Learn about Kid’s Favorite Chinese New Year Foods

Like most cultures, major holidays are about special foods and dishes. So many delicious treats are savored during the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival. Here are some of my kids’ favorites:

My daughter practicing her chopstick skills in preparation for the Chinese New Year which begins on February 3

  • Noodles 面条 mìan tíao (‘mian’ is ‘me’ with a long ‘e’ + ‘en’ in a soft ‘e’ sharp decsending tone; ‘tiao’ is ‘tee’ with a long ‘e’+'ow’ in a rising tone) – Noodles represent longevity, therefore noodles are not cut. Instead, one slurps up a noodle for the full length of the noodle. Long life!
  • Dumplings 铰子 jìao zi (‘jiao’ is ‘gee’ +’ow’ with a sharp descending tone; ‘zi’ is ‘zuh’ with a neutral tone) – Dumplings stuffed with pork and scallions represent little pockets of yumminess. Dumplings are served steamed, fried, or in a broth. Similar in appearance to the Ming Dynasty gold ingots, dumplings represent prosperity in the year ahead. My local grocery store carries Joyce Chen dumplings which are pretty good for an Americanized take on a Chinese favorite.
  • Oranges and tangerines 橘子 jú zi (‘ju’ is ‘j’+'oo’ long ‘o’ with rising tone; ‘zi’ is ‘zuh’ with a neutral tone) – Oranges and tangerines represent luck and wealth.

Click here to hear pronunciations of all these food words.

There are many other foods served during the Chinese New Year (like sticky rice cake, fish, etc.). This is an opportune time to venture to local Chinese restaurants and see what regional specialties may be on the menu. Expand your child’s palate and your own!

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3 Responses to Learn about Kid’s Favorite Chinese New Year Foods

  1. Debbie Jarvis says:

    Ni hao

    Wow! We can get dumplings right at the DUMP! I didn’t know that!

  2. Megan says:

    You’ll have to go to Market Basket in Lee for Joyce Chen dumplings.

  3. Kris says:

    Sweet information, incredible blog template, keep up the great work