Books for Kids that Encourage Healthy Food Love 2/20/2015
This is an extensive and fantastic list of children's books that can be requested from the library to help foster food love, knowledge, and respect. I came across this in one of my nutrition classes; it is such a gift for parents and teachers who understand the importance of caring about food and good health!
(Compiled by: Beth Naylor, M.S., R.D., Family & Health Careers Division, Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon. firstname.lastname@example.org 541-463-5533 -April 2001.)
Books for Good Eating: Picture Books, Reference Books and Other Books for Nutrition Education for Young Children
Books to help young children learn to EAT HEALTHFULLY
Bread and Jam for Frances. Sp Russell Hoban. 1964. Frances wants only bread and jam to eat, but finds she really misses other foods.
First Tomato. p Sp Rosemary Wells. 1992. After a bad morning that included not enough breakfast and lunch, Claire can't do her usual cartwheel. On a visit to the bunny planet, she finds warmth, love and good food.
From Seed to Plant. p Sp Gail Gibbons. 1991. The last sentence is "Many of the foods people eat are seeds, fruits & pods. They are full of nutrition, vitamins, & minerals....and they are tasty, too!".
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. p Sp Eric Carle. 1987. The caterpillar spends 5 days eating through an 1 apple, 2 pears, 3 plums, 4 strawberries and 5 oranges and then gets a stomach ache from too much candy.
Gregory, the Terrible Eater. by Mitchell Sharmat. 1986. Gregory the goat refuses the usual goat diet staples of shoes and tin cans in favor of fruits, vegetables, eggs, and orange juice. Includes behind-the-scenes facts and fun-filled learning activities.
Valerie and the Silver Pear. Benjamin Darling. 1992. Valerie and her grandfather preserve the memory of her grandmother by making pear pies together. Includes a recipe for pear pie.
What's on My Plate? Sp see Part D.
Soup for Supper. Sp by Phyllis Root . 1986. A wee small woman catches a giant taking the vegetables from her garden and finds that they can share both vegetable soup and friendship.
Eating the Alphabet- p Sp Fruits and vegetables from A to Z. Lois Ehlert. 1989. Beautiful art.
Eat Up, Gemma. Sarah Hayes. 1988. Her preschool brother helps baby Gemma, an African American, regain her interest in food.
Teeth. Jacqueline Maloy. 1992. Shows how teeth grow and fall out and has a few pages about good and bad foods for your teeth. Discusses importance of brushing and flossing.
The Tooth Book. p Dr. Seuss. 1981. Has basic information about teeth, including that junk food may lead to cavities.
Teaching Snacks. Gayle Bittinger. 1994. Has recipes for introducing 3 to 6-year-olds to concepts such as numbers, shapes, colors, letters & opposites. Also has recipes for extending story time and for teaching science, self-esteem and cooperation.
Mudluscious- Stories and Activities Featuring Food for Preschool Children. 1986. Jan Irving and Robin Currie.
Healthy Snacks. Susan Hodges. 1994. More than 100 recipes designed to be healthy alternatives to "junk" food snacks at home and school.
Kevin and the school nurse. Martine Davison.1992. Feeling weak from not having eaten all day, Kevin visits the school nurse, finding out about the four major food groups and observing her helping children with all kinds of problems.
The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body. Sp Joanna Cole. 1989.Although for older kids, the sections on taste buds and digesting food might be useful.
What Happens to a Hamburger. Sp Paul Showers. 1985. Explains how digestion helps our bodies make use of the good things we eat- how milk and hamburgers, carrots and peaches, scrambled eggs and pickles are turned into bones and muscles and energy.
Germ Smart: Children's Activities in Disease Prevention. Judith K. Scheer. 1990. Activities for young children from preschool to grade 3. Good activity for teaching the importance of handwashing on p. 14-15.
Books to help young children learn to FEEL GOOD ABOUT EATING & BEING ACTIVE
Me and My Amazing Body Joan Sweeney, 1999.
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much TV. Sp Stan Berenstain. 1984. Concerned that the family is spending too much time in front of the television, Mama Bear decides that there will be no TV for one week.
Tasting p Sp (There are 5 Exploring Our Senses books). Henry Pluckrose. 1995. Another is calledSmelling.
