A Fruit Dessert that Kids Will Love



Pear Pudding RecipeLate summer-early fall is a perfect time to find tree-ripened fruit at your local farmers market–should you be so lucky–or at your grocery store. This delicious, nutrient-rich dessert recipe, adapted from The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook (one of my favorite resources for family cooking), uses fresh pears, peaches, bananas, blueberries and grapes and canned pineapple. It’s simple enough that your child can put it together almost on his own.

Plus, it’s a great way to help your family get the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies a day, too!



– 1 20 ounce can unsweetened pineapple chunks
– 1 small package sugar-free vanilla instant pudding mix
– 1 firm banana
– 1 TBS. lemon juice
– 1 fresh pear
– 1 fresh peach
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup grapes
– 1 firm banana


Child —

1. Open the can of pineapple. Use a small colander to strain the fruit over a liquid measuring cup.

2. Add water to the pineapple juice to make 1 cup of liquid.

3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the pudding mix and the liquid. Whisk until thickened.

4. Peel the banana.


5. Cut the banana into bite-size slices and place in large serving bowl.


6. Add lemon juice to bananas and stir gently.

7. Wash and pat dry the pear and the peach.

8. Wash and drain the blueberries and grapes.

Adult —

9. Cut pear and peach into bite-size chunks; do not peel. Cut grapes in half. Add to serving bowl.

Child —

10. Add blueberries to serving bowl.

9. Gently mix fruit together.

10. Add the pudding to the fruit and stir one more time, very gently.

11. Cover bowl with lid or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until ready to serve.



Yours hungrily,

Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

Recipe adapted from The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook. Photo, Barbara Jean Hicks.



First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a chef. I’m not even a mom. What I know about healthy food and healthy eating I’ve learned by reading and doing, just like you.

What I am is a children’s book author. A Story Queen! My area of expertise is FUN. In the last dozen years, I’ve written a number of entertaining, award-winning picture books–about monsters, cats, Disney princesses–and veggies, of all things. 

I’m big on imagination. Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli encourages kids (the way my dad encouraged my siblings and me) to think of broccoli as crunchy, munchy, fun-to-eat trees. Once Upon a Parsnip is a fairytale rematch between Little Red Riding Hood (a vegetarian) and the Big Bad Wolf (NOT a vegetarian). Scary fun!

On the surface, neither of my veggie books is really about healthy eating–they’re just plain fun. But the fun is subversive: both books introduce and normalize the idea of eating healthy, fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. (Never underestimate the power of fun to get your kids to try something new!)

My goal in these pages is to find and share fun ways to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to children and to normalize healthy foods and healthy eating in their experience. My means is to expose them–through you, their parents and caregivers–to food-friendly books, videos, downloadable and printable posters and coloring pages, hands-on activities and kid-friendly recipes. Anything that equates healthy food and FUN!

I’m here for you–to help you make healthy eating feel as natural to your children as breathing.

Because healthy food and healthy fun make healthy kids. And that’s something all of us can get behind.


Barbara Jean Hicks, a.k.a. “The Story Queen”

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To purchase signed, personalized copies of my picture books, visit the “Books” page on my website.  To contact me about my well regarded young author presentations for schools, or for other enquiries, send an email from the “Contact” page at barbarajeanhicks.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

2 responses on “A Fruit Dessert that Kids Will Love

  1. John S Green says:

    Growing up we did something similar but used jello instead of pudding. It is a smart way to get kids eating fruits!

    • Barbara Hicks says:

      I remember how much fun it was to help Mom in the kitchen when I was a kid. I wanted to eat what I helped make, too!

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