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 Y and Z, 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 y and the letter z. (There aren’t many though, so we combined these two!)
Vegetables that start with Y and Z
The Yardlong bean, also known as the Chinese green bean, or the asparagus bean. The scientific name for this delicious vegetable is Vigna unguiculata. This bean is similar in appearance to the green bean and is used in many of the same ways, such as being cooked with bacon, However, a popular Chinese dish is to stir fry the beans with sou sauce and garlic.
These yellow lentils look like split yellow peas, but are actually split Moong beans. They have a very sweet and nutty flavor. The cooked version of these lentils is used as a thickening agent for soups and stews. They are commonly served with curry or quinoa.
Yellow peppers are a milder, sweeter, and prettier (in my opinion) version of the green bell pepper. We love to dip our crisp peppers in hummus or ranch dip for a delicious treat. Just slice them up and snack away!
Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable. When it comes to the food groups, it is classified as a vegetable, but it is used in similar ways as the sweet potato.
The health benefits that come from consuming this delicious food should inspire one to use it as a substitute when possible. It has had a great impact on our nation when it comes to eating healthier. Instead of french fries, try zucchini fries. Instead of zebra cakes, try some zucchini bread.
Fruit that starts with Y and Z
It feels like cheating to keep naming “yellow” foods, but there just aren’t many foods that start with the letter Y otherwise! However, yellow mangoes are a thing – and they are one of our favorite fruits!
The official name for yellow mangoes is the “Ataúlfo” mango. They come from Mexico and are a smaller version of the commonly known red mango. They have a much smaller pit, and I think the flesh is tastier and less stringy.
The yellow papaw is native to North America and is very similar to a mixture of mango, pineapples and bananas. These fruits can be eaten raw. They are commonly used in making smoothies, ice cream or puree.
Yellow watermelon definitely isn’t as popular or as commonly eaten as red watermelon, but it is something that shouldn’t be missed! They look exactly the same as regular watermelons on the outside with a green rind. But when you cut them open, they have yellow flesh!
I think yellow watermelons are a bit sweeter than red ones.
Other foods that start with Y and Z
This Christmas tradition originated in Norway. The ancient Norse viewed the sun as a ring of fire and they celebrated the return of the sun at Winter solstice. They would burn a log during their celebration.
The yule log is a chocolate cake or a sponge cake that is filled with a buttercream, usually flavored with hazelnut and rolled into a log shape to represent the burning log. My oldest daughter loves making this for us every Christmas!
This dish, translated in English, means Barberry with Chicken. This is a very famous Persian dish that is served across the Middle East. This dish is sweet and savory, due to the flavors from the saffron and turmeric to help tone the sour taste of the burberry. This dish is served with a side of saffron rice.
Which “Y” and “Z” food is your favorite?
Do you have a favorite food that starts with Y or Z that isn’t on our list? Or even a favorite recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so leave us a comment below!
MEET THE AUTHOR
As a mom of 4 kids (and the oldest of 4 kids herself), Amanda has over 30 years of parenting experience. A former special education teacher, Amanda has a Master’s degree in Special Education and a second M. Ed. in Educational Leadership.
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, and long walks through Target.