Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to nutrition. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about nutrition.
Our list includes board books and picture books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
We hope this list of kids books about nutrition can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to a colorful variety of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. Perfect to read aloud, this vegetable buffet will delight children and parents alike with its yummy vegetable facts and vibrant illustrations. Learning the ABCs has never been so delicious! Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet is the first in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to the colorful foods that will help them grow up to be healthy and strong. Children and parents alike will want to devour the fun facts and charming illustrations of fruits from the familiar banana to the not as familiar yumberry.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet is the second in a series of board books celebrating the joy nature brings to young children at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.
In their blended family, Mama Duck worries when Bear eats too much jam, but when the ducklings play a game with their vegetables, Bear starts to eat the strange green things on his plate.
An elegant, easy-to-read text and beautiful illustrations describe the parts of plants that humans eat.
Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants. Even flowers!
Detailed illustrations teach new readers about the edible parts of different plants, including leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and seeds. Labeled diagrams explain how an apple seed can grow into a new plant, reveal how a walnut is contained within its shell, and show how wheat seeds make flour.
“An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
“Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly
Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood.
In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.
Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.
Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.
Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.
Try It!: How Frieda Caplan Changed the Way We Eat - Meet fearless Frieda Caplan–the produce pioneer who changed the way Americans eat by introducing exciting new fruits and vegetables, from baby carrots to blood oranges to kiwis–in this brightly illustrated nonfiction picture book! In 1956, Frieda Caplan started working at the Seventh Street Produce Market in Los Angeles. Instead of competing with the men in the business with their apples, potatoes, and tomatoes, Frieda thought, why not try something new? Staring with mushrooms, Frieda began introducing fresh and unusual foods to her customers–snap peas, seedless watermelon, mangos, and more! This groundbreaking woman brought a whole world of delicious foods to the United States, forever changing the way we eat. Frieda Caplan was always willing to try something new–are you?
Second Banana -
A girl is disappointed with her “rotten” role in the school play—but the show must go on
The kids in Mrs. Millet’s class are putting on their annual nutrition pageant. Every kid plays a food. Every kid gets a line. It is a big deal. But this year, there aren’t quite enough parts for everybody. So the class is cast: Fish, Cheese, Broccoli, Blueberry, Banana, and . . . Second Banana. Second Banana feels rotten. She wants to be the ONLY banana!
In this deliciously original school story, Blair Thornburgh and Kate Berube recognize the dreadful disappointment that a casting list can cause—as well as the power of friendship, creative thinking, and a good attitude to turn a rotten situation into one that’s quite ap-peel-ing. Showtime!
What Happens to a Hamburger? (Newly Ill) - What happens to food after you eat it? In this newly illustrated book, complete with photos, Paul Showers and Edward Miller take you on a journey through the human digestive system into the mouth, down the gullet, into the stomach, and finally into the small and large intestines. You will learn what each of these body parts does to help transform the food you eat. And you will also find out what happens to the food your body cannot use.Everything that happens inside your body whenever you swallow a bite of food will amaze you!
Good Enough to Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition - Good Enough to Eat is one of a kind: the only guide to kids’ nutrition written especially for kids. A practical, hands-on tool for families who want to eat a healthy diet, this book explains nutrition from carrots to cookies. In this book, you will learn: all about the nutrient groups—carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals each nutrient’s function which foods contain which nutrients how much of each nutrient a kid needs each day how the body digests food all about calories Good Enough to Eat includes kid-friendly recipes such as Alphabread and Full o’ Beans Soup, and even shows kids how to test their food for fat. Perfect for parents, educators, librarians, and doctors trying to explain healthy eating to kids!
Award-winning author Grace Lin joins science writer Ranida T. McKneally to get kids talking about the science of food, the five food groups, and what a healthy meal looks like. Answering questions like “why are so many vegetables green?”, “What’s the difference between brown bread and white bread?”, and “Why do beans make you gassy?”, cheerful haiku poems and a simple Q&amp;amp;A format make this book a nutritious treat.
The information in this book aligns with both the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines and the Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Eating Plate guidelines and back matter includes further information about healthy eating and nutritional guidelines, as well as a glossary.
Within our bodies hides an entire world of organisms called microbes. They boost our immune systems, digest our food, regulate our metabolism and even impact on our mental health.
Through Katie Brosnan’s personable illustrations, we follow the digestive process from the moment the food enters our mouths to the moment waste leaves our bodies. Along the way we learn about this fascinating scientific frontier and gain an insight into the vast ecosystem that exists inside us.
Books babies can really sink their gums into!
INDESTRUCTIBLES are built for the way babies “read”: with their hands and mouths. INDESTRUCTIBLES won’t rip or tear and are 100% washable. They’re made for baby to hold, grab, chew, pull, and bend.
What green vegetable looks like a tree? Broccoli! Can you find a fruit that’s small and yellow? Lemon! Can you pick out two berries so red and sweet? Raspberry and strawberry!
Explore a rainbow of delicious foods in a book that’s INDESTRUCTIBLE.
This light-hearted board book by the author of “I Can, Can You?” and “My Up &amp;amp; Down &amp;amp; All Around Book” features wonderful photographs of young children with Down syndrome enjoying a wide selection of healthful foods, from fruits and vegetables to meats and snacks. Simple, singsong questions – I like broccoli, do you? – invite participation by little ones (aged birth to 4 years) as they anticipate and say the word for the food in each photograph. And when youngsters see children just like themselves eating nutritious foods with different textures, temperatures, colours, tastes, and smells, they will want to try them too! The book encourages a varied diet that can minimise potential sensory or oral-motor issues often associated with Down syndrome. Read it from cover to cover with your child, or tailor it to meet your child’s specific dietary needs (GF/CF, non-allergenic).
The cooking of a healthy breakfast moves from parent-child bonding to an eloquent conversation about energy, the growth of plants, and the miraculous ways the sun’s light nourishes us all. It began with the sun, Who showers the earth With heat and light– Tiny packets of energy. How does a home-cooked breakfast give a little girl the energy she needs for a brand-new day? In gently expressive language, her mother takes readers on a journey into the earth where sleepy seeds are tickled awake and grow into golden oats; into blueberry patches, where green leaves break apart water and air to build sweet sugar; and into a pasture where sun becomes grass, becomes cow, becomes milk. Author Laura Alary’s free verse breaks big ideas into child-sized pieces, making Sun in My Tummy an accessible introduction to the concepts of matter and energy, and how the sun’s light becomes fuel for our bodies through the food we eat. Andrea Blinick’s mixed-media illustrations pair the cozy and homelike with the glowing and dramatic as she takes readers from the kitchen to the farm field and to the sky and back. A concluding Author’s Note shares further information about photosynthesis for young readers.
Mealtime - Simple text and illustrations explain how to behave during mealtime.
What's So Yummy?: All about Eating Well and Feeling Good - Acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Robie H. Harris introduces preschoolers to the pleasures of eating healthy, being active, and feeling good. Gus, Nellie, and baby Jake can’t wait to go on a picnic! In the morning the family heads to their community garden, then to the farmer’s market and the grocery store to gather vegetables, fruit, meat, and other fresh and delicious foods. Readers follow them through the day as they go home to prepare, cook, and pack up the goodies, then cap their day by eating a yummy meal in the park and flying a kite together. Funny, accessible, family-filled illustrations; conversations between Gus and Nellie; and matter-of-fact text combine to show young children how food fuels our bodies – and help them see how healthy eating and drinking, and being active, can make them feel their best for a day full of fun.
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