Health on the Shelf

Health on the Shelf

Talking and sharing stories with babies and children is important for their development. Don’t worry if your reading’s not the best.

You can give your child a great start by talking, singing, playing and sharing simple books together.


  • use the pictures to tell a story
  • talk slowlyA parent reading a story book to their young child
  • make sounds and use different voices to create fun and excitement
  • point to the pictures as well as the words
  • let children ask questions or guess what’s going to happen in the story
  • let children turn the pages
  • make it fun and an enjoyable time together
  • make some time every day.

Using storybooks, you can talk about:

  • colour and shape using different vegetables and fruits
  • togetherness and sharing through stories about eating as a family and with friends
  • difference by showing how each family and culture does not eat or do things the same way
  • who we are through understanding what we eat is about culture and history
  • how food is grown and prepared
  • looking after the world through exploring food waste and use of water
  • movement through understanding what our bodies can do.

‘Health on the Shelf’ in partnership with LINC Tasmania is a collection of suggested storybooks for parents and educators. It also includes some books suitable for upper primary school children.

Books about growing, cooking and eating food, colour, shape and days of the week

TitleAuthor About the book
Lunch Denise Flemming A hungry mouse eating vegetables and fruit
The Beastly Feast Bruce Goldstone A group of animal friends sharing a meal
Eating the Alphabet Lois Ehlert All about the ABC's
Growing Vegetable Soup Lois Ehlert All about growing vegetables and making soup to eat
The Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle Eating different foods and days of the week
Strawberries are red Petr Horacek Explore colour using fruit.
I Like Fruit Lorena Siminovich About enjoying foods, getting involved in growing foods
I Like Vegetables  Lorena Siminovich About enjoying foods, getting involved in growing foods
I’m having a rainbow for dinner Australian Nutrition Foundation Encouraging eating different coloured vegetables
Cook it! George Birkett Cooking food
Grow it! George Birkett Growing food 

In the garden

Leslie Bockol
Children enjoying growing and eating fruit and vegetables
Blueberries for Sal

Robert McCloskey

A girl and her mother picking fruit to store for the winter.
Kindy kitchen : where fruit and vegies come to life Jessica Rossman Fun and interactive rhymes about food

Handa’s surprise

Eileen Browne Explore cultural diversity through food

Green Eggs and Ham

Dr Seuss Humorous book about trying new foods

I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato

Lauren Child Trying new foods

Gregory, The Terrible Eater

Mitchell Sharmat Trying new foods
What if vegetables were peopleKate WengierCreating fun, positive associations with vegetables
What if fruit were animals Kate WengierCreating fun, positive associations with fruit
At my family tableMandy Dos SantosEating together 

Books about active play and having fun outdoors

TitleAuthor About the book

Grandpa and Thomas

Pamela Allen Going to the beach for a play and sharing a picnic

Dancing with Grandma

Rosemary Nastnak Dancing and dressing up fun with grandma
I Can Do It Jana Novotny Exploring all the things to do on the first day of preschool

Josephine wants to dance

Jackie French Everyone can have dreams to do what they want

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Michael Rosen Using imagination and getting active
Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Ride, Ride, Ride Your Bike Wes Magee Nursery rhymes to encourage active play

Yes We Can

Sam McBratney and Charles Fuge Using imagination to encourage being active
Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes and Clap, Wiggle, Stretch and Jump Brian Moses and Lisa Smith Being active indoors and using your imagination

Books about looking after your body and diversity

TitleAuthor About the book

Your body is awesome

Sigrun Danielsdottir

Positive body image and body diversity
Shapesville Andy Mills and Becky Osborn Body confidence and body diversity

When I’m feeling loved

Trace Maloney About love and friendships

When I’m feeling scared

Trace Maloney Understanding feelings

Round Fish Square Bowl

Tom Skinner Growing up and and fitting in

My Friend Bear

Jez Alborough A book about loneliness and friendship
WonderR PalacioWONDER is the funny, sweet and incredibly moving story of Auggie Pullman. Born with a terrible facial abnormality (upper primary)
Diary of a Wimpy kid (series)Jeff KinneyA humorous look at growing up and fitting in (upper primary)

First best friends

Margaret Wild Promotes active travel to school with a safety message
When Penny was Mum Margaret Wild General health
Don’t forget the cheese pa Gwenda Smyth General health, road safety messages

The Tooth Book

Dr Seuss About looking after your teeth 
Dora Show Me Your Smile Christine Ricci About looking after your teeth
Maisy, Charlie and the wobbly tooth Lucy Cousins About looking after your teeth
Loving ComfortJulie DillemuthA toddler weaning story
Mama's milk is all gone Ann Pauline VernonBreastfeeding and weaning

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