Nothing says fall quite like the apple—images of teachers’ desks, fall trees, apple crafts, and lunch sack offerings in red, green, and in-between. The season of the apple is upon us. Encourage your child to help you in the kitchen and you have an instant teachable moment. We’ve picked out some great apple recipes to make with your child.
Healthy and sweet, great for snacking and mealtime alike, the mighty apple doesn’t just keep the doctor away, it packs a nutritional whallop to give added fiber and vitamin C in a package pleasing to you and your young ones alike. Get started. Take a bite out of these fantastic apple recipes.
1. Apple-Blueberry Refrigerator Oatmeal
This is a great measuring activity for kids.
- ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ⅓ cup regular or almond milk
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- ½ a small apple, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Place a serving in a half-pint mason jar. Seal and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 week.
Optional add-ins or substitutes include a sprinkle of cinnamon, a teaspoon of Chia seeds, or steel cut oats instead of rolled for a chewier texture. Serve cold or warmed in the microwave for an easy make-ahead breakfast.
2. Apple-Cheddar Grilled Cheese
If you’re scrambling for a healthy lunch idea that’s still preschooler pleasing, look no further than this ooey-gooey sandwich. I love this activity for sequencing and following directions.
Slather one side of a piece of whole wheat bread with butter and place butter side down in a warm skillet. Top with cheddar, thin slices of apple, more cheddar, and a second piece of bread that’s been buttered with the top side up. Cook until brown, flip, and repeat. Slice into triangles for a happy plate.
3. Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
This recipe from Martha Stewart has it all. Salty pork, savory onions, sweet apples, and simple instructions that mean you can get dinner on the table while juggling other witching hour tasks.
This might be a mommy only recipe but you can certainly engage your child in find the ingredients at the grocery store.Serve the chops and suggested side of rice or mashed potatoes with applesauce for your pickier little ones, or use this as an opportunity to get them to try familiar ingredients in a new way.
4. Apple Sandwich
This activity enforces shapes and part of a whole. How many round slices can you get out of an apple? Is is always the same number of slices every time?
Slice two apples into 1/4 inch circles horizontally and use a paring knife to carefully remove the core. Spread one slice of apple with almond or other nut butter of your choice, and top with a second slice for a healthy snack full of good carbs. Variations include mix-and-matching colors of your apple slices, and topping the nut butter with raisins, chocolate chips, or marshmallows.
5. Oven-dried Apple Chips
Why buy prepackaged apple chips in the store when you can easily make them yourself—plus control the seasonings and quality of the ingredients along with a teachable moment. Instant science project—when heat is added the apple changes the way it looks and taste. Will that happen with other fruits?
Start with two of your favorite organic apples and slice as thin as possible, at least 1/8 inch thin. A mandolin slicer is great for this step. Warm the oven to 200 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then arrange slices in a single layer.
Sprinkle with cinnamon, curry powder, or leave plain. Bake with racks on the upper and lower third slot in the oven for 1 hour, then flip slices and bake for 1-2 hours more, checking periodically. Less time and thicker slices will equal chewier chips, while more time and thinner slices will give you crisp chips.
6. Apple Butter
Apple butter is my favorite biscuit topping, and kids love its cinnamon flavor and smooth texture, like applesauce as dessert. This recipe from the Food Network is the simplest I’ve found, and you can always preserve the jars for long-term cabinet storage by following a water-bath canning method so you’ll have fresh and seasonal flavor to enjoy all year long. Children will have a great time helping you fill the jars. Full and empty are great vocabulary words to re enforce.
Cooking with your child creates a perfect learning environment. Working with you in the kitchen will become your kids very favorite thing. This could be the beginning of a great passion for your child or even career.
What are your favorite apple recipes to make with your child?