My grandmother has always been way ahead of her time in terms of nutrition. When everyone else was guzzling sugary sodas, she was drinking water with lemon and green tea. As an elementary school teacher, she believed it was never too early to start teaching kids about healthy nutrition, and I agree. In today’s world where childhood diabetes and obesity are on the rise, an apple a day, or at least a picture book about an apple, might be just what the doctor ordered.
Growing Vegetable Soup, by Lois Ehlert
One way to get kids to eat their vegetables is to show them where they come from. A child who grows a tomato is much more likely to be excited about eating that tomato, sun hot from the garden. This book shows the garden cycle, and also includes a healthy recipe for vegetable soup!
I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato (Charlie and Lola Series), by Lauren Child
If you have a picky eater on your hands, this is the book for you. Lola is an incredibly fussy eater who doesn’t want to eat anything, especially tomatoes. That is until her imaginative brother Charlie steps in. If you thought mashed potatoes were fluffy clouds from Mount Fuji, wouldn’t you be tempted to take a bite?
The Boy Who Loved Broccoli, by Sarah A. Creighton
If a boy who absolutely loves broccoli seems like a fantastical tale, then this funny picture book is for you. Baxter is this unusual child, and this nutrient-rich vegetable literally gives him super powers! And what kid wouldn’t want that?
Creepy Carrots!, by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown
This deliciously creepy picture book about Jasper Rabbit, a rabbit who loves carrots so much, maybe too much, and he eats them everywhere. But are the carrots following him? This book is particularly enjoyable to read while snacking on a few carrot sticks.
The Vegetables We Eat, by Gail Gibbons
This book is stock full of delectable information and includes everything you need to know about the rainbow of vegetables, with lots of colorful illustrations as well. As you read about everything from peppers to peas, parents may learn something as well!
Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey
This classic Caldecott Honor book was one of my childhood favorites, and decades later, is still one of my go-to gifts. After reading it you will definitely want to go blueberry picking, and luckily these delicious berries are packed with antioxidants!
Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook, by Nicola Graimes
A huge part of healthy eating is learning how to cook your own healthy foods. (Living in a time of Seamless takeout, this is an area many of us still struggle with today!) This simple and fun cookbook is a great way to get your children to help out in the kitchen. This book is not only packed with healthy recipes, it also includes nutritional information to get your young chef thinking about how the food they eat is helping their bodies grow. Tie on an apron, and get cooking!
What are your favorite picture books that promote healthy eating?