The topic of healthy eating is much in the news today, with Michelle Obama’s plan to help families access vegetables and nutritional options. The 2012 ACL Institute also discussed healthy eating and issued a bibliography. Certainly preschoolers can learn about healthy eating, when it is presented in a fun way as seen in the picture books listed below.
For songs, try the popular “Apples and Bananas” or some of the other songs listed here.
For an activity, you can have the children plant seeds in a paper cup, or take home a tomato plant if you can get a donation from a local nursery or gardening store.
Or use some of the free printables seen here.
Barrett, Judi. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS. It rains food in this popular picture book that was adapted into a hit feature film.
Berenstain, Jan & Stan. THE BERENSTAIN BEARS AND TOO MUCH JUNK FOOD. Mama sets out to convince the family that they are eating too much junk food.
Brown, Marcia. STONE SOUP. Soldiers gently motivate a town to contribute vegetables to their soup in this classic folktale on cooperation.
Carlson, Nancy. GET UP AND GO. A kid-friendly look at exercise.
Child, Lauren. I WILL NEVER NOT EVER EAT A TOMATO. Lola’s brother tricks her into eating vegetables.
DePaola, Tomie. STREGA NONA’S HARVEST. Strega Nona tries to teach Anthony how to plant and nurture a vegetable garden.
Ehlert, Lois. EATING THE ALPHABET. An alphabetical tour of fruits and vegetables.
Ehlert, Lois. GROWING VEGETABLE SOUP. Complete with a soup recipe, this simple story with vivid color illustrations shows how to plant vegetables.
Falwell, Cathryn. FEAST FOR 10. The entire family helps prepare dinner.
French, Vivian. OLIVER’S VEGETABLES. Grandpa makes a deal with Oliver – Oliver can pick the vegetables from the garden, but he must eat them for dinner.
Leedy, Loreen. THE EDIBLE PYRAMID: GOOD EATING EVERY DAY. The animals at a fancy restaurant show which foods fit into the food pyramid.
Rubel, Nicole. RALPH FEELS ROTTEN. In this easy reader, Ralph gets sick after eating out of the trash can.
Gregory, Rex Barron. SHOWDOWN AT THE FOOD PYRAMID. Healthy foods battle snack foods who have taken over the food pyramid.
Hoban, Russell. BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES. In this classic picture book, Frances only eats bread and jam until her mom makes spaghetti.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. THE SEVEN SILLY EATERS. A rhyming story where each family member wants something different to eat.
Rockwell, Lizzy. GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT. A simple look at healthy foods.
Rosenthal, Amy K. LITTLE PEA. Little Pea hates the candy he is asked to eat for dinner.
Schnitzlein, Danny. THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS. A young boy tries to bribe a monster into eating his peas.
Sharmat, Mitchell. GREGORY THE TERRIBLE EATER. Gregory the goat likes fruits and vegetables, not tin cans, in this popular “Reading Rainbow” book.
Spinelli, Eileen. MISS FOX’S CLASS SHAPES UP. The popular teacher motivates the class to eat healthy and exercise.
Yaccarino, Dan. THE LIMA BEAN MONSTER. After Sammy and his friends dump their vegetables in a vacant lot, the lot turns into the Lima Bean Monster.