Christmas Fruits

Christmas is a time for gift- giving and feasting, which often involve particular fruits. What fruits are associated with Christmas?

Orange

Oranges, clementines, and other citrus fruits are commonly found in Christmas stockings. There are several explanations of this tradition: 1). They represent gold (or bags of money) from St. Nicholas that he slipped in hanging stockings of those who needed it. 2). Before being easily found in grocery stores, oranges were a special treat since they were so rare. The bright, sweet fruit was a joy to eat in a cold, dark winter.

Plums, figs, or raisins are one of the key ingredients in figgy pudding or plum pudding. This Christmas dessert made with 13 ingredients represents Christ and the 12 apostles. Traditional figgy pudding was made just before Advent in preparation for Christmas on Stir-up Sunday, in which stirring in an east to west direction commemorated the travels of the Magi.

Apples were used as to decorate trees, particularly during Christmas Eve plays that included the story of Adam and Eve. Apples represented the biblical forbidden fruit. A shortage of apples may have lead to the creation of baubles or glass ornaments to hang on trees instead.

Dried fruit, including oranges, apples, raisins, cherries, and currants is a staple in many Christmas breads. Stollen and fruitcake use dried fruits as a major ingredient. When fruitcake was invented in the Middle Ages, dried fruits and sugar were expensive and were only used in large amounts for special occasions, such as Christmas.

Kid's books about fruits and vegetables

Need some suggestions on fun and educational children’s books, pertaining to the topic of fruits and vegetables? Here’s a list of eight books following the fruit and vegetable theme.

  • Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert introduces a large variety of fruits vegetables for all the letters of the alphabet.
  • The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons teaches kids all about vegetables, from how they grow to their many varieties.
  • Grow: A Family Guide to Growing Fruits and Vegetables by Ben Raskin helps families learn how to grow, care for, and harvest their own fruit and vegetable gardens.
  • Blue Potatoes, Orange Tomatoes: How to Grow a Rainbow Garden by Rosalind Creasy (Illustrations by Ruth Heller) explains how young gardeners can grow a rainbow garden with a variety of unique and colorful crops from seed to harvest.
  • Fruit Bowl by Mark Hoffman is a sweet story about Tomato wanting to join the other fruits in the fruit bowl, but they aren’t sure he belongs.
  • Fruits by Nancy Dickmann teaches children about the nutritional value of fruits and how they play an important role in a healthy diet.
  • What am I? Fruits by John Benzee contains fifteen riddles about various fruits that kids can guess and learn about.
  • Similarly, What am I? Vegetables by John Benzee asks kids to guess what the vegetables are according to the riddles and colorful illustrations.

All these books can be found by clicking on the pictures or by visiting a local bookstore.

Do you have any other fruit and vegetable book suggestions? Let me know in the comments below.

2019 Holiday Sales from Split Seed Press

Holiday shopping is upon us and books make perfect gifts. What am I? Fruits, What am I? Vegetables, and Tree Verse are on sale via my online bookstore: https://aerbook.com/store/author_john_benzee. Use coupon code FRUITCAKE to get 15% off your order. (ends 12/23/2019)

Tree Verse eBook edition is also discounted 50% at all major online retailers: https://books2read.com/u/4j1rzo

Thank you for including indie authors on your shopping list.

A 2019 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winner

I’m excited to announce that my latest picture book, What am I? Fruits has won 1st place for the food-related category in The Purple Dragonfly Book Awards run by Story Monsters. The awards recognize and honor “books that are original, innovative and creative in both content and design” that are geared toward children. For a complete list of winners, follow this link: https://www.storymonsters.com/book-briefs/2019-purple-dragonfly-book-award-winners

June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

In the United States, June is designated as National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, which promotes healthy eating and tasty fresh and local foods. Fruits and vegetables are celebrated for their nutrition (bell peppers have more vitamin C than oranges), types and varieties (there are about 7,500 apple varieties worldwide), and cooking versatility.

Why don’t you participate this month by trying a new vegetable or fruit, growing some veggies in your home garden, or visiting a local farm market (they should be getting locally-grown produce soon). Here’s a handy link from the USDA to help you find a farm market in your area via ZIP code: https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/farmersmarkets