Want your little monster to grow up healthy and strong? ”The Monster Health Book” is not just for monsters, but for kids! It teaches children about good and bad options for food choices and why they are good or bad. This book has my child reading labels and making sure we have healthy items in the grocery cart each week. You should see her comparing labels to the book’s suggestions on unhealthy ingredients in foods. My daughter’s first question was “What does Super Size mean?”
When kids open the book up, they first see a monster eating unhealthy foods with signs all around him with other unhealthy food items shown. We see licorice, chocolate bars, buttered popcorn, soda, ice cream, and a hot dog. The next picture shows a monster looking at a tomato while a child pushes a grocery cart along the produce aisle. Next, the author explains the five food groups and what foods are in each, plus how much of each should be eaten daily. Each vegetable has a fact beside of it, such as you use more energy to eat and digest celery than the celery provides. Then, pictures and facts about fruits are shown. In the meat and bean group we learn healthy and unhealthy options, such as lean meat is best and too fatty options would be sausage, hot dog, and bacon. In the grain aisle, we learn that whole grain is best and unhealthy grain options would be pizza crust, bagels, and pasta. Whole wheat bread, tortillas, and brown rice are some better options. In the milk group, the blurb states that some people can’t have milk because of the lactose, but instead substitute soy milk. Next, we learn about healthy and unhealthy fats. Healthy would include nuts, seeds, and olive oil; unhealthy fats are salad dressings, whole milk, and butter.
Many facts are in the next pages of ”The Monster Health Book” about how we need water to live and the nutrition found in foods. Teaching children to read labels on the foods they eat is next along with facts on how many calories are in certain foods. Kids will find healthy and unhealthy food lists for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and also that sweets should be eaten very little (only 8 teaspoons a day). The book has helpful info on eating disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and food allergies. Ideas for different exercises and activities for kids are on four pages and how important sleep is to a body. The last pages deal with unhealthy habits that can harm monsters’ (and kids’) bodies like smoking. A section is included on self-esteem and not teasing other kids about their body type. The last page lists several websites for kids to get more information on the topics inside of the book.
Really, the only thing ”The Monster Health Book” lacks is healthy recipes kids can make themselves such as a granola mix or trail mix for a healthy snack. I love how much information was packed into this 40-page book with tons of fun pictures. The illustrations show a boy, a girl, and a green, very big monster. The pictures are in color and show a variety of each type of food. The food pictures look similar to what children will see at their own grocery store, so they can pick out healthy options. This book makes nutrition easy to understand for younger kids. The lists and blurbs in boxes make certain facts really stick out.
There is a lot of text on each page, but I feel 2nd graders could read this book themselves while 1st graders may need help. This would be a great book to keep on the shelf so kids can flip through it after discussing nutrition in class. You really can’t beat this book for explaining nutrition to children!
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