The Best French Fries

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

The Best French Fries

December 1, 2018

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like French fries. Who doesn’t want to munch on a hot, crispy, salty stick of potato? But not all fries are equal: there’s always a best French fry out there. Every year the people at The Daily Meal taste-test fries at restaurants across America, and judges pick the 10 best ones. This year’s #1 fries come from Balthazar in New York. You can put all kinds of toppings on fries, like green chili peppers, Chinese mustard sauce, and fried eggs. But if you like them plain, you can go for a long curly one: the longest fry in the world stretched 34 inches! That should be enough for dinner.

Wee ones: If you slice through a potato and look at the flat side you cut, what shape do you see?

Little kids: If you eat 3 fries with ketchup and 6 without, how many fries do you eat?  Bonus: If you dip your 2nd French fry in ketchup, then your 5th, then your 8th…which one do you dip next?

Big kids: You can cut about 25 fries from 1 potato. How many potatoes do you need to make 100 fries?  Bonus: How much taller than that 34-inch French fry are you?

The sky’s the limit: If 8 potatoes make 200 fries, and 12 potatoes make 300 fries, and 20 potatoes make 500 fries…what’s the pattern, and how many fries do 44 potatoes make?










Wee ones: An oval, or possibly a circle.

Little kids: 9 fries.  Bonus: Your 11th fry.

Big kids: 4 potatoes.  Bonus: Different for everyone…find out your height in inches, then subtract 34.

The sky’s the limit: 1,100 fries. You take the number of potatoes, divide by 4 and tack on 2 zeros. Why? Because multiplying by 25 is like multiplying by 100 and then taking 1/4, since 25 is 1/4 of 100.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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