Some of Hudson’s Favorite Healthy Kids’ Books!

Monday Mar 17, 2014 | BY |
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Children's Books

Reading with your child is a great way to introduce them to concepts like healthy eating and nutrition.

Since welcoming the arrival of little Hudson Gianni, Annmarie and Kevin have been changing their reading habits a little. They recently sent me five precious children’s books that have a way of teaching little ones about eating well without sounding preachy. In fact, going through these five little books is a lot of fun no matter what age you are!

If you want to bring a little easy education into your household, you may want to consider picking up a copy of one or more of these.

Fruits-I-Love-sm

Fruits I Love

by Victoria Boutenko; illustrated by Katya Korobkina

Winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, this book is an 8” x 8” paperback, the perfect size for little hands. The illustrations have a childlike quality—you can even see the lines made to color in the spaces. The rhyming text reminds one of Dr. Seuss, and is probably suitable for young children under the age of five. Here’s a sample:

When I see a produce stand,
I can never understand,
How can fruit of many colors
Come from brown dirt and sand!

I like it yellow,
Red or striped,
But most of all,
I like fruit ripe!

Some spreads are illustrations only, which allow a child to absorb the words while turning the page to look at another colorful picture. The author compares fruit to stars, earrings, treasures, jewelry, and more, making it seem like just the most amazing, bright, and fun treat—which of course, it is! Read this book with your little ones and I guarantee the next time you pull out a fruit, they’ll be begging you for it. (grin)

Victoria Boutenko is an author, teacher, and mother of three. She travels the world teaching classes on the raw-food diet, and she and her family are top notch as far as the Giannis are concerned! Find your copy here, and read more about her family at rawfamily.com.

Mitch Spinach Tree House Intruder

Mitch Spinach and The Tree House Intruder

by Hillary Feerick & Jeff Hillenbrand, in collaboration with Joel Fuhrman, M.D.; illustrated by Jorge Ortega

This is a hardcover book, 8.75” x 11”. The cover scene of Mitch and a friend hiding behind a bush promises true adventure inside. Illustrations are like a combination of comic book and children’s cartoon style. This is for older children, maybe kindergarten through fourth grade or so, as the story features the main character interacting with friends at school.

The third book in a series, the Tree House Intruder is the story of Max, a slightly overweight student who habitually downs donuts, soda, and candy bars, and is often picked on by the other kids. He watches Mitch Spinach, the class cool dude, who’s always eating fruits and vegetables. To Max, Mitch is like a super hero, excelling at Dodgeball and always looking fit and energetic.

Meanwhile, Mitch answers an emergency alert from his sister, Molly—they have an intruder in the tree house. The author describes their ability to look for clues, climb the ladder, and shimmy up the rope as being the result of eating cauliflower, sunflower seeds, spinach, and other super foods. There are food and nutrient references absolutely everywhere. The tree house is shaped like a giant red pepper. The principal’s name is Principal Lycopene. Mr. Turmeric is the bus driver. Sneaky but effective way to get these names into your child’s head!

Mitch and Molly find clues, and set about discovering just who invaded their tree house and stole their healthy food recipes and freshly made super bars. Meanwhile, Max starts to excel in class. You can guess who the intruder/thief is pretty quickly! But like a Scooby Doo Mystery, the siblings follow each clue until they solve their case, then they happily promise to help Max get into better shape and finally enjoy acceptance at school—even by the school bully.

At the back of the book you’ll find a recipe for chickpea bars that your kids can help you make. There are also “secrets” about the characters and their health-based names, as well as a reader’s guide to help lead a discussion about the story.

