READING LIST FOR KIDS:
HEALTH, T2 & OBESITY
Listed in order, from toddlers to teens, choose the ones that fit your child’s reading level and interests. The reviewers found all of these books very helpful!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle – A popular book that makes the real connection between eating the right foods and growing. It is a great place to start health education.
Good Enough to Eat, by Lizzy Rockwell - This fabulous book explains what each food group and vitamin does for your body. It even explains digestion, using simple language, and adorable illustrations. My favorite part is a simple science experiment to discover which foods have hidden fats. Your child will enjoy doing that one. It even includes some lovely recipes you can prepare with your child.
Silly Snacks: Cooking with Kids, from Sesame Street - What better way to introduce kids to the kitchen then by preparing Elmo's E-Z Pizza or Oscar's Veggie Weggies. This cookbook even marks the steps that are right for kids to do with a little hand.
Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss - Aside from the simple words, the book portrays a very important message - do not be afraid to try new things. Of all the Seuss books, this is an all-time favorite.
Gregory the Terrible Eater, by Mitchell Sharmatt - Gregory, a young goat, likes junk food - all the stuff his parents don't want him to eat. They try everything, taking him to the doctor and even letting him stuff himself with junk food and getting a belly-ache from it. How can they get Gregory to stop eating carrots and eggs and salad and start eating proper, healthy food - like shirts and shoes and tires?? Kids will laugh at the backwards problem in the book. Added bonus, of course, is the message about eating balanced meals, always a hard sell to french fry fans.
Dinosaur Alive & Well, by Laurie Krasney Brown & Marc Brown - My seven year old daughter loves this book. She is using it as her guide to get her Dad into shape. She reads passages to him and leaves notes in the refrigerator and pantry for him.
Everybody Cooks Rice, by Norah Dooley- An adventure that bridges cultural diversity as the older sister goes from house to house in her neighborhood trying to find her little brother. In each house we meet lovable neighbors, each from different parts of the world, and each family is preparing dinner with - - - RICE! Can you imagine why little brother is not really very hungry when he gets home? The recipes are fun to prepare together.
The Monster Health Book: a Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active and Feeling Great for Monsters and Kids, by Edward Mellor – I'd been trying to educate my 8-year old daughter about the foods she eats and to explain why some foods are healthier than others. She "loves" this book and is eager to read more of it each night. I found her reading the nutrition label of a cereal box one morning and then without a word from me, she decided to have only one cookie instead of two.
This book is great for all parents who are hoping to communicate the value of good eating to their children. Good for 2nd through 5th graders.
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food - The book not only stresses eating healthy foods, but why our bodies need healthy foods. It also gives a brief description of the body's different systems; digestive, skeletal, etc. It finishes with the importance of exercise and stresses this lifestyle for children as well as adults.
Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You, by Trish Rabe - I like this book because it taught me all different things when I was little. like how to brush my teeth, floss, wash my hands, wash my hair, get exercise, how to deal with a cold, the right food to eat, and how its important at the end of the day to get your rest. This book taught me so much and I’m thankful for that.
KIDS & OBESITY series;
Bigger is not always Better, by Rae Simmons
I Eat When I’m Sad, by Rae Simmons
Getting Stronger Getting Fit, by Jamie Hunt
Cookie or Carrot? You Are What You Eat, Helen Thompson
I get So Hungry, by Bebe Moore Campbell - This is about the problem of being overweight, a factor that will trigger early onset of type 2 diabetes in children. The story follows a girl, Nikki, as she discovers she and her teacher are both compulsive eaters. She notices that her teacher begins to lead a healthier lifestyle and decides to join her, as they both develop a few healthier habits together. This is a wonderful book that treats a very sensitive subject realistically, yet with a light hand.
No Eat Not Food, by Rick Sanger –This is a fun story about an alien bug named "No Eat" and his earthling friend Lulu, who go about teaching children the importance of sustainable farming and the benefits of eating healthy organic foods. When my son was recently offered some junk food, he loudly stated, "No eat, not food", and turned it down!
Full Mouse, Empty Mouse: A Tale of Food and Feelings by Dina Zeckhausen, PhD. - This is a rhyming children's picture book with an important underlying message about the importance of knowing the difference between emotional craving for food and true hunger. Chapters teach young people how to separate "food" messages from "feelings" messages and respond properly to each.
Coyote and the Turtle's Dream - This book is based on the popularity of the original Eagle Books series. To encourage healthy choices among children, their families and communities, the story creates believable characters that can serve as role models for healthy living. This book promotes problem-solving at community and individual levels, an extremely important ability for an age group that is exploring its own sense of independence. Thanks to our friends at the Native Diabetes Wellness Program for creating this book.
To order this book for FREE please CLICK HERE
My Big Fat Secret: How Jenna Takes Control of her Emotions and Eating by Lynn R. Schechter PhD. - Sometimes children need to know that it is OK to ask for help. In this book Jenna effectively asks for support from her friends as well as from adults in her school system to sort out her feelings. She pursues many avenues to help boost her self-esteem, while gaining control of her emotions, so she may find a path to healthier eating habits. It is a fun book to read, with helpful hints and recipes.
Food and You: Eating Right, Being Strong, and Feeling Great by Lynda Madison - I bought this book for my daughter when I realized she seemed to be eating more often than usual. It took me a while to catch on, but she had started eating for comfort, when she was feeling bad about something. I think this book was a great start toward helping her understand why she was eating. Now we are helping her find other outlets for her stress, like exercise, etc. She uses the book herself to make better food choices at mealtimes.
Fast Foods: Slowing Us All Down by John Burstein - Thuis is a guide on how to make fast food meals healthier.
Blubber, by Judy Blume - I'm in the sixth grade and guess what? Real life is like this book! In fact, in my class, it's been like that for a while now. Adults may think it is cruel, mean, even horrifying how badly Wendy and all of the others treat Linda, but in reality, thousands of kids are tormented and teased everyday, and not just for being overweight.
Fat Cat, by Robin Brande - In an attempt to take home top prize at the science fair, Cat decides to live like a cave girl: meaning no modern technology or conveniences and no processed foods. Fruits and nuts are allowed; diet coke is out. But Cat's experiment is not only for scientific glory; she hates being fat, and she fully intends to shed some weight along the way. The weight comes off along with the major chip Cat carries on her shoulder, and she learns a lot about herself, teenage boys, and love, especially that she has used her fat as an insulator, to avoid taking chances on relationships.
The ABC’s of Loving Yourself with Diabetes, by Riva Greenberg - This book is inspirational. Riva credits her type 1 for the motivation she has for keeping herself so healthy. She’s the right one to teach all of us how to turn the lemons that life hand us into lemonade.
TYPE 2 Diabetes IN TEENS, by Jean Betschart-Roemer - Here's a book to help teens take charge of their life, including to "unglue" yourself and learn from your chioces. There's even a chapter on what you wish your parents understood about you.