Recipe Corner Cooking Techniques

For Wee Fingers, Figs Are Packed with Fun

FigsIf getting the kiddos ready to go back to school can be a challenge, then planning their daily lunches and after school snacks can be a real struggle.

Perhaps a modern solution is an ancient fruit. Figs, which have a history that dates back to one of the earliest forms of agriculture, will soon be coming into season, providing delicious possibilities.

To our amazement, we've noticed that kids who are somewhat picky eaters will try figs -- certainly in fig bars -- really, anything that's given the allure of being (ta-dah!) "cookies" or "desserts." Some kids think figs look cool, kind of like alien fruit. (Just go with the story, even if the figs come from the neighbor's tree, not Krypton.)

Health-conscious parents can rejoice: Figs contain fiber, potassium, calcium and iron, and have the distinction of being a fruit that's been used for millennia in Ayurvedic medicine for its healing, tonifying and strengthening properties.

We adults think figs are pretty cool, too: Wrap 'em in prosciutto, grill 'em with pancetta or stuff 'em with gorgonzola for pinache that appeals to adventurous kids and grown-ups alike. You may be able to get fickle tweens to eat their greens by tossing chopped figs with feta cheese crumbles in a spinach salad. If they like nuts, add a few chopped walnuts for extra crunch plus omega-3.

So they still won't have a tiny bite of figs? Too bad, more for you. Be sure to gloat for dramatic effect.