As a mom and a teacher, I know that books are an incredible tool in introducing new ideas and concepts to kids. They open up conversation and help children consider other perspectives. And health and wellness are no different! Here are 21 children’s books that promote healthy habits and help get your child’s little wheels of learning.
Children and health. Those are my two great passions in life. And, well, pretty much my whole world. I’m a preschool teacher by day, health blogger by night, and a mom all the while and in between. My life revolves around little people and carrot sticks (among other healthy goodies).
The mom in me knows (with every fiber of my being) that being a parent is truly the hardest, most rewarding job anyone can have. Especially when you are trying to raise your kiddo to value their health and make good choices for their body in a world full of rainbow lollipops and star-shaped chicken nuggets. The teacher in me knows (with every fiber of my being) that preaching at them to eat their broccoli and to go outside to play isn’t enough and (very likely) will eventually fall on deaf ears. So what’s a mama or papa to do? How do you inspire your children to feel the sunshine on their faces instead of parking themselves in front of video games and enjoying watermelon as an afternoon snack instead of cookies? By planting seeds, my friends. Planting seeds of suggestion and exposure. And my absolute favorite teacher-meets-mommyhood way of planting seeds is through books.
Think about it. Books inspire all of us. The message in a book can totally change the way we think about a topic or get the wheels turning on how to approach a problem. The same is for children. Books are the celebrities of childhood. Children live vicariously through their favorite storybook characters and want to role model the fun they see in books. Using literature to plant seeds for healthy habits is a natural, non-nagging way of exposing your children to the healthy choices they will need to make their whole life through and why they are important. There is a sea of children’s books out there. I’ve shared a few of my favorites that will inspire both you and your child to live life to the healthiest.
- Gregory, the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat
- Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- You are Healthy by Todd Snow
- Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss (wonderful for teaching children why it’s important to try new foods)
- The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan Berenstain
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- The Busy Body Book: The Kid’s Guide To Fitness by Lizzy Rockwell
- Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
- My Very First Book of Food by Eric Carle (recommended for infants to age 2)
- Mealtime by Elizabeth Verdick (Recommended for infants to age 3)
- Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbra Jean Hicks
- The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan Berenstain
- I Will Never Eat Tomatoes by Lola Child
- Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
- Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga by Rebecca Whitford
- Carrots Grown Underground by Mari Schuh (teaching your children to grow their own food is a wonderful way to help your children to feel connected to healthy foods. Plus, growing your food is a wonderful life skill to have)
- A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon (This book is a wonderful way to talk about eating healthy foods and not succumbing to peer pressure or other peer opinions)
- Getting Exercise by Sian Smith
- Eating Well by Sian Smith
- Sleep Book by Dr Seuss
- Getting Rest by Sian Smith
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