Riddle Me This: Fun with Fruits & Veggies

Healthy Eating, Learn, Try This at Home, What We're Eating

This post comes to us courtesy of writer and Williams-Sonoma creative consultant Laura Martin Bacon.

 

What’s fun, easy – and gets even the pickiest little eaters excited about the season’s fresh fruits and vegetables?

 

Give up? Riddles!

 

When healthy farmers’ market finds make their debut at your dining table, teaming them up with a riddle is a simple way to engage kids’ imaginations – and appetites.

In experiments with my hilarious little tribe of nieces and nephews, riddles and recipes have proved to be a winning combo. Not every kid will love every food – but if you can keep ‘em laughing, chances are they’ll at least give some new tastes a try.

 

And it makes old favorites more fun than ever!

 

Here are a few of my original riddles (with kid-approved Williams-Sonoma recipes) to get you started:

 

StrawberriesI’m a sweet, juicy red fruit who wears my seeds on the outside. I grow in summertime patches and taste great in everything from shakes to shortcake. Who am I?

 

Try me: Irish Porridge with Strawberries & Cream

 

 

PeppersI’m a crunchy summer garden favorite that comes in green, red, orange, yellow – and even purple. You can eat me raw or cooked, sliced or stuffed. I’m not spicy, but chiles are my cousins. Who am I?

 

Try me: Bell Peppers Baked with Tomatoes

 

 

 

TomatoesSome people think I’m a vegetable, but I’m really a fruit. I taste great raw in salads or on sandwiches, or you can cook me to make pasta sauce or ketchup. Who am I?

 

Try me: Farmers’ Market Tomato Salad

 

 

ApplesYou’ll find me growing in orchards, where I go by names like Jonathan, Pippin and Granny Smith. You can put me on your teacher’s desk or use me to make a filling for an all-American pie. Who am I?

 

Try me: Apple Sandwiches

 

 

 

BeetsI’m an underground vegetable with a name that sounds like I have great rhythm – and rhymes with “treat,” which I definitely am. I come in red, golden, pink, white – and stripes! Who am I?

 

Try me: Roasted Beets with Orange & Herbed Goat Cheese

 

 

 

AvocadosBecause of my pebbly green skin, I sometimes go by the alias “alligator pear.” You’ve probably tasted me mashed into guacamole or in slices on a sandwich or salad. Who am I?

 

Try me: Avocado Bacon Tomato Tartines

 

 

FigsI’m one of the world’s oldest known fruits, who answers to names like Mission, Calimyrna and Smyrna. You might know me from those cookies called “Newtons,” but I taste great fresh off the tree. Who am I?

 

Try me: Brioche French Toast with Fresh Figs

 

 

 

BeansI’m part of the legume family, but our vegetable friends have nicknamed us “the pod squad.” Some words that give clues to my identity include: pinto, edamame, fava, string, snap and green. Who am I?

 

Try me: Edamame & Orange Salad

 

 

 

GrapesWalk through any vineyard and you’ll find me and the rest of the Vitis Vinifera family hanging out in bunches. I come in lots of cool colors – from silvery green to purplish-black. Who am I?

 

Try me: Harvest Fruit Salad

 

 

 

About the authorLaura is a longtime writer and creative consultant for Williams-Sonoma and other well-known entities. She’s also the Culinary Creative Director of DooF (“food” backwards), an organization that uses multi-media entertainment, education and live events to help kids and families discover the magic of food. DooF explores every aspect of food – from flavors, history, science and cultural traditions to the exciting journey from source-to-table. Laura’s mission: to make good food fun – at home, in the classroom and beyond.

8 comments about “Riddle Me This: Fun with Fruits & Veggies

  1. Sheila Crye

    Thanks for a great idea! Riddles engage children’s curiosity, so you are actually teaching while keeping the conversation fun.

    Reply
  2. Deidre

    Loved the article! This is teaching children to love healthy food–avocado has always and will always be my favorite, and my doctor is pushing this healthy veggie bigtime!! Great job and very educational!

    Reply
  3. margotgn@sbcglobal.net

    For a slight twist on Apple Sandwiches try this. Core an apple (we love Galas), pack the hole created by coring the apple with peanut butter, and slice the apple crosswise into 3/8-1/2″ slices. It works best if the stuffed apple is prepared the night before and refrigerated but I’ve sliced many-an-apple immediately after stuffing and it works just fine also. This makes easy to handle (and pack for lunch/snack) apple slices with a peanut butter treat in the center and is neat to eat. It is also a great treat for between school and sports as it keeps well during the day. My kids still love these and both will be in college this fall!

    Reply
  4. Elaine

    Laura, you are brilliant as usual. I am going to try this next time I come across a picky eater who won’t eat their vegetables. Does it work on adults too?

    Reply
  5. Monty

    These riddles really work! They actually got my 7 year old, who HATES avocados because “they’re green and slimy,” to try them on the bacon tartines. It was the alligator pear thing — and the bacon. And my daughter Terrible Two happily ate the beets because they “had pretty colors all mixed up.” Thanks for the great ideas and amazing (as always) recipes from Williams-Sonoma!

    Reply
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