My Five Senses. p Sp Aliki. 1989. Uses illustrations of an Asian child to explore the excitement of the 5 senses.
I Want My Dinner. p Tony Ross. 1996. A story about "please" and "thank you".
Dinner at Alberta's. Sp Russell Hoban. 1975. Arthur learns good manners.
Belinda's Bouquet. Sp Leslèa Newman. 1991. Her two mommies help Belinda learn that people are different body sizes as well as heights and colors.
Introducing Fanny. Kate Spohn 1991.Relates the adventures of Fanny, a pear, and her friend Margarita, a banana. Fanny, like many a young person, is sometimes not happy with the way she looks. But she cheers up when she puts on the comforting clothes she wore yesterday and plays with her best friend, Margarita.
Am I Fat? Helping Young Children Accept Differences in Body Size. Joanne Ikeda and Priscilla Naworski. 1992. Helps parents and teachers of children up to age 10 understand the link between body image and self esteem. Includes classroom activities.
The Saggy Baggy Elephant. by K. Jackson. This is the story of a baby elephant who is lost in the jungle and gets made fun of by the various other animals for the way he looks. Then he's found by a great herd of gray elephants who tell him he's a perfectly wonderful little elephant. EPL does not have this one but it's an inexpensive Golden Book.
Books to help young children learn to HELP WITH MEALS AND SNACKS
Feast for 10. p Sp Cathryn Falwell. 1993. In this counting book, an African American family does everything needed to put a meal on the table, from shopping to setting the table.
Peanut Butter and Jelly. Sp Nadine Bernard Westcott. 1987. The words are a variation of a popular play rhyme about making a PBJ. The motions are given at the back of the book.
Pretend Soup- A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up. Sp Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson. 1994.
Honest Pretzzels and 64 Other Amazing Recipes for Cooks Ages 8 & Up. Mollie Katzen. 1999.
Bruno the Baker. Lars Klinting. 1997. In this introduction to baking, young children can follow Bruno step by step as he bakes a birthday cake.
The Mother's Day Sandwich. Sp Jillian Wynot. 1990. Ivy and her little brother give their Mom breakfast in bed that all will remember.
Meals Without Squeals. 1991. Child care feeding guide and cookbook.
Books to help young children TREAT OTHER PEOPLE'S EATING CHOICES WITH RESPECT & APPRECIATION
Multicultural Snacks. Susan Hodges. 1995. Simplified traditional recipes of Americans with many cultures.
Multicultural Manners- New Rules & Etiquette for a Changing Society. Sp Norine Dresser. 1996. Great index about customs in different countries. Index includes African American customs and Latin American customs, but has very little about Native American customs. Has Asian customs, but not Asian American ones in the Index. (for background information)
From Hand to Mouth: Or How We Invented Knives, Forks, Spoons, and Chopsticks & The Table Manners To Go With Them. Sp James Cross Giblin. 1987. (for background information)
Everybody Bakes Bread. Norah Dooley. 1996. Carrie visits families making bread in her neighborhood. One family is Jewish, another is from South Carolina and others have come to the U.S. from Barbados, India, Lebanon, El Salvador and Italy. Recipes included.
Bread Bread Bread. p Ann Morris. 1989. Great photos of people and bread all over the world. The country & the bread are listed at the back.
Bread is for Eating. David and Phyllis Gershator.1995. All around the world, people eat bread-- from tortillas and baguettes to pitas, challah, and sliced white. Here is a book that celebrates bread-- and everyone who works so hard to make it. The rhythmic, bilingual text introduces readers to Spanish words through song while rich, vibrant paintings, reminiscent of Guatemalan folk art, depict a variety of people and breads.
How Pizza Came to Queens. Sp Dayal Kaur Khalsa. 1989. Mrs. Peligrino comes from Italy with an oddly shaped package.
Larissa's Bread Book: Baking Bread and Telling Tales with Women of the American South. Lorraine Johnson-Coleman. 2001. This is an adult book, but it's written in a style that would be fun to read aloud to young children in parts.
Vegetarian Cooking Around the World. 1992.
Tawny Scrawny Lion. by Gustav Tanggren. 1952. A lion is still scrawny due to the running he has to endure to capture his daily meal. The thinning herd cunningly convinces an unsuspecting fat rabbit to walk up to the lion as an emissary to "talk things over." The rabbit invites the lion to a carrot stew dinner with his nine fat siblings. A vegetarian fable, of sorts, with the addition of a little fish. Great for 3 - 4 year olds. EPL does not have this one but it's an inexpensive Golden Book.
