When you live with picky eaters – whether they are your children, your spouse, or maybe even yourself – you have to get creative with how you introduce different foods into your meals. Eating a variety of foods can be fun when you turn it into a game. We decided to try a new food from A to Z, and created this list of foods to have options to choose from. Here is our list of foods that start with C, including fruits, vegetables, and other fun things to eat!
Why eat foods from every letter of the alphabet?
When you step outside of your food comfort zone, you have the opportunity to discover a new food that you never knew you could enjoy. There are so many foods that we haven’t tried, for various reasons – because our parents never cooked them, they weren’t available in our area, they are popular foods in different cultures, or just because we didn’t know they existed!
Trying different foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients that we wouldn’t normally have. It can also get us out of the “what’s for dinner” rut when we get bored of eating the same old things over and over again.
These food lists are also great when teaching the alphabet, or when looking for a fun food for show and tell day at school!
If you’re looking for a little flavor in the kitchen, or a way to spice up your life, try one – or all! – of these foods that start with the letter C.
Vegetables that start with C
Cabbage is super healthy! This low calorie food has high amounts of Vitamin C. It comes in three different colors. It can be green, white or red.
Green and white cabbage is typically used in stir fry or soups. One of my favorite recipes for using cabbage is to cook it with sausage and potatoes.
Red cabbage is used a lot in salads. It adds a nice color and has a peppery taste. Red cabbage also has 10 times the amount of vitamins compared to green cabbage. Raw Cabbage is also delicious. It is great for making the perfect slaw.
These edible flower buds are grown from the caper bush. These tiny buds are mainly used for seasoning. They are used in many different types of salads or eaten straight out of the jar. They are usually brined which results in them bringing a taste similar to salty green olives.
This delicious root vegetable is packed with Vitamin A, and is said to lower your risk of becoming diabetic. I use carrots in so many dishes! I add them to all kinds of recipes from chicken and dumplings or chili, to the yummy carrot cake.
This orange root veggie adds a bit of texture and brings a bit of natural sweetness. My kids love carrots, cooked, steamed, or raw.
Cassava is a root, similar to potatoes and yams and is a good source of Vitamin C. The starch that comes from this root can be used to make gluten-free baked goods
Cauliflower, or, as my kids call it, “the white broccoli”. This vegetable is just wonderful! You can use it in the same ways as you would use broccoli, steamed, cooked or raw as a snack or side dish. However, you can do so much more.
I use cauliflower in place of potatoes when I’m craving a loaded potato soup, but I want to stay a healthy size. Cauliflower has almost the same flavor and same texture. You want veggies and rice? Try cauliflower rice. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Not only is it very tasty, but it is so healthy! One single cup contains only 25 calories and 77% of your Vitamin C for the day! WOW!
Another household favorite that I use in a lot of dishes. Celery is 95% water, so you best believe this snack is a healthy choice for the kids.
Pair it with some sliced carrots and cucumbers and a small bowl of ranch (or peanut butter) and the kids will be as happy as can be. My 4 year old even loves celery!
I use celery in a number of dishes for the unique flavor that it provides and the added texture. It’s perfect for any soup and especially tasty in the Thanksgiving stuffing!
Cherry tomatoes are one of my guiltless pleasures. These tiny health bombs are an explosion of Vitamin A, C and E! My whole family loves to snack on these. Just grab a handful and eat them like grapes.
They are also great in salads and when used in cooking. They are the perfect tomato for when making any dish with roasted tomatoes. One of my favorite dishes is Tuscan Chicken. Creamy chicken with roasted cherry tomatoes and spinach. Oh my!
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a great substitute for meat. They contain 12 grams of protein per cup. They are great to be added into salads or soups.
I prefer to mash them and add a bit of lemon juice and salt and make a nice yummy and healthy dip (kind of like hummus) to dip my veggies in.
This beautiful plant comes with many uses. The flowers can be used in salads. However the main use comes from the root. Once the root has been dried out, it can be made into a coffee, being it is similar in taste, however it contains no caffeine.
Also, it is used medicinally to help with loss of appetite and upset stomach. It can also be made into a paste and applied to the skin to help with inflammation.
Chives are very similar to green onions or scallions. They taste similar and can be used in a variety of dishes. Chives have a mild onion flavor and are best when used raw or slightly cooked. They are a perfect topping for salads or baked potatoes and can be used in a creamy dip.
Cilantro (commonly known as coriander or Chinese parsley). The entire plant is edible, but the main use comes from the leaves. The leaves are either fresh or dried and used as a spice. It is commonly used in Mexican cuisine as part of dips and salsa. This is a great ingredient when making a sauce for any seafood dish.
A Southern, classic favorite. Similar to kale and turnip greens, this leafy vegetable is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Collard greens are simple and delicious.
If you want to make them quick, it takes about 20 minutes. If you want to make them delicious, it takes about 3 hours, but it’s worth the wait.
There are so many different uses for corn! One of my favorite snacks is a freshly shucked cob of sweet corn. You can grill it, boil it, steam it,cream it, bake it.. Add some butter and it’s good to go. Or you can use it as an ingredient in a number of dishes such as vegetable soup, corn salsa, corn salad, or highlight it in corn chowder!
Corn is also ground down and used as a flour and a cornmeal to make cornbread, (a great side item for those collard greens or cabbage dishes here in the Southern United States) yum, and of course – corn flakes.
Cos lettuce, commonly known as Romaine lettuce, is most commonly used as the bed of a salad. However, another common use for this long leafy green vegetable is to use it as a low carb, low calorie wrap in place of the not so healthy tortilla wrap.
This type of lettuce is sturdy and will hold all the yummy toppings inside while leaving you guilt free.
This crisp and refreshing vegetable is another favorite at my house. My youngest would rather eat a cucumber than a bag of chips. Slice it up ( add a little salt and pepper, if you’d like), or if you are like my husband, add onions and vinegar and enjoy a cucumber salad.
I use cucumbers in many of my cold pasta dishes and on many deli sandwiches. We also use cucumbers in our smoothies.
And of course you can’t forget the most delicious thing to come from cucumbers – PICKLES!!
Fruits that start with C
This unique fruit tastes very similar to egg yolk, giving it the nickname of eggfruit. It is used in many of the same ways as egg yolks are used, such as in breads, cakes, pies and custards. Canistel helps lower cholesterol and is good for the skin. It is also a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C.
If you want to intake 100% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C, just serve yourself 1 single cup of sliced cantaloupe fruit and you are all set. This sweet melon is almost 90% water so it is a great snack to help replenish our hydration.
Cantaloupe is a popular fruit that is a common ingredient in fruit salad – along with other fresh fruit such as honeydew melon, watermelon, pineapple, grapes, and strawberries. Just chop up this orange summer fruit along with its colorful fruity friends for a tasty rainbow dish with tons of nutritional value!
This tiny fruit is packed full of antioxidants and Vitamins. There are many different ways to use cherries. They make a great addition to many drinks, to add that bit of tart sweetness. They are also great when dehydrated and used in trail mix or on top of salads.
Another great and delicious dish is cherry pie!! Juicy cooked cherries encased in a crispy golden brown pie crust, fresh out the oven, topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Oh my, sweet cherry pie!
Oh my darlin, oh my darlin, Clementine! This fruit is very similar to a tangerine, but is a bit smaller. The easy to peel, seedless Cuties and Sweeties, are a version of clementines.
Oh how thankful I am for these child friendly fruits. When my kids come home from school, and I have a lot to do, when they ask for a snack, the last thing I need to do is stop working. The solution: “Sweetheart, why don’t you grab a cutie from the fridge?” And voila, it’s easy enough that my 4 year old can open it with no help.
There are so many uses that come from this tropical fruit. When using the coconut meat, it can be shredded and added to foods such as German chocolate cake, coconut pie, Almond Joys or Mounds. Shredded Coconut is also delicious used for coating fried shrimp.
Coconut water is extremely healthy and helps with raising the good cholesterol and lowering the bad cholesterol. Add the coconut water to your favorite smoothie or drink it by itself. The oil that comes from the coconut is great for your hair and skin.
Cranberries are another superfood. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. When consumed raw they deliver a sweet and tangy flavor. Often you can find dried cranberries (craisins) in trail mix. You can also make cranberry juice.
This tangy fruit juice is delicious and offers many health benefits, such as aiding the body when suffering from a UTI.
Other foods that start with C
Cacao is very similar to cocoa. The main difference is cacao is dairy free and has no added sugar. This bean delivers high amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, which help lower blood pressure.
