This is the last month of the Healthy Reading and Eating theme in Adventures of Healthy Eating. I hope the theme of the last few months has introduced you to some good books and activities to make healthy foods part of a child’s day. This final installment is on protein foods.
According to MyPlate, all foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Most 2-3 year olds should eat 2 ounces of protein foods per day and 4-8 year olds should eat 4 ounces per day. Visit Choose MyPlate for more information on the protein group.
Unlike fruits and vegetables, there are very few books on protein foods. Some of the best books on protein foods are books specifically on the protein group. You may find some of these books are based on MyPyramid instead of MyPlate. Even though MyPyramid is not the most current visual, the content and pictures will still provide young children with an understanding of foods in the protein group.
The Protein Group by Tammy Kennington is a colorful book that explores different protein foods from meats to beans and legumes.
From Peanuts to Peanut Butter by Kristin Thoennes Keller is a wonderful book for young children who love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This book follows peanuts from the peanut field to the peanut butter jar.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. This fiction book does not specifically talk about eggs and ham. However, it is a well-loved book of children and adults and could still be used as a story to introduce children to the protein food group.
What are meat and protein? Where do meat and protein come from? Why is it important to eat meat and protein? Find out the answers to these questions by exploring the book Meat and Protein by Lola M. Schaefer.
As you can see, there are not a lot of protein food books. If you have ever had the desire to write a children’s book, you may want to consider a book on protein foods as there certainly are not a lot of books on the subject currently on the market!
Mary Schroeder works for the University of Minnesota Extension which helps
to connect community needs with University of Minnesota resources. Specifically
the Health and Nutrition programs and resources focus on disease & obesity
prevention, healthy school environments, and continuing education for community
professionals. You can link to the Extension Health and Nutrition website at: