By Connie Evers MS, RD, LD – Nutrition for Kids
Connie’s Healthy Eating Blog – Reading About Eating
Part 1 – Children ages 4 to 8
Encourage healthy food habits in young children by reading fun and colorful books about food! An engaging children’s story can even entice kids to try new foods. The list below includes some of my favorites, including the interactive book I wrote with Disney:
Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z
by Lois Ehlert (Sandpiper, 1993)
With beautiful watercolor illustrations, the art in this book will appeal to readers of all ages. The author includes well-known produce with the more exotic, including endive, jicama, kumquat, kohlrabi, quince, ugli fruit and xigua (Chinese watermelon). A highlight of the book is the glossary, which gives descriptions, origins and interesting facts about all of the fruits and vegetables in the book.
Good for You! Nutrition Book and Games
by Connie Evers (Disney Press, 2006)
This interactive book combines basic health facts with a playful format of games, recipes, quizzes and trivia designed to guide children towards a lifetime of good health. The book includes a set of punch-out playing cards.
by Eileen Browne (Candlewick Press, 1999)
This is a delightful tale of a young Kenyan girl on her way to visit her friend in a nearby village. On the way, seven different animals eat the seven varieties of fruit on her head. Children love seeing the beautiful and colorful illustrations and delight in the surprise twist at the end of the story.
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
by Lauren Child, L. ( Candlewick Press, 2003)
Lola is a fussy eater until her big brother Charlie makes up inventive names for vegetables and other foods. Carrots become “orange twiglets from Jupiter,” peas are “green drops from Greenland” and mashed potatoes turn into “cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji.”
In the Garden with Dr. Carver
by Susan Grigsby (Albert Whitman, 2010)
This historical fiction title for young readers features the famous plant scientist, George Washington Carver. It tells the story of how he took his “movable school,” an old wagon pulled by a mule, to teach rural Alabamians how to grow food in their depleted soil. In this story, he visits a school and teaches Sally and the other children about nature and agriculture. This book is a great selection because it integrates food, history, culture and science into a beautifully illustrated and well-written story for children.
Rah, Rah Radishes!
by April Pulley Sayre (Beach Lane Books, 2011)
Written in rhyme with vividly colored vegetable photos taken at a local farmer’s market, this book brings great fun to learning about vegetables.
The Ugly Vegetables
by Grace Lin ( Charlesbridge,1999)
This is a tale about a little girl who thinks her mother’s Chinese vegetable garden is ugly, especially compared to the neighbor’s flower gardens. She changes her mind after her mother makes a delicious soup from the vegetables. Recipe included. Companion activities are also included at the author’s website located at www.gracelin.com.
Two Old Potatoes and Me
by John Coy ( Dragonfly Books, 2009)
A father and daughter find two old potatoes in a cupboard and learn how this vegetable grows by planting the potato “eyes” in their backyard. They weed, water, wait and follow the growing season to see if they will get new potatoes.
In part 2, I will share my favorite books for kids ages 9 to 12!
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