The options are endless when it comes to cake the possibilities are endless, and there is never a wrong time for cake. Coffee cake for breakfast, carrot cake for dinner (it has vegetables, right?) – just kidding! With the variety of flavors, you can make a cake to satisfy whatever craving your sweet tooth desires.
One of my favorites is a 12 layer chocolate cake. The older cake recipes are the ones I prefer. They have been around a long time for a reason.
My favorite Italian appetizer. This dish is made up of fried squid, which is rich in protein and has very high levels of vitamins and minerals. When cooked, calamari delivers a slightly sweet taste and is firm, yet semi chewy.
I prefer to squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the plate and dip each piece into a bit of cocktail sauce.
This French cheese is illegal in the U.S., due to the fact it is made from raw milk, but it is the most popular cheese in France. It is smooth and runny and is used in a variety of dishes. The French even use it in their own version of a s’more!
These are also known as the white kidney bean and are used all over the world, but have a popular demand for Italian dishes. A main choice is Cannellini soup which consists of beans, spinach, tomatoes and pasta.
This choice of bean is exceptionally healthy. A ¼ cup will provide you with 11 grams of protein and 43% of your daily fiber intake.
This spice is made from the cardamom plant that derives from Southern India. This spice is not used for one specific category of cuisine, but is actually used for sweet and savory dishes, and also used in drinks, more so in coffee type beverages.
The Carob tree is native to the Middle East and produces edible pods that share its name. These pods are similar to cocoa beans, however instead of being naturally bitter, they are naturally sweet and have a bit of a nutty, caramel-like flavor. They can be used as a substitute in baking, however they will have a slightly different taste.
When it comes to nuts, these are my absolute favorite. Cashew nuts are sweeter and have a softer texture, but just the right amount of crunch and nutty flavor. I prefer to eat them plain, with nothing added to them. If someone hands me a trail mix with cashews, I will eat the cashews first. Every time.
This type of nut has high levels of magnesium, so it’s said that eating them can help prevent heart disease (and help you get better sleep at night too!).
Commonly known as cinnamon bark or Chinese cinnamon. In comparison to true cinnamon, cassia is similar, however has a much stronger flavor. With that being said, most choose to use cassia instead of true cinnamon when they are preparing Indian and Chinese dishes.
Cayenne is a pepper used in many different foods. Cayenne peppers can be used whole, sliced, dried or even powdered. It is perfect for adding a mild flavor of heat to any dish. Also, many use this pepper to help aid in weight loss, or appetite control by speeding up the metabolism.
Some choose to add the pepper to their drinks or smoothies, which may result in a spicy drink. Those who do not prefer the flavor opt to add powdered pepper into their plate of food.
Pretty please, with cheddar cheese on top? Cheddar cheese is the most popular cheese in the world, and is especially popular in North America. This cheese originated in a village in England, called Cheddar. Similar to most cheese, cheddar is a great source of calcium.
This cheese is very versatile. It’s perfect for cubing and pairing with a deli meat served on crackers. If you want a crispy, low carb snack, slice some and bake it for baked cheddar chips. How about the perfect macaroni and cheese, grab the cheddar.
Chestnuts are a great source of antioxidants. Once roasted, these nuts hardly taste like a nut. They possess a flavor compared to a sweet potato. These nuts also aren’t crunchy like other nuts. They tend to be more on the soft or spongey side.
Most commonly these nuts are roasted and eaten just like that. These nuts are also commonly used when baking.
These super tiny seeds are very rich in fiber. One ounce will equal 40% of your recommended fiber intake! Wow! These seeds can be used in many different ways, most commonly as a pudding.
However, adding these to a smoothie will give you that extra boost of nutrients that you may desire, or adding them into your favorite salad dressing.
Finger lickin chicken. Just like cake, the possibilities are endless when it comes to chicken. We eat chicken at least 3 times a week at my house. That is because there are so many ways to serve it, and so many different flavors that you can put on it.
For the colder weather we like to enjoy the more hearty dishes, such as chicken soup, or chicken and dumplings. We enjoy marinated chicken that has been grilled, smoked or baked.
And the leftover chicken from those dishes can then be used to make chicken tacos or the oh, so yummy, chicken pot pie. Those are perfect when they are made for individual servings. Add the kids favorite veggies inside the pie crust, add the chicken and some cream of chicken or cream of mushroom, bake it until it’s golden brown. Perfect single serving, child friendly pie.
