Let’s be honest: as important as healthy eating and hygiene are, sometimes it’s hard to get excited about them. Moreover, we adults often struggle with the right ways to convey the importance of things like safety and health to children without scaring the living daylights out of them. So we’ve got a list of the 25 best children’s books about health and safety to help you and your tiny ones get excited about these topics.
The Best Children’s Books About Health and Safety
Eat More Colors by Breon Williams
You can’t beat a book that rhymes about balanced eating! Eat More Colors encourages children to embrace plant-based eating. Eat More Colors has interesting facts on every page to help kids learn about asparagus, grapes, and other healthy foods.
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
Author Lois Ehlert has written a ton of incredible children’s books highlighting healthy eating, gardening, and enjoying nature. Eating the Alphabet features lovely illustrations, teaching small children about fruits and vegetables of all colors, shapes, and names.
Fun and Fruit by María Teresa Barahona, Illustrated by Edie Pijpers
I can’t get enough of the dreamy watercolor illustrations in Fun and Fruit, another lovely book encouraging children to see the beautiful rainbow of the foods they eat and to celebrate the earth they came from.
The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
Help kids fall in love with their veggies and good nutrition with The Vegetables We Eat, and follow it up with Gibbon’s companion book The Fruit We Eat.
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet by Mrs. Peanuckle, Illustrated by Jessie Ford
Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet dedicates each letter to a different fruit and tells kids where those fruits grow, how to tell when they’re ripe, and what they can be eaten with. For little ones afraid of adding unfamiliar things to their plates, this book is a fun, persuasive introduction to new fruits.
Choose Good Food!: My Eating Tips by Gina Bellisario, Illustrated by Holli Conger
Choose Good Food! helps start the conversation about food choices as a dad and son talk about how and why to eat healthily.
Right This Very Minute: A Table-to-Farm Book About Food and Farming by Lisl H. Detlefsen, illustrated by Renee Kurilla
Right This Very Minute is a fun, informative book that helps kids trace the food on their plate back to where it grows.
How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth, Illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti
Another great book tracing food back from it’s arrival in kids’ lunchboxes to where it was grown. How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? might get your tinies excited about growing their own little garden.
Green Green: A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
Speaking of gardening, Green Green is a loving ode to building community through planting and growing things. I love the illustrations in this book, the joyful celebration of the outdoors, and the helpful notes to kids about how to start their own community gardens.
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Lola is adorable and she and her mommy are planting a garden. Lola Plants a Garden is a perfect encouragement for the little ones (and adults) to leave the screens behind and try their hand at growing something yummy to eat.
Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks, Illustrated by Sue Hendra
Monsters (and little kids) don’t like broccoli! Or at least they don’t think do…
Good for Me and You by Mercer Mayer
Are the Little Critter books too old school? Never, I say! Good for Me and You takes a kid-driven approach to getting the whole family interested in healthy eating and exercise.
I find most children’s cookbooks to actually not be that kid-friendly. Look I’m a Cook breaks the mold with a ton of pictures, super easy instructions, and healthy recipes to encourage kids to take their wellness into their own (parent supervised) hands.
Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook: Healthy, Kid-Friendly Recipes to Cook Together by Heather Wish Staller
What Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook loses on actually readability for kids, it gains back with super healthy options and workbook-style recipes where kids can give ratings and write what they liked most.
Sesame Street Let’s Cook! by Susan McQuillan
Healthy, easy-to-follow recipes presented to kids by some of their Sesame Street favs!
Brush, Brush, Brush! By Alicia Padron
Brush, Brush, Brush! is a small board book that teaches the little ones the most important parts of oral hygiene and makes it fun. A super helpful read, especially if you are trying to teach your toddlers that toothpaste is not another food group.
Brush, Flush, Wash by Scarlett Wing, illustrated by Amy Blay
Potty training, teeth brushing, and bath taking are the building blocks for good hygiene and for some reason are some of the hardest things to teach. This helpful little board book gives kids words to understand the basics of each.
Potty by Leslie Patricelli
This simple board book takes the mystery out of going to the bathroom and we hope it will make potty training a little easier…
Bathtime Mathtime by Danica McKellar, illustrated by Alicia Padrón
One of my friends recently posted on social media that her kids will dive into any pool or ocean, but when she pours water over their head in the bath, they act like she is trying to kill them. Bathtime Mathtime makes a counting game of baths and might encourage more counting and less drama at bathtime.
Will Ladybug Hug? by Hilary Leung
This approachable and funny board book about consent is just what you need to begin a dialogue with the littles about personal boundaries.
Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent & Respect by Jayneen Sanders, illustrated by Sarah Jennings
Don’t let this book’s wordy title scare you off from sharing it with the kids. Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent & Respect manages to be direct, informative, and incredibly accessible. Plus it has a helpful conversation guide for adults (YES!).
Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf by Steve Smallman
This fairytale turned cautionary tale is not too scary and fun enough for the lessons about not spreading germs to stick.
Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James Ransome
This thorough, kindergarten–3rd grade book helps demystify germs and empowers kids to be knowledgeable and healthy.
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Studies, language, and practices around mindfulness are exploding into modern culture right now. Many schools and children’s practitioners are thinking about how to incorporate mindfulness into the everyday lives of children to increase their ability to self-soothe and regulate as well as to improve their overall mental health and wellness. I Am Peace is a great introduction to mindfulness for kids and one of the best children’s books about health.
Breathe Like a Bear: 30 Mindful Moments for Kids to Feel Calm and Focused Anytime, Anywhere by Kira Willey, illustrated by Anni Betts
Breath Like a Bear brings beautiful colors, kid-friendly language, and easy to follow instructions to the mindfulness game. Breathe Like A Bear includes various exercises that help little ones be calm, focus, imagine, make some energy, or relax.
Unfortunately, the authorship of this list of children’s books about health isn’t incredibly diverse. Do you know authors of color writing about health and wellness for children? Are there books we’ve missed? Tweet us your additions!