t be surprised if this science lesson makes your reader’s wings start to flutter!

How and What Do Butterflies Eat? Strawberry Smoothie recipe inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle -

How and What Do Butterflies Eat?

Making a Flower and Proboscis


  • drinking straw
  • paper cupcake liner
  • colored pencils (optional)
  1. Fold cupcake liner in half 3 times. 
  2. Round the top to make petals.
  3. Cut a very small amount off the pointed end of the folded cupcake liner. 
  4. Unfold. Decorate with colored pencils in your favorite flower design. 
  5. Place the flower on the end of the straw. 

Strawberry Butterfly Nectar Recipe

Please note, this recipe is only for young readers and not for real butterflies!


  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
  1. Combine the strawberries and apple juice in a blender or a food processor. Puree until smooth. If the nectar is too thick to drink through your ‘proboscis’ more water or apple juice may be added.


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