University of Maryland Extension

Read for Health

Maryland Students and Their Families Read for Health

Read for Health is a language arts-based nutrition and physical activity education curriculum for pre-K and elementary school students.  The program is offered at a variety of settings, including public or school libraries, elementary schools, after-school programs, Head Start programs, PACT or CAP or other adult and child care sites.  Potential collaborators include public or school libraries, elementary schools, or after-school programs.  Read for Health uses reading to teach the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.  Health messages conveyed through selected books are reinforced with activities and food tastings.  Books used in the program include “Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds,” by Jean Richards and “I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato,” by Lauren Child.  A one-page family newsletter is sent home with participants to reinforce each theme.   The newsletters are available in English and Spanish.

Edible ABCs Appendix
The Edible ABCs appendix is for preschool-aged children learning the alphabet. Lessons are designed for children to learn about and taste healthy foods that start with each letter of the alphabet. 

To learn more about Read for Health, see the Read for Health PDF or contact Chrissa Carlson (  or call 410-715-6903.   

Read for Health is used in conjunction with these FSNE initiatives:

Healthy School Communities, Healthy Changes for Out of School Youth, and Healthy Tots, Healthy Families 


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