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Fall Means Apple Time

by: Annette M. Hall

Checking out the apples at Covers Apple Ranch

A visit to Covers Apple Ranch

It's harvest time and there is nothing sweeter than tasting a fresh apple on a cool crisp fall day. Why not expand your apple horizons this year? Apples are kid friendly, something you can feel good about your child eating.

Kids and apples go hand-in-hand, sort of like peanut butter and jelly. Which reminds me, peanut butter makes a terrific topping for apple slices, the combination tastes great and don't tell the kids but it's good for them too. Why not visit your local apple orchard, this is a perfect time of year to round up the younguns and take them on an outting to the local apple farm, most are serving fresh apple cider and donuts during the fall months.

I have provided fun links for the kids, a list of the characteristics on just a few of the hundreds of different types of apples, this list is by no means exhaustive but for the inquisitive mind, we've provided plenty of additional links to whet your appetite for knowledge. You will also find some neat ideas to get the kids excited about eating apples and perhaps, spark your creative culinary skills.

Apple Treats

Everyone knows that apple pie is an all American favorite and that ice cream over a warm piece of pie is like heaven on earth but when is the last time you topped your apple pie with a slice of melted cheese? Give it a try for a delicious variation to an old favorite.

Kids just love finger food, so for a simple lunch why not make your own snackables? These are my sons absolute favorite. I give him three or four carrot sticks, a couple of slices of ham or turkey rolled up or cut into a square, four or five apple slices, four or five of his favorite crackers with cheese slices or string cheese. You can even serve his snack plate with cottage cheese or yogurt for a nice change. There is no limit to the variations and since it's finger food, the kids are sure to love them. The nice part for you is, it's easy to prepare, heathy for your child, easy to clean up and the cost is right.

Fondue for Kids

You can make any event memorable for the kids by adding a special touch, with apples of course. Dig that fondue set out of the back of the cupboard and put it to use. Depending on the occasion, you can melt chocolate, cheese or even peanut butter in your fondue set. Slice up plenty of apples, bananas, oranges and any other fruit your children enjoy eating. In separate dishes provide marshmallows, sprinkles, shredded coconut, chopped nuts - don't be afraid to be creative. Then stand back and let the kids enjoy their own creations, dunking their fruit in the sauce, then coating it with nuts, coconut or sprinkles.

The same thing can be done with these various fondue sauces with meats and various vegetables. Just be sure to keep it fun and include at least one item the kids have never tried before. You just might be surprised at their reaction. This was something we for the kids each year at our house, when the kids were growing up. They loved having their own special New Year's Eve celebration, it was always a very special event. For an added touch get out the fancy glasses and provide some sparkling cider, the kids will feel like you threw them a fancy dinner party in their honor, sure to create fond memories for your son or daughter to look back on for years to come.

Apple Tasting

Visit your local orchard or grocery store if you don't have a local orchard or farmers market nearby, purchase as many apple varieties as possible (be sure you keep track of what kind they are). Be sure to have everyone wash their hands, don't forget the soap.

Interactive Apple Fun and Games

Apple Facts

See what the apple experts have to say about our American favorite. Visit these websites for more facinating apple facts, apple history and trivia:

Apple Varieties

Apples are the most widely cultivated of fruit trees around the world. Europeans worked to improve apple varieties more than 2,000 years ago. The largest producers now are the United States, China, France, Italy and Turkey with a world crop of 32 million tons a year. One half of the U.S. crop is eaten fresh, one-fifth is made into vinegar, juice, jelly and apple butter and one-sixth is canned for pies and applesauce.

Apple growers across the country have provided the following descriptions.

Brennie Raking the Fall Leaves [Click for enlarged view]

Apple Curriculum

Apples and Technology

Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith

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