Color Me Zestful: Zucchini



Zucchini garden sign 1Graphic artist Gerald G. created a series of sweet garden signs, available for free download at, to glue to a stick and poke in the dirt next to your newly planted seeds in the garden.

You can find his images for zucchini, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow and green string beans, radishes and pumpkins here, in sizes appropriate for a garden sign. I’ve adapted the zucchini sign as a coloring page. (This might be a nice one to watercolor, too.)

Print out a copy for each of your kids and one for you. Share a few fun facts about zucchini while you color or paint. There’s nothing like engaging in creative work together to keep your family close. The family that plays together, stays together!

Zucchini Garden Sign


Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

Clipart adapted and used with permission from via



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 I look forward to hearing from you!

4 responses on “Color Me Zestful: Zucchini

  1. John S Green says:

    Zucchini—What a great word! And food, too. I’ve just begun to appreciate zucchini as a vegetable staple. My mother was not a fan so I grew up without yellow squash or zucchini. Today, I stir fry it in curries, add it to spaghetti sauce and even eat it raw with a dip.

    Thanks, Barbara!

    • Barbara Hicks says:

      John, my dad grew zucchini in his big backyard garden when I was growing up, so I knew all about it–well, at least enough to know that the zucchini bread my mom made was to die for! My dad liked to stir fry it with onions and tomatoes–which at the time I was not crazy about and now I love. Never thought of adding it to spaghetti sauce, but it makes total sense–they’re both Italian! Zucchini Spaghetti. Sounds zestful, no?!

      • John S Green says:

        I was on a low-carb gig a while back and made zucchini spaghetti. You slice the zucchini into flat strips, then cut long thin slices—like sticks. Blanch them into boiling water—one minute tops—drain and use as a spaghetti substitute!

        You can also stir fry half coined zucchini, like your dad did, and make it into a ratatouille…

        • Barbara Hicks says:

          I love this idea. I never thought about simply cutting the zucchini into strips–I thought it needed some kind of special kitchen tool that I don’t have in my kitchen. A knife I know how to use! Thanks for the idea, John–and the link to the ratatouille recipe!

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