Vegetable Signs

Chances are good that it is a struggle to feed your child his veggies. Make a game out of it by showing him these signs.


The sign for CARROT, as shown in Figure 12–3, is a fun and easy one for baby to form.

FIGURE 12–3 Carrot

  • 1. Form the letter A hand-shape with your right hand.

  • 2. Extend the index finger of your left hand and rub down the length of it with your right hand. (This rubbing motion represents peeling a carrot.)

A great way to help your child associate the sign with a carrot is to peel carrots in his presence. As you do so, explain to him what you are doing and show him the peel after it comes off of the carrot. Even if you usually buy peeled baby carrots, consider picking up one or two full-sized carrots as a teaching tool for your baby.


The sign for CARROT and the sign for GREEN BEAN are quite similar. This could cause some confusion for your baby as he learns the signs and some confusion for you as you decipher them. Be sure to avoid introducing the two signs at the same time, and try to emphasize the motion of the right hand in each.


The sign for CORN ( SEE DVD) is a simple one.

  • 1. Using both hands, pretend that you are holding a corncob up to your mouth.

  • 2. Rotate the imaginary cob as if eating around it.

The sign is a good representation of corn on the cob, but doesn’t make as much sense for corn off the cob. In fact, your child may initially have trouble associating corn on the cob with the corn kernels on his plate. Just be sure to be consistent in modeling the sign, no matter what form of the vegetable you are serving.


The sign for GREEN BEAN (or string bean), as shown in Figure 12–4, is formed like so.

FIGURE 12–4 Green Bean

  • 1. Hold your left hand in front of your body with the index finger pointing to the right.

  • 2. With your other hand, grasp the tip of the index finger of your left hand and twist, almost as if trying to snap the end off of the bean pod.

Unless you have a garden or purchase your vegetables from a farmer’s market, you probably buy your green beans precut and frozen or in a can. If you have a farmer’s market in your area or an extensive produce section at your local grocery store, consider picking up some whole green beans to demonstrate snapping off the ends.


When you are ready to sign PEA ( SEE DVD), keep that left index finger extended as you did with GREEN BEAN.

  • 1. Hold your left hand in front of your body with the index finger pointing to the right.

  • 2. Use your right index finger to touch your extended finger three or four times as if you are pointing out peas in the pod.

This is a great opportunity to incorporate a counting lesson in with signing practice. Each time you touch your index finger, count out loud. Likewise, if you show your child actual peas in a pod, be sure to count them, too.


The sign for POTATO ( SEE DVD) is similar to the sign for FORK.

  • 1. Form the letter V with your first and middle fingers.

  • 2. Ball up the opposite hand into a fist.

  • 3. Jab the fist with the two fingers of the other hand. (This represents spearing a potato with a fork.)

Interestingly enough, the sign for POTATO is almost identical to the sign for IRELAND. In fact, some American Sign Language speakers use the signs interchangeably. The reason for the similarity in signs is due to the fact that potatoes have long been a staple food source in Ireland.

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