June 4, 2008

Summertime Fruit Fun

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"Who wants a banana?" I ask. Silence. "How about an apple?" You could hear a pin drop.

I turn to face Julia and Henry, who have been regularly tuning out my fruit offerings. Even Baby Miles, who used to get excited at the prospect of a banana, is playing with his ball, ignoring me.

But with summer's arrival, I hope to take advantage of a new variety of fruit offerings and reinvigorate our kids' enthusiasm for fresh fruit snacks. After getting a recommendation of a special farmer's market that specializes in great produce, I take the kids with me to pick out some interesting and exotic new fruits.

"What's this, Mom?" Henry asks when he spots an Asian pear -- a type of fruit we don't eat regularly, but that I love. After our search, we return home with pluots, kiwis, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, apples, and three different varieties of grapes. Next, we do some fruity investigations and slice up the fruit to examine their texture, colors, tastes, and seed types. For Henry, slicing and mashing fruit far surpasses eating it, and he enthusiastically mushes his pluot slice into pulp.

For the summer season I have decided to try out some new fresh fruit recipes and the kids are really excited to try out something new and different. On our list for the season are the following:

After-School Snacks:

  • Frozen bananas dipped in yogurt and granola. Peel a banana and stick a popsicle stick through the end of it, dip in yogurt, then granola. Wrap in wax paper then plastic wrap and put in the freezer for a few hours.

  • Frozen grapes dipped in sugar. Wash seedless grapes and remove the stems. Dip the grapes in apple juice or grape juice to wet and then roll in sugar and freeze for about four hours.

  • Lime Jell-O with slices of fresh kiwi. Pour Jell-O into individual Dixie cups and add small slices of kiwi. Refrigerate.

  • Apple slices lightly drizzled with honey.

Fruity Desserts:

  • Cupcake and sundae toppings: Instead of candied sprinkles, we use berries and peaches for ice cream and cupcake toppings.

  • Caramel fondue with fresh pineapple chunks, apple slices, and strawberries for dipping.

Breakfast Surprise:

  • Red, white, and blue pancakes. Blueberry pancakes served with whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

And you can bet your bananas that my fruit snacks are a lot more popular now.

Looking for more creative solutions? Click here to see our best Dream Team stories.

How do you get your kids to eat fruit? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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Summertime Fruit Fun

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