A healthy lifestyle and the issue of childhood obesity have made nutrition and fitness books for kids a popular genre. The books can be more fact based or in the form of cute stories which illustrate the importance of being active and eating well through illustrations and analogies. Fitness and nutrition books are available in all age ranges for either boys or girls.
Nutrition and Fitness Books for Kids
Kids can be taught about healthy eating and the positive impact exercise has on the body. Great stories and lots of illustrations or pictures provide an engaging backdrop for the important facts about these issues.
Books for Preschool and Early Readers
Young kids are fascinated with their bodies and can be taught about the benefits of fitness and nutrition through fun stories and with educational books. The following books get a positive message across without given too much confusing data.
- The Race Against Junk Food by Anthony Buono
This engaging story is about Tommy and the Snak Posse trying to win a footrace against the sugar coat gang. It teaches about healthy food choices and the evils of junk food.
- Showdown at the Food Pyramid by Rex Barron
This book will be a sure fire hit as it describes a showdown between balanced foods and dangerous trespassers with names like candy and donut. The story shows a healthy food pyramid being rebuilt after it crumbles because too much fat is at the top. The illustrations are wonderful and kids will enjoy the humor and lessons.
- Blue's Snack Party by Sarah Landy
Blue has a party for all his friends who bring healthy snacks for everyone to enjoy. This book is great to show good eating choices. The flap format of the book is engaging and reveals recipes, ingredients and the finished snack.
- Gregory, The Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat
Gregory the goat has a dilemma when his parents want him to eat garbage and he prefers fresh vegetables, milk and healthy grains.
- My Amazing Body: A First look at Health and Fitness by Pat Thomas
This book should be part of every kid's personal library because it gets the message about healthy lifestyles across in a clear and entertaining manner.
- Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert
The pictures in this book are incredible and downright beautiful. Even the most dedicated vegetable and fruit hater will want to run out and purchase some delectable produce after going through this colorful alphabet.
Books for Elementary Readers
Kids in this age range sometimes have bad food and exercise habits and need a refresher on what is good for their bodies. The best nutrition and fitness books for kids in this age range are a blend of facts presented in an exciting or funny story.
- The Vegetable Show by Laura Krasny Brown
Vegetables have never been more appealing as they sing and dance onto plates with personality and style. Kids will love this book.
- Dinosaurs Alive and Well; A Guide to Good Health by Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown
This book presents colorful, fun dinosaurs showing kids what is healthy for their bodies including smart food and exercise choices.
- Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You!: All About Staying Healthy by Tish Rabe
Dr Seuss is always fun and this story could be wonderful for a younger child's story time but is also perfect for elementary kids to read on their own.
- Physical Fitness (My Health Series) by Alvin Silverstein
The reading level of this book is at a grade four to six level and is more fact based than presented in story form. Parents should read along with their kids to talk about the information and pictures.
- The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food by Stan Berenstain
Mama bear takes control when she notices that her family is eating too much junk food and is gaining weight. With the help of Dr. Grizzly, she explains how the body works and why healthy food is a better choice.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett
This is a wonderful story about a town that is ecstatic about food falling from the sky until it becomes too much food and threatens to destroy them. The message is clear about the negatives of overeating and too much junk food.
- The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids! By Edward Miller
Kids will enjoy the illustrations and little jokes scattered throughout the text of the book. Very important facts about fitness, health and nutrition are presented in a manner that might require adult input.
Books for Older Readers
Body image, food and fitness are very important to older teens, sometimes to the point of obsession and unhealthy habits. Finding books that really explain the benefits of nutrition and exercise while emphasizing the importance of inner development is crucial.
'Awesome Foods for Active Kids: The ABC's of Eating for Energy and Health by Anita Bean This book is a great healthy eating reference for parents and older kids. The recipes, food tips and approach to diet are wonderful, easy to follow and informative.
- Body Talk: The Straight Facts on Fitness, Nutrition, and Feeling Great About Yourself: A Girl Zone Book by Ann Douglas, Julie Douglas, and Claudia Davila
Quotes by real girls and their moms take center stage in this book about healthy self-esteem, good eating and smart lifestyle choices.
- Ask Cosmogirl! about Nutrition and Fitness by CosmoGIRL! Editors
Self-esteem, good body image, smart eating, and exercise choices and general information about nutrition and fitness are all topics in this book geared towards teen girls.
- The Best You Can Be: A Teen's Guide to Fitness and Nutrition by Rae Simons, Christopher Hovius, and Mary Ann McDonnell
This book encourages teens to make their own choices about fitness and nutrition and trust their bodies signals about what is right for them.
- Fitness for Kids: Arnold Schwarzenegger's Guide to Health, Exercise and Nutrition
by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charles Gaines Arnold Schwarzenegger is a true authority on fitness and he has created a wonderful resource for parents and older kids. The information is well presented with facts that are easy to follow.