First Oregonians- An Illustrated Collection of Essays, Traditional Lifeways, Federal-Indian Relations, and the State's Native People Today. Sp Published by the Oregon Council for the Humanities. 1991. (for background information)
Indian Givers. Jack Weatherford. 1988. Describes how the Indians gave the world potatoes, chocolate, corn and peppers, among many other things. (for background information)
Faces of A Reservation. Sp Cynthia D. Stowell. 1987. This is portrait, in text and photographs, of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation near Bend.
Many Nations: An Alphabet of Native America. Sp Joseph Bruchar. 1997. Beautifully illustrates the beauty and diversity of Native American cultures. Includes the Umpqua Indians, who have their tribal headquarters in Roseburg.
Celilo Tales. Wasco Myths, Legends, Tales of Magic and the Marvelous. Donald M. Hines. 1996. Has some good photos that could be copied for a bulletin board. (for background information)
Coyote Places the Stars. Sp Harriet Peck Taylor. 1988. Not about food, but it's a beautifully illustrated Wasco Indian legend. They're part of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs near Bend.
Nosotros: The Hispanic People of Oregon. Carolyn Buan. Published by the Oregon Council for the Humanities. 1995. (for background information)
Jalapeño Bagels. Natasha Wing. 1996. Pablo comes up with a snack that reflects both of his parents' cultures.
In My Family. Carmen Lomas Garza. 1996. The artist shares, through paintings and text, her memories of growing up in a traditional Mexican American community. Includes "Cleaning Nopalitos" (cactus pads), "Empanadas" (sweet turnovers), "Birthday Barbecue". "Easter Eggs", and others not food-related. A bilingual book.
Carlos and the Squash Plant.. Jan Romero Stevens. 1993. Carlos, who lives in New Mexico, finds out why he should take a bath.. Includes a recipe for calabacitas (a vegetable medley). A bilingual book.
Carlos and the Cornfield. Sp Jan Romero Stevens. 1995. Carlos learns about the rewards of hard work. Includes a recipe for cornmeal pancakes. A bilingual book.
Day of the Dead. Tony Johnston. 1997. In a small town in Mexico, families prepare food for this October 31-November 2 holiday.
The Seven Days of Kwanzaa: How to Celebrate Them. by Angela Shelf Medearis. 1994.
Kwanzaa Karamu. Sp April A. Brady. 1995. Cooking and Crafts for A Kwanzaa Feast.
Addy's Cookbook. Jodi Evert. ed. 1994. Addy is one of the American Girl dolls. She's an African American who lived during the Civil War. Has recipes for Hoppin' John, Hush Puppies, Sweet Potato Pone and Collard Greens, among others.
Dinner at Aunt Connie's House. Sp Faith Ringgold. 1993. Briefly tells the stories of 12 strong African-American women & describes a family dinner.
Muslim Festivals. M.M. Ahsan. 1987. This has some food descriptions and good photos. (for background information)
Chicken Sunday. Sp Patricia Polacco. 1992. A story of traditions & friendship between African American Baptists & Jewish Russian immigrants in California.
Passover Magic. Roni Schotter. 1995. A family celebrates this spring holiday, eating special foods.
Papa's Latkes. Jane Breskin Zalben. 1994. Papa and the littlest bears make latkes for Chanukah. Includes a recipe and song.
Grandma's Latkes. Malka Drucker. 1992. Every year, Grandma prepares the latkes for the family's Hanukkah meal, following the recipe handed down by her grandmother. This year Molly is finally old enough to help-- and to learn Grandma's secrets.
Bim and Bom: A Shabbat Tale. Daniel J. Swartz. 1996. Bim, a housebuilder, and Bom, a baker, work hard all week, and then spend every Friday doing good deeds ("mytzvot") and meet joyfully at sundown to celebrate Shabbat together.
The Jews of Oregon. Steven Lowenstein. 1987. (for background information)
How My Parents Learned to Eat. Sp Ina R. Friedman. 1984. A girl's parents met as a Japanese schoolgirl and an American sailor and learned about each others table manners.
