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BeeZee Book Club: The best children’s books about health, nutrition & wellbeing

There’s nothing better than getting lost in a good book! Whether learning something new and fascinating, or getting whisked off on an adventure with some new fictional friends – books are pretty awesome.

In celebration of World Book Day, we’ve got our bookworm nutritionist Freya to round up her favourite children’s books that teach kids about healthy eating and wellbeing.  A mix of fiction and non-fiction, these pages will help your kids understand the benefit of healthy living in a new and exciting way.

Books for littles

N is for Nutrition!, by Amneet Aulakh and Todd Skene (4-8yrs)

N is for Nutrition takes several adorable kids on a farm-to-table exploration, as they learn about plant-based food and nutrition. The book is full of colourful illustrations and is written with smart and simple rhymes, using positive language as it goes through each letter in the alphabet.
Kids will learn about: 

  • The plant-based food groups 
  • The power of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and protein 
  • A rainbow of colourful foods and tasty flavours 
  • The joy of farming, gardening, cooking, and eating healthy! 

An alphabetical directory at the back contains over 210 plant-based foods while all the primary and secondary colours and several other colours are mentioned throughout the book. Another unique feature is the inclusion of herbs and spices. 

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons-  (4-8yrs)

Similar to her book, The Fruits We Eat, this book describes, explains, and features Veggies.  Gail explores vegetables from the parts of the plant to veggies we see on the table and all the varieties available today.   Gail explains: Leaf . . . root . . . stem . . . These are three of the eight groups of vegetables. From how they are planted to how they get to stores, here is a wealth of information about them, including how to plant and tend your own vegetable garden. 

The Fruits We Eat, by Gail Gibbons (4-8)

Berries, apples, melons, and grapes; oranges, grapefruits, bananas — yum! This scrumptious picture book, a companion to The Vegetables We Eat, offers youngsters an inviting, information-packed cornucopia of favorite fruits. Gail Gibbons combines a clear, simple text with her signature illustrations to present fruit facts galore: the parts of fruits, where and how they grow, harvesting, processing, where to buy them, and how to enjoy them as part of a healthy diet.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (Charlie and Lola), by Lauren Child (4-8yrs)

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including — and especially —tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity. 

Books for not-so-littles

Panther, by David Owen (age 12+)

Life isn’t going terribly well for Derrick; he’s become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he’s hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it’s all because of his sister. Her depression, and its grip on his family, is tearing his life apart.

The Reason I Jump, by  Naoki Higashida (age 11+) 

Written by Naoki when he was only thirteen, this book provides insight into his experience of autism. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. 

The State of Grace, by Rachel Lucas (age 13+) 

Grace is autistic and has her own way of looking at the world. She’s got a horse and a best friend, and that’s pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn’t make much sense to her any more  

Positively Teenage: A positively brilliant guide to teenage well-being, by Nicola Morgan (11-14yrs)

Full of practical, proven strategies for physical and mental health, Positively Teenage will show you lots of ways to flourish physically and mentally – from doing things you enjoy to learning new skills; looking after your diet, exercise and attitude to being healthy online; getting great sleep to understanding your personality – allowing you to take control of many areas of your life. With these new strengths and skills, you can survive any storms and thrive on the challenges of your exciting life.

Scattered throughout are POSITIVE BOOSTS: quick ideas for actions you can take to build positivity and well-being. Add them into your life and use your imagination and your new understanding to invent others. 

Stuff That Sucks: Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can, by Ben Sedley (teens) 

Each of us has thoughts that are painful at times; sometimes the pain is sadness, sometimes worry or anger or shame or grief or some feeling that you don’t even have words for. 

If you are a young person struggling with your emotions, you do not want to be told that ‘everyone feels like that’ or that ‘you will grow out of it’. You want to feel that your emotions are valid and that the person offering help truly understands how painful life can feel at times. With a strong emphasis on validation and compassion, Stuff That Sucks encourages you to accept your emotions rather than struggling against them. It also shows how to reconnect with what is really important to you, giving you the tools to help clarify your personal values and take steps towards living a life where those values can guide you in your day-to-day behaviour. 

Get Fit, Get Happy: A new approach to exercise that’s fun and helps you feel- by Harry Judd (teens) 

Harry Judd is a member of the hugely successful bands McFly and McBusted who have headlined Hyde Park, notched up 19 hit singles – of which 7 went to number one – and 2 number-one albums. He is a much-loved former Strictly Come Dancing champion and has been crowned the nation’s favourite ever winner of the show. 

And yet in spite of this success, there have been times when Harry has been prone to anxiety and other mental health issues. He’s not alone. Today, anxiety, depression and other mental health problems affect more of us than ever before and we are all looking for ways to adapt, cope and survive the pressures of daily life. 

The one thing that Harry has turned to time and time again to redress the balance in his life is fitness. Now, using a combination of exercise and dance, Harry makes the mood-boosting benefits of fitness accessible for everyone. Young or old, male or female, small or large, tall, short, thin, fat or somewhere in the middle: anyone will be inspired by Get Fit, Get Happy. Without any need for expensive kit or lots of time, Harry’s approach is fun, fast, free. 

Part memoir in which Harry tells the life lessons that he has learned, and part richly researched fitness plan to get you feeling more positive, Get Fit, Get Happy is a fitness revolution to help people find a little more happiness in their lives.