Hillary Feerick and Jeff Hillenbrand have been married for 15 years and have two young children. Jeff holds a BS in exercise science and Hillary holds a BA and MA in English and is an English teacher. They gave Kevin an adult-sized Mitch Spinach shirt, which he wears proudly when he runs. (grin) Find your copy here.

mitch_book_2

Mitch Spinach and The Smell of Victory

by Hillary Feerick & Jeff Hillenbrand, in collaboration with Joel Fuhrman, M.D.; illustrated by Andrea Vitali

Another hardcover, same size as the previous book—another Mitch Spinach adventure story. This time, the kids are all having fun on Field Day except one classmate, Becca, who is found on the outskirts of the field sitting it out. She skipped breakfast, and is out of energy. Mitch Spinach saves the day with one of his homemade super bars, but then is called upon again when Mrs. Persimmon is unable to find the keys to the storage cabinet where she put all the trophies and ribbons. The kids will be so disappointed! Principal Lycopene asks Mitch for his help.

Mitch searches high and low, with no luck. Only when he refuels with a healthy green smoothie is he able to think clearly enough to solve this mystery. You’ll find a recipe in the back for Dinosaur Kale Soup, along with the same character explanations and reader’s guide. Find your copy here, and explore more Mitch Spinach games and apps at the MitchSpinach.com web site.

Vegetable SoupThe Fruit Bowl

Vegetable Soup & The Fruit Bowl

by Dianne Warren and Susan Smith Jones; illustrated by Amy Sorvaag Lindman

This 8.5” x 11” paperback is literally two books in one. An “iParenting Media Award Winner,” it has a handmade feel, and takes you and your child through the alphabet—first with vegetables, then with fruits! Hold it one way, and you’ve got Vegetable Soup:

A is for all the ASPARAGUS,
Alive with vitamin A.
For healthy hair, skin and eyes,
This vegetable leads the way.

The illustrated vegetables have faces, and are surrounded by drawings of different facets of nature, from butterflies to birds to grasshoppers to ladybugs. In addition to learning about vegetables and how they are grown, children can practice their counting skills by picking out the vegetables featured in each picture.

Turn the book over and around, and you have The Fruit Bowl. The idea is the same—the author follows the alphabet with fun rhymes about fruits. There’s space at the end of each book for you and your child to fill in your “favorite” fruits and vegetables, along with a note from the authors to parents to encourage more interaction during reading.

“‘What S words do you see in the verse?’ will facilitate reading readiness,” they state, while offering other ideas, such as identifying fruits and vegetables by color and/or shape. The prompts give parents a number of ways to enjoy the books over and over again.

Both Susan and Dianne have Lifetime Teaching Credentials and extensive experience teaching nutrition to children around the world. The book has received rave reviews from both Wayne Dyer and Dean Ornish, M.D. Find your copy here, or visit Susan’s website. You can also find copies at Diane’s website, along with additional books and games.

WillYouLoveMe-StillBookcover

Will You Love Me Still?

by Valya Boutenko; illustrated by Katya Korobkina

Written by Victoria Boutenko’s daughter, Valya, this little hardcover (and hard pages—perfect for little ones who put everything in their mouths!) isn’t really about health, but it’s one of Annmarie’s favorites. Read it through and you’ll see why.

The main character is a little white cat that’s constantly getting into trouble. He’s always making messes, tracking dirt into the house, cutting up the curtains to make a costume, chasing the canaries, playing the accordion all night, etc. Each time, he asks, “Will you love me?”

Will you love me still even when I make a huge mess?
Will you love me when I do things you don’t like?

The illustrations are adorable—you can tell Katya knows cats! Each picture tells a story of its own, and complements the text to keep little eyes and minds interested. A story of unconditional love between a girl and her rambunctious pet, it helps children understand that mistakes are okay, while leaving readers of all ages smiling.

Get your copy here.

Have you read any of these books with your children? Do you have other great health books for kids? Please let us know!

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story

Colleen M. Story, a northwest-based writer, editor, and ghostwriter, has been creating non-fiction materials for individuals, corporations, and commercial magazines for over 17 years. She specializes in the health and wellness field, where she writes and ghostwrites books, e-books, blogs, magazine articles, and more.

Colleen is the founder of Writing and Wellness. Her fantasy novel, “Rise of the Sidenah,” was released with Jupiter Gardens Press in September 2015. Her literary novel, “Loreena’s Gift,” is forthcoming in spring 2016 from Dzanc Books. She lives in Idaho. www.colleenmstory.com

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