My son is just learning to read, and loves practicing words and trying to read short sentences. I purchased a boxed set of 24 small books (it's like they knew) for $19.99 that are written specifically for beginner readers. Each book has about 7-8 pages, with 2 sight-words per book. Since he goes to a French school, I bought them in French.
I wrapped each book, and put a label on the front with a number. Then I lined them up on the mantel behind the stockings. Starting tomorrow night, he will unwrap one book each evening before bed, and practice reading them out loud.
I like that it encourages his love of reading, helps him practice his French and his reading skills, and takes the focus off food. It encourages time together as well. He's so excited he can barely wait for tomorrow night to arrive!