10 Food-Inspired Baby Names We Love—And 10 We’d Skip

Love them or loathe them, these unique baby names give a whole new meaning to "you are what you eat."

When my husband and I were expecting our son, people had baby name opinions everywhere we went. “Have you considered a family name?” our grannies asked. “Don’t choose Brandon. I’ve had way too many naughty Brandons in my class,” a teacher friend pleaded. “I’ve always liked Sebastian,” said a barista whose name tag read “Sebastian.”

But one name came up again and again, thanks to my husband, who suggested Hamish practically every day. It’s a big, strong Scottish name, and we are big, strong Scottish people. And there’s the rub. I worried that Hamish would quickly be shortened to Ham, and if our son looked like we did as kiddos, he’d kind of resemble one, too. So to the cutting room floor it went.*

Food-related names can be dangerous, though they’re trending around the country as millennial parents seek out unique monikers for their tykes. In the interest of creative but sane parents everywhere, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite foodie baby names, and some we’d probably pass on.

(*If you’re curious, we went with Rowan, after the tree-his dad and I are big nature people. And Rowan is tall and slender. Hmph.)

Starting to feed your future foodie? Check out our guide on when to introduce your child to solid foods.

Top 10 Awesome Food-Inspired Baby Names

Smiling baby wearing a striped outfit and sitting in a high chair. One hand holding a spoon in their mouth and the other on the tray beside their blue bowl

1. Angus 

Here’s the beef. Like Hamish (mentioned above), it’s a big, strong name that traces its roots back to the Scottish highlands.

2. Bartlett

If pears are your favorite fruit, consider this juicy name for your baby-to-be. It means “ploughman” in Hebrew, but we think it would suit any child, regardless of gender.

3. Brie

Cheeseheads, this one’s for you. Named for the region in France, Brie is a soft, squidgy cheese that’s tremendous on a baguette—and it also makes a chic name for a girl.

4. Harissa

If you’re looking for an uncommon little girl’s name that’s as lovely as can be, put this on the list. Pronounced like Marissa, Harissa is a rich chili pepper paste that hails from North Africa.

5. Kale

Believe it or not, this name isn’t derived from the leafy green-it actually has Celtic roots. But if you’re hooked on said green, Kale could be a good name for your new baby boy or girl.

6. Mac

Love Big Macs, mac and cheese or macadamia nuts? Serve up this one. When Mac’s a boy, his name often stands alone, but if Mac is a girl, she’s probably a Mackenzie.

7. Nori

Sushi, anyone? Nori is cool on its own, or as a nickname for more traditional girls’ names like Eleanor, Nora and Norene.

8. Pepper

If we didn’t know this spicy name has been around for centuries, we’d be convinced it was coined by a superhero-obsessed foodie. (If you’re not one of those, Pepper Potts is the leading lady in Iron Man.)

9. Quince

Cousin to apples and pears, this fruit would be a sweet name for any kid. If you want to go with something more traditional, there’s always Quincy.

10. Sage

This herbal name hails straight from the spice rack. Your child may even take its meaning to heart and be filled with wisdom. Everybody loves an old soul.

Top 10 Food-Inspired Baby Names We’ll Skip

Frowning baby with a yellow spoon sticking out of their mouth. One hand is reaching up to hold their chin and the other is reaching into their white bowl on the tray of their high chair

1. Alfalfa

Naming your new sprout Alfalfa may guarantee he’s a little rascal.

2. Banana

Yes, Banana is actually on a birth certificate somewhere in the United States. We think every country should follow Malaysia’s lead and put the kibosh on this too-unique baby name.

3. Filbert

It’s the same as naming your child Hazelnut. (Not your kid, right?!) Now, naming your daughter Hazel, on the other hand…we approve!

4. Hash

Sure, everybody craves a good breakfast skillet. But when it comes to this name and its numerous possible interpretations, just say no.

5. Huckleberry

Huck Finn will always be one of our favorite childhood books. But if you’re considering this name for your future offspring, sing that old playground name rhyme. “Huck, Huck, bo-buck, banana-fana fo-…” Yeah, didn’t think so.

6. Mango

The name should have been retired after Chris Kattan left Saturday Night Live. You can’t have the Mango.

7. Peaches

Let’s reserve this one as a term of endearment, shall we? (Oh, and summer’s best fruit.) Can you imagine having a co-worker named Peaches? Or stranger yet, a boss?

8. Quinoa

Choosing the name Quinoa sets your kid up to be hated by substitute teachers for life. “Kwin-oh-ahh…?” If you want a ‘Q’ name, see No. 9 above.

9. Taffy

Nobody wants to be named after something sticky. We’ll leave it at that.

10. Tiramisu

Just in case names are a self-fulfilling prophecy, as I worried when I was pregnant, do you really want to tempt fate with a liquor-soaked dessert?

Make these freezer meals now, so they're ready when your bundle of joy arrives.
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Ellie Martin Cliffe
Now Taste of Home's content director, Ellie has been writing about food and parenting for almost 20 years. When she isn't at TOH HQ, she's likely trying gluten- and dairy-free recipes, canning whatever's in season, listening to anything with a fiddle, or playing Forbidden Island with her family.