Baby Names Resemble Salad Ingredients Now

Kale, Kiwi, Saffron, and Maple were each used as baby names at least 30 percent more in 2018.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
November 30, 2018, 9:39pm
baby in cabbage
Photo: Getty Images

Not long ago, we told you to name your pets after plural foods (yes, specifically, plural food items). We can probably agree that the same should not apply to your human babies. A bouncing baby boy named Beans? Perhaps reconsider.

But as it turns out, for an increasing number of parents, the difference between the Whole Foods shopping list and the list of would-be baby names is less than you’d think. According to a release from BabyCenter earlier this week, “health food names” are one of the hottest baby names trends of 2018.


BabyCenter, which bills itself as a leading online resource on pregnancy and parenting, also identified some other disturbing naming trends: “zen,” Fortnite characters, the Kardashian-Jenners, and the HGTV-famous Gaines family (get ready to meet a bunch of babies named Magnolia). What an on-the-nose summation of America’s interests today: wellness, video games, and celebrity families.

According to the statement, younger parents—who espouse “clean eating and Paleo diets”—are increasingly opting for names that “reflect their love of healthy foods.” Apparently, this year, many more baby girls than previous years were given the names Kale, Kiwi, Saffron, and Maple; each of those was used over 30 percent more, year over year, in 2018.

Though BabyCenter says it’s specifically “health foods” that are trending, they’ve also got a list of food and drink name suggestions that’s truly inspiring in its inclusivity. Say you’re less into vegetables and more into ground meat; why not name your kid Chili, or Joe, after a Sloppy Joe? (… Joe might be fine.) There’s also Ice and Hash—and yes, even Frito.

Since I have an “ethnic” name that often gets mangled or made fun of, I usually find making fun of names a no-go. However, they did literally list Frito as a name suggestion.

Beyond that, it’s undeniably funny to imagine a child named Curry running around the playground surrounded by youngsters named Cajun and Capers. It’s also entertaining to imagine a parent telling you that no, their baby Barack is not named after the beloved recent president, but after a Hungarian brandy made from apricots.

Anyway, as a person with zero plans of ever having children, this makes me both thankful that I will never be tasked with having to name an Actual Human, but also deeply saddened that I will never get to bestow upon a baby the name Bacon, or Dijon, and especially not anything on this list of “dark, evil, and scary” baby names.