Chili peppers are packed with vitamin C. Thankfully they have a lot, because it doesn’t take much of this pepper to do the job you need it for. A little goes a long way. They pack quite a bit of heat and are commonly used in the form of chili powder to add spice to food.
One of the best comfort foods. Chocolate stimulates the brain to produce endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, so it is a double win. Chocolate is used for many many options. It’s used for flavor, it’s used as a food or snack, it’s a topping.
Chocolate makes so many enhancements when added to a food. Strawberries, those are yummy, but make them chocolate covered strawberries, super yummy! Vanilla ice cream is a nice treat, but drizzle some chocolate syrup on that and it’s twice as good.
Similar to lo mein noodles, however these noodles tend to be crunchy because they are fried instead of boiled. It is typically used in a stir fry with vegetables and served over a bed of rice. This dish is commonly paired with beef or chicken.
Cinnamon is a spice commonly used in baking. The aroma that comes from cinnamon is very pleasant and inviting. The flavor that is produced is a mild sweet with a hint of spice. It pairs perfectly when making french toast for breakfast and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Another family favorite are fresh baked cinnamon rolls, covered in a sweet sugary glaze.
I love clams! I am a lover of most seafood, but I crave mussels. They are a lean source of protein and have high levels of vitamins and minerals. Clams do not have a strong fishy taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. I personally prefer them steamed and served on a cracker with some hot sauce.
Another delicious dish is clam chowder. It is creamy and hearty. The combination of the clam meat, diced potatoes, corn and onion is simply scrumptious.
Cloves is another slightly sweet spice, similar to cinnamon, that is full of antioxidants. This spice is commonly used in Chinese dishes as well as in some German dishes adding a warm and sweet flavor to a variety of dishes ranging from desert to the savory main course.
Coconut milk is traditionally used in Asia and Africa. This milk is lactose free, so it is safe to consume for those who have sensitivity to lactose. Coconut milk is a great substitute to add into smoothies instead of whole milk.
A southern must. Cornbread is made from cornmeal. This bread had the texture more like a muffin, being that it crumbles easily. Cornbread has a sweet taste and is great served warm with butter melted on top. Many people use the bread to soak up the juice from their meal and savor the finishing bites.
Also known as curds and whey, remember Miss Muffet, who sat on a tuffet? Yep, she was eating cottage cheese when that spider came out beside her. I have never been one to eat cottage cheese straight out of the tub, but everyone has their own preferences.
It is commonly used in place of yogurt or dressing. I do prefer to use cottage cheese in a variety of recipes. This high protein cheese is perfect for making lasagna. It is essential in making that time consuming dish have that creamy texture.
Couscous is originally a dish that came from Africa. It looks similar to rice, but it isn’t a grain. Technically it is a pasta, it’s just really really tiny balls of pasta.
Couscous does not hold much flavor but is commonly used in soups and as a bed for fresh vegetables.
Oh the yummy food that comes from a crab. The first thing that comes to mind, is of course crab legs. In my opinion, yes, they are delicious, especially when submerged in melted butter, however, the other options that don’t take as much effort to eat, are more for me.
Crab cakes, crab bisque, gumbo, crab dip, crab ravioli, deviled crab and soft shell crab are all super delicious and you don’t have to spend 5 minutes trying to get a tiny piece of meat.
I love cream cheese! I use this ingredient all the time. Mainly for the sweeter dishes, like when I am baking and I want to make a cream cheese icing, or if I want to make a cheesecake.
I use it as a spread for my bagel. We love it our crackers as a base for our pepper jelly. Did you know that putting cream cheese in your homemade mashed potatoes makes them even more moist than when you use milk and butter?
Cumin is available in whole seed form and powdered form and used as a spice, similarly used as cinnamon and coriander. This spice is also packed with antioxidants and is said to have anticancer properties.
There are many different kinds of curry. The curry dish originated in India. A curry is a sauce or soup, seasoned with spices and is to be served with rice. Curries tend to be more on the spicy side, but have a combination of sweet and savory.
The most common dish is chicken curry, which is served as a rich and creamy sauce made with many spices such as coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne (all the ones we listed in this letter) with chunks of chicken, tomato, and onion – all served over a bed of rice.