Cut Apples for Toddlers

toddler eats an appleThe easiest snack for me to get Hannah to eat is a cut apple. She’ll eat a slice of an apple that I cut any time of day, but usually she only eats a slice. Right now, that’s not a problem since I can eagerly gobble up any leftovers due to my increased need for calories from nursing. But, I got to thinking the other day about how much Hannah enjoys learning how to do things on her own and I figured out a neat way to prepare her snack together using a little Montessori inspiration. This is an activity that we can do every day. It leaves no waste and is simple to clean up. Plus, we’ve got a handy, healthy snack ready to head out the door whenever we need one. You could say that we’ve taken the old adage, “An apple a day” to a new level.

Cutting an Apple Together

Our journey starts at the top of the Learning Tower. Hannah Appleseed selects an apple from the lowest drawer in the fridge. If we’re preparing a few apples, we’ll wash them together in a bowl to conserve water. At this point, Hannh holds her peeler at the ready while I slice the apple in half, then into sixths. After that, she can hold a slice (or sneak her first bite) while I peel the remaining slices. Then we place each slice into a reusable baby food jar and close the lids. We store these on the lowest shelf of the fridge, next to her milk. She can reach for a snack whenever she is hungry. By keeping the jars in the fridge and returning them to the fridge right away, I can use them several times before washing. My favorite part of the activity is when Hannah climbs down from the tower and goes to the cabinet under the sink full of purpose. She announces, ‘POST’ and hands me the compost jug to toss our scraps.

Hannah loves routine and she does a great job carrying out steps in sequence. We don’t rush through this because we don’t have to. We make our snack early in the day so that it’s ready at any time. An older kid could probably easily keep all the apple pieces in the same container, but Hannah enjoys opening these jars and dumping them out. Once a day, she shares an apple with her little sister. At just 6 months, Audrey is only beginning to explore foods. Watching the two of them fumble with their fruit brings me a true sense of joy. The only way to make snack time even more enjoyable is to bite into a crisp, refreshing apple myself!

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5 comments on “Cut Apples for Toddlers

  1. TFranklin says:

    That’s a great idea! My daughter loves apples as well. She’s at that independent toddler stage too, so I have to follow her instructions to a T, otherwise a meltdown is sure to come.

    She always insists on having the entire apple, which is huge! I don’t buy organic, I should but I don’t, and I’ll tell you what, some of those apples are as big as a soft ball.

    So I hand her the apple. She’ll then take a bite….and spit it out. She hates the skin! I knew she hated the skin, but it’s like she has to be reminded just how much she hates the skin each and every time we have an apple for a snack. At that point, she’ll then, and only then, let me peel and slice her apple.

    Maybe if I store a few slices in a jar in the fridge we’d be able to avoid the whole skin and slice debate. Plus, she’d still be in control, I know that’s what she wants, and she could get her snack all by herself!

    Love it!

    • I’m so glad you like this idea. Cutting down on food waste has been the best way for me to afford better quality ingredients and more organic food in our diet. I hope that works for you, too!

  2. carriecurry says:

    What a sweet idea! My daughter loves helping in the kitchen too. But how do you keep the apple from browning?

  3. Truthfully, they don’t get *that* brown and since my toddler loves getting the snack herself and being part of the prep, she doesn’t turn it down. I realize that won’t work for all kids, so you could add a step of splashing some lemon juice or any other citrus juice to keep it from browning. Use a paintbrush to make that more fun, too!

  4. Heather says:

    Great idea. I am going to try this. We use lemon juice when we remember to keep it from browning…my kids looooove apples.

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