Children’s books about nutrition and healthy eating come highly recommended by many dietitians. Reading nutrition based books help children think about, and overcome, issues like picky eating. Children prefer to discover things on their own – a parent telling them to eat the carrots might make them want to try them even less. Nutrition books usually have funny plots, while showing the character having a problem. Your child gets to see the problem from the outside allowing them to make their own decision after reading the book. They might say “I don’t want to be like that kid.”
Being a part of a child care study, I have realized that reading nutrition based books to children works better than trying to get them to listen to you talk about it. They get to look at pictures and visualize the little facts that you are trying to get them to retain.
Examples of Nutrition based books for Kids ages 4-8:
The book “I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato” is by Lauren Child. It’s a part of the Charlie and Lola series, which is a fun approach to addressing picky eating. This book shows that Lola is a picky eater and won’t eat anything with vegetables in it. Charlie convinces her to try new things by adding vegetables into food and not telling her until after she eats the dinner. This series of books is now aired as a television show on Disney Junior. The television show is based directly off this book and its series of books written by Child.
The book “Eating the Alphabet,” is for children ages 1-5. This book shows a different fruit or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet with a water color picture to go along with each letter. Suzette Krool, the author of the personal nutrition guide website, had the great idea of recommending a 26 day challenge to do with your child. Every day focuses on one letter of the alphabet, and you have to vow to eat one fruit or vegetable that begins with that letter.
Give it a try and discover a whole new world of reading together!
Written by Alexis Deacon