Build your home library with entertaining books on nutrition for kids. Get the best books about healthy eating and nutrition for kids. Teach your child about food and healthy eating through books.
Children’s books about nutrition can teach kids important lessons about healthy eating, where food comes from, how to prepare it, and more.
As a pediatric nutritionist, I know that nutrition education is best learned over time, when a child shows interest, and in a pressure-free, non-lecture kind of way.
In this article, you’ll learn what kids can learn from nutrition books for kids and what parents should look for in a children’s book.
What Healthy Eating Books for Kids Can Teach Them
Books are an empowering and useful resource for children.
Kids learn when they’re engaged rather than being told to do or not do something without being told why. Stories are a fun way to teach your child about nutrition without overwhelming them with a lot of the complicated and conflicting nutrition information that’s out there.
Books that children can read, or read with their parents, about healthy eating will help the whole family get involved with making good decisions about food.
Benefits of Nutrition-focused Books for Children
Parents want their kids to learn about nutrition, food, and eating. Here are the benefits when kids can learn through stories:
1. Teach Kids About Nutrition
Children’s books about food teach kids that healthy eating can be fun.
Information about healthy eating sounds like a lot of rules about foods that are “good” or “bad” and kids may have negative thoughts about food and eating as a result.
Engaging characters and stories about healthy foods teach kids age-appropriate nutrition in a way that’s positive.
Books are a non-threatening way to learn, especially for picky eaters.
Characters interact with fruits and vegetables and introduce kids to new foods without putting pressure on them.
Children can segue into learning about fruits and vegetables without having to interact with the foods physically.
2. Empower Kids
Kids’ nutrition books are empowering because they make kids a part of the learning process.
These stories introduce your child to fruits and vegetables they may not have tried before. Now they will recognize them at the store and on their plate.
Knowledge of a variety of foods takes away the mystery and anxiety. It gives your child more autonomy when he faces new foods on his plate.
Let your child choose a new fruit or vegetable when you go food shopping.
We want our children to try many foods so they expand their taste preferences as they get older.
Learning about food through children’s stories with a message about nutrition gives kids the idea they have a role in learning, and in selecting and preparing healthy foods.
3. Kids Learn Coping Skills
A good children’s book usually has a takeaway for your child at the end.
Some books take on common food issues such as fear of new foods, picky eating or even allergies so your child can identify with the character. Seeing the character resolve a conflict or cope with these issues can equip a child with the tools he needs to cope with stress around health and nutrition.
Let your child be part of the learning process. It will make the kitchen a less daunting place for younger kids and get them in the mood to try new foods.
What Parents Should Look For in Healthy Eating Story Books
Kids love to listen to stories and learn.
They love good characters and fun adventures. And engaging stories makes nutrition information relatable. As you, Mom and Dad, are the readers, books need to be tolerable for you, too.
After all, you’ll likely be reading these books over and over!
With all the books out there, how do you know where to start?
Here are few things to look for when selecting books on nutrition for kids:
- A compelling main character
- An interesting plot
- Conflict resolution (For example, How does the character overcome a challenging situation like picky eating?)
- The opportunity for ongoing conversation with your child (What would you do if candy was all around you?)
- Interesting illustrations
- A message about nutrition
50 Children’s Books About Healthy Eating
Parents ask me all the time for book recommendations, not only for themselves, but for their kids, too.
While I have an extensive reading list for parents, I decided it was time to create a list for kids. Here are my faves:
- Gregory the Terrible Eater
- Tops and Bottoms
- I Will Not Ever Eat a Tomato
- Blueberries for Sal
- I Like Myself!
- How to Feed Your Parents
- How Did that Get in My Lunchbox?
- The Story of Food
- The SuperCrew’s Breakfast Cookbook
- Where Do Bananas Come From?
- Where Does Broccoli Come From?
- My Body’s Superpower
- Eating the Alphabet
- We Are What We Eat
- N is for Nutrition
- The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food
- Nutrition Fun with Brocc and Roll
- Flint the Dragon Learns to Fly
- Pandas Love Pickles
- Why Should I Eat Well?
- Growing Vegetable Soup
- D.W. the Picky Eater
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
- Pancakes, Pancakes!
- If You Give a Pig a Pancake
- If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
- If You Give a Dog a Donut
- If You Give a Moose a Muffin
- Good for Me and You
- The Boy Who Loved Broccoli
- The Popcorn Book
- Bread and Jam for Frances
- How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World
- It’s Disgusting and We Ate It!
- Tyler Makes Spaghetti
- The Seven Silly Eaters
- Green Eggs and Ham
- The Peanut Pickle
- To Market, To Market
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Cami Kangaroo Has Too Many Sweets
- My Friends on the Inside
- My Very Hungry Happy Tummy
- Raising Body Positive Teens
- The Body Image Book for Girls
- Being You: The Body Image Book for Boys
- All Bodies are Good Bodies
- Grow Up and Love Your Body
- Bodies are Cool
If you’d like to have a print out of this list, enter your details below to download 50 Books for Children about Nutrition.
In this list of books, you’ll find a variety of nutrition topics, from learning where food comes from to adventurous tales of characters overcoming picky eating.
You’ll find books for teaching nutrition, including board books for babies, preschool books about healthy eating, and books about building a positive body image for kids and preteens.
There are even early readers for the elementary child. And a middle school book or two in there.
[For additional books and my review of them, listen to my podcast episode: TNC #96 Nutrition Books for Kids]
Let me know what you think!
Is there a book you love that’s not on this list?
This post was updated in April 2023.