Grand Play – “An Apple a Day”
Apples might just be the official fruit of autumn, and now they are at their peak, ripe for kids and grown-ups alike to enjoy. Here are a few ideas to help make the most of this fall favorite with the toddlers and preschoolers in your life!
~ Homemade Applesauce ~
Take an afternoon and go apple picking, or head to your nearest grocery or farmers’ market and pick up a few ripe apples. This recipe is very flexible – so feel free to use more apples, or mix different kinds, and then start with the minimum amounts sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice, adding more as necessary.
2-4 apples – McIntosh, Pink Lady, Gala and other sweet-tart varieties work well
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 pinch of cinnamon
- Tabletop spiral peeler* or vegetable peeler
- Serrated knife (older preschoolers can use a plastic knife or a small serrated version from a pumpkin carving kit to cut up apples with your help)
- Measuring spoons
- Potato masher or wooden spoon for smushing apples as they cook
- Mixing bowl
- Slow cooker (Crock Pot), electric skillet, or sauce pan and stove
- Serving bowls
- Wash your hands together.
- Wash and peel the apples and cut them into small pieces. Discard or compost the cores and peels.
- Put the apple pieces and lemon juice into the slow cooker, electric skillet or sauce pan over low-medium heat.
- As apples heat up, they will soften. Use potato masher or wooden spoon to smush the pieces into a chunky puree.
- Cook until soft.
- Add the sugar and cinnamon.
- Pour into bowls and allow to cool slightly.
- Enjoy your homemade applesauce!
Hint: Little ones LOVE the long, skinny spiral strips of peel (like an apple slinky) that are produced by the spiral peeler. You might spend all afternoon comparing lengths of peel! But a regular old vegetable peeler works fine, too. Tabletop spiral peelers are available online, and at housewares retailers like Walmart and Target.
Article submitted by Sarah Brenkert, M.S.Ed., Director of Education, the Children’s Museum of Denver.