Everybody Cooks Rice. Norah Dooley. 1991. Carrie visits families making rice for dinner in her neighborhood. Families have come to the U.S. from Barbados, India, Puerto Rico, China, Vietnam, Haiti and Italy. Recipes included.
Roses Sing on New Snow: A Delicious Tale. Paul Yee. 1992. A young woman is an excellent cook in turn-of-the-century Chinatown, but she must get no credit because only men can be a cook.Taiwan. Sp Azra Moiz. 1995. Has chapters on "Festivals" and "Food". Written at teenage level.
Grandpa's Town. p Takaaki Nomura. 1991. Includes a visit in Japan to a fish store and a greengrocer's store. Bilingual.
Books to help children learn to ACT AS SMART & RESPONSIBLE CONSUMERS
From Seed to Plant. (see listing under part A.)
Blueberries for Sal. Robert McCloskey. 1948. Sal goes blueberry picking with her mother.
Farming. Gail Gibbons. 1988.
The Work People Do- Farmer. Betsy Imershein. 1990. Join a family, including a toddler, as they plow, plant, weed and pick the organically-grown fruits and vegetables they sell.
Growing Vegetable Soup. p Lois Ehlert. 1987. Also includes a recipe.
Make Me A Peanut Butter Sandwich (and a glass of milk). Ken Robbins. 1992. Using hand-tinted photographs, the process is explored of making this common American snack, from farm to plate.
The Tortilla Factory. p Gary Paulsen. 1995. In simple and elegant language, with beautiful paintings by his wife, Paulsen pays tribute to the cycle from seed to plant to tortilla. Workers appear throughout, from farmers to factory workers to truck drivers.
The Milk Makers. Gail Gibbons. 1985. The story of milk, from cow to store.
What's on My Plate? Ruth Belov Gross. 1990. Briefly tells where these foods come from- applesauce, peas, mashed potatoes, cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, popcorn, eggs, chicken, tuna fish, raisins, milk, strawberry jam, orange juice, chocolate pudding, hamburger, catsup, pickle, spaghetti, soup and birthday cake.
Bananas- from Manolo to Margie. 1982. Through photos and text, readers follow bananas from a banana plantation in Honduras to the United States, and meet the many people who play a part in the journey,
Strawberry. Jennifer Coldroy and George Bernard. 1988. Each stage of a strawberry's life is explained in simple language with color photographs.
Eggs. Dorothy Turner.
Apples. by Ann L. Burckhardt 1996. Simple text introduces apples, and instructions are given for making an apple pomander.
Pumpkins. Ann L. Burckhardt. 1996.Simple text introduces pumpkins and instructions are given for making a pumpkin tambourine.
The Carrot Seed. p Ruth Krauss. 1945. This is another classic in which a little boy's patience and hard work is rewarded with a carrot plant.
Dinner from Dirt- Ten Meals Kids Can Grow & Cook. Emily Scott and Catherine Duffy. 1998. A student found this one and she wrote, "This book gives a great idea to do in the summer with your children that I am really going to enjoy experimenting with. It suggests that your take one of those small plastic swimming pools and make a garden in it. But you make it specific to one thing, like a salsa garden or a pizza garden, or a stir-fry garden. Then kids can use the recipes included in the book to make things right from their garden."
My Earth Book. Linda Schwartz. 1991. Has earth-friendly activities and information for the 6-9 year old. Covers recycling, overpackaging and water conservation among other topics.
Why the Sky is Far Away. Sp Mary-Joan Gerson. 1992. This tells an old Nigerian folktale, with striking collage and oil pastel illustrations, about what happens when people are wasteful
Teaching Children About Food. Christine Berman, M.P.H., R.D. and Jacki Fromer. 1991. Has sections on helping children become smart consumers, where leftovers go, recycling and where food comes from.
Don't Throw It Away. Brian Knapp. 1991. Shows that many things we use can be recycled, Has activities that involve children with recycling.
The Compost Heap. p Harlow Rockwell. 1974. A boy and his father make earth from leaves, grass clippings and food garbage.
Compost Critters. Bianca Lavies. 1993. Great picture of the insect life in a compost heap.
Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen. Sp DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. 1991. A young boy helps his uncle in a bustling soup kitchen, a place where volunteers try hard to make a difference in their neighbors' lives.