Eat the Alphabet

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Guest post from writer, editor and mom, Dawna Edwards.

Eat foods alphabetically, starting with A and ending with Z. That’s right, commit to 26 days-worth of different letters at each meal. You’ll add new dimension and learning to meal time.

Unless you’re a die-hard meal planner blessed with children who have super-flexible tastes, you may want to limit the number of new letter meals you attempt in a row, but you can

  • mix up only a few foods or ingredients or
  • try a full meal with all of one letter.

Make the meals fun–like a party for the letter!

  • If learning the alphabet, sing the song until you reach the letter you’re eating that night.
  • If letter sounds are important, talk about the different sounds the letter of the meal can make.

How about the difficult letters? You can always use foods to shape letters you’re stuck on. Not in season? Save it for the next round. Some of the more unusual or exotic fruit are more commonly available during the summer months, but as long as they’re not out of season, you can often ask the produce manager at your grocery store for a special order.

To top off the evening, read one of the many food-related children’s books on how foods are made, grown, or served in different countries.  Try Eating the Alphabet, Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert.

And how could you possible eat every letter? You can do it. Give yourself some room for leftovers and dinner out, but try at least one new item each week.

Need food ideas?  Look online for new recipes that combine ingredients your kids know and love with new and unusual ones. Some of our new family favorites have come from pacing the produce section. And for those noodle lovers, don’t forget your local grocer’s pasta aisle. You’re sure to find different shaped pastas with names for several of the meals.

Melissa’s Note: I begged Dawna to write this post because I LOVE this idea!!!  Thank you so much, Dawna, this idea is brilliant!

Dawna Edwards is the former editor of The Herb Companion magazine and Colorado mother of two. She loves short-cuts in the kitchen that allow her more time to spend with her favorite little ones.

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  1. I loved the night of leeks, linguine and lemon chicken. Not only are the kids learning the alphabet, they are also trying new foods!