Kids’ books that inspire healthy eating — without sounding like lessons

Like so many parents, I have depended upon children’s books to help teach my three kids important life lessons. “Hands are Not for Hitting” was a well-worn favorite of mine during those active toddler years with two boys just a year apart. An Elmo potty training book had a special seat in the bathroom for a few touch-and-go months. Then there was “How do Dinosaurs Go to Sleep?” which my husband and I repeatedly grasped for when the boys were too riled up at bedtime to stay under the covers. Thank goodness those dinosaurs knew how to “give a big kiss, turn out the light, tuck in their tails, and whisper ‘Good night.’ ”

Of course there are stacks of children’s books that tackle the subjects of healthy eating and nutrition. Lauren Child’s “I Will Never, Not Ever Eat a Tomato” was one of my children’s all-time favorites, not for the positive food messages, but rather because that Charlie-and-Lola sibling duo are downright winning. And let’s not forget Dr. Seuss’s “Green Eggs and Ham” — “Sam I Am” has helped generations of picky eaters ultimately try that first bite.

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