11 Children's Books About Well-Being — From Food To Mental Health
Instilling important values and lessons in kids about their bodily and mental health, caring for the world around them, and being mindful might feel daunting at times. You want to make sure the information is easy to glean, kind, and careful. Of course, you want to lead by example; you're your kids first and most important teachers, after all. But you can also turn to well-being-inspired children's books for supplemental help. These types of books teach kids lessons about health, nutrition, the environment, being considerate, and how to care for their emotions—all while being fun and interesting to read.
If you want help teaching your kid about their bodies, minds, and the world around them, these can help.
Crafting Character With Environmental Ed
This interactive book about conservation comes with a large plushie tree, named Environmental Ed, and foam leaves. The idea is that after you read it with your kids (in which Ed talks about how we can all make a difference in caring for the planet), you do environmentally friendly acts for 14 days straight. With each act, write the task on a leaf and pin it to the plushie!
Crafting Character With Environmental Ed by Danielle Labriola (author) and Chachi Hernandez (illustrator)
Meditate With Me
Meditation has been shown to have immense benefits for the body and mind—for kids and adults alike. But that doesn't mean it's always an easy concept to explain to children. In a fun and easy-to-understand manner, this book shows them how to focus on their breath, on the sensations in their body, and on the sounds around them to help them relax their busy minds.
Meditate With Me: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Journey by Miriam Gates (author) and Margarita Surnaite (illustrator)
This collection of to-do's helps children of all ages work toward many of the values we strive for even in adulthood—be it regulating your emotions or helping those around you. The deck has one idea per card complete with instructions on the back. It also comes with an eight-page instructional booklet showing modifications that make these activities inclusive for children of all abilities.
Mindful Kids: 50 Mindfulness Activities for Kindness, Focus, and Calm By Whitney Stewart and Mina Braun
Good Enough To Eat
Consider this your simple, easy breakdown of nutrients, their functions, and how important they are for healthy living. It even comes with kid-friendly recipes chock-full of good food, while also being fun and tasty, for any budding chef.
Good Enough To Eat: A Kid's Guide to Food and Nutrition by Lizzy Rockwell
Garden Your Belly
Considering how important we know your microbiome is for your overall health, it simply makes sense to start educating your kids early. This breaks down the often complicated topic, explaining its importance and how best to tend to your own. And don't worry: If talking about the microscopic critters that live in your gut sounds gross—the enchanting watercolor images help.
Garden Your Belly: Meet the Microbes in Your Gut by Masha D'yans
What To Do When You Worry Too Much
Many child care experts agree: Anxiety is a growing concern for many kids and families. And if we can help them deal with their anxious emotions sooner, they'll be better off coping with their mental health later in life. This book offers a gentle guide to doing so.
What To Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety by Dawn Huebner (author) and Bonnie Matthews (illustrator)
Kindness Is My Superpower
Kindness—to others, to yourself, to the planet—is an important, vital part of wellness. It's the starting point for so many important values. This book encourages kids to act with empathy and compassion.
This bestseller from the all-star athlete helps kids learn how to make (and keep) promises to themselves. This, we know, is how we are able to stick to our goals, care for ourselves, and succeed in the long run.
I Promise by LeBron James (author) and Nina Mata (illustrator)
Listening With My Heart
So often in the wellness space, we talk about self-care, self-love, and self-acceptance. But we don't always teach kids (or adults, for that matter) how to do it. This book helps children understand how you can foster the traits in themselves and grow to appreciate who they are as little humans.
Listening With My Heart: A Story of Kindness and Self-Compassion by Gabbi Garcia (author) and Ying Hui Tan (illustrator)
Plant Cook Eat: A Children's Cookbook
This has it all: How to plant seeds (in patio containers, window boxes, or an allotment in case you don't have a yard), nurture your veggies, harvest them come the right time, and cook them—all in one place.
Plant Cook Eat by Joe Archer and Caroline Craig
My First Gratitude Journal
Many experts swear by keeping a gratitude practice and journaling. This interactive book can help your little ones start, too. This can help them foster feelings of thankfulness and appreciation for what they have in their lives—a good lesson for the whole family.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.