Teach kids about healthy eating with these children’s books

This book tells the story of a got with peculiar taste. — Handout

EXPERTS agree that early education is key in developing children’s understanding about food and the importance of practising a healthy diet.

On top of including kids in meal planning, taking them out for grocery shopping and explaining the function of each food, these books may help parents and caregivers explain about the importance of eating well.

Presented with colourful illustrations alongside interesting storylines, these important food lessons will remain in the young ones long after they have put the books down.

Gregory, the Terrible Eater
By Mitchell Sharmat, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey

A classic children’s story about finding balance when it comes to food, this picture book is about Gregory, a goat with “different” tastebuds. Instead of chomping on bottle caps, boxes and old shoes (like other goats), Gregory enjoys the taste of fruits, vegetables, eggs and fish, much to the dismay of his parents, Mother Goat and Father Goat.

After trying to get their kid to eat like goat, they brought him to see Dr Ram. Eventually, Gregory develops a taste for goat food – flat tyres and broken violins – but now he gobbles everything up and eats like a pig instead! An engaging and a humorous story about finding a healthy balance, it teaches children the importance of moderation and the dangers of eating too much.

Children get to know more about the goodness of fruits. — HandoutChildren get to know more about the goodness of fruits. — Handout

The Fruits We Eat
By Gail Gibbons

A companion to another book by Gibbons, The Vegetables We Eat, this informative piece gives young readers details on their favourite fruits, including grapes, bananas, melons and apples so children get an idea about the goodness of each fruit.

Gibbons has cleverly used simple text, along with her illustrations, to present facts to kids about the parts of fruits, where and how they grow, how they are harvested and processed, where to buy them, and how to eat them as part of a balanced diet.

Learn about the function of sugar and why too much of it is bad. — HandoutLearn about the function of sugar and why too much of it is bad. — Handout

The Sugar Story: Why Too Much Sugar Is Bad For You
By Emelie Kamp

In a world where most children enjoy processed foods that are mostly laden with sugar (or salt), this book offers kids between the age of three and eight, an easy-to-understand story about the sugar, how it powers us and why too much of it is bad for the body.

But instead of vilifying sugar, Kamp, who is a nutritional counsellor and wellness coach, explains sugar’s existence in nature, in fruits and vegetables and how its presence is useful.

Danger however, occurs when sugar is taken out of its natural state, flavouring candies, sweets and a long list of other processed foods targeted at kids.

This is a colourful story that that helps children understand what sugar is and learn why excess sugar by overeating treats like cakes and brownies, hurts the body and teeth.

This book teaches kids about nutrient groups – carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins and minerals.  — HandoutThis book teaches kids about nutrient groups – carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins and minerals. — Handout

Good Enough to Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition
By Lizzy Rockwell

This book is a guide to kids’ nutrition, written for children. It’s practical and can be used as a family tool to adopt a healthier diet.

It teaches kids about nutrient groups – carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins and minerals – together with each nutrient’s function and which food contains which nutrients.

It also comes with easy, child-friendly recipes to cultivate an interest in kids to prepare their own food (and therefore, be in control of what goes into them).

Mealtime talks about both healthy eating and table manners. — HandoutMealtime talks about both healthy eating and table manners. — Handout

By Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Verdick’s book helps parents teach children two things – nutrition and table manners. Written for toddlers, this 24-page book talks about important mealtime routines like washing their hands, using a napkin and cutleries, staying at the table and eating healthy foods.

The book also encourages toddlers to expand their palate by trying new food, if only for one bite. Part of the Toddler Tool series to help ease toddlers who face challenging times, this one is meant for parents, caregivers or kindergarten and daycare teachers who want to introduce good eating habits and positive mealtime routines to children.

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