I have totally raised two fruit loving little guys, we always seem to have a ton of fruit on hand and I have spent the last year trying to figure out how to serve it and keep it fresh and when is best to eat it. Here's a few tips I have discovered!
A few of our Daily Staples:
Apples - When I was pregnant all I would eat was BAGS of cut up Golden Delicious apples - my personal favorite type of apple! I have found that the best kind to buy to ensure they last long is Golden Delicious or Ambrosia. These two I have found last the longest AND my little one doesn't mind the skin! Other flavors of apples Pearce MUST have pealed which can lead to a lot of work! When you bring these BC treats home soak for 15 mins minimum in a bath of 8 cups water 1 cup vinegar then let dry on the counter before putting in the crisper in the fridge loose.
- the best way to prepare for kids with fewer teeth is peeled with small cubes, 1 apple - 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to keep from browning in a sealed container.
- kids with lots of teeth (like Pearce) for day care we cut as above for their guidelines, for home we slice the apple into thin slices and leave the skin on
- we also do apple sauce as a night-time snack when purchasing make sure you read the ingredients and that you don't buy anything with more than 2 ingredients : apples and ascorbic acid everything else is extra or sweetened which kids don't need!
Strawberries - I don't know a single person who doesn't love STRAWBERRIES! This info was actually very easy for me to find as my mom works for the Strawberry Council. These berries are usually super easy for kids with teeth or no teeth, so if your little one is teething, try giving them a soft whole strawberry and be sure to supervise, otherwise cubed is perfect. To keep strawberries fresh longer store as per below:
1. Wash ONLY before eating
2. Leave the stem on as LONG as possible
3. Don't let one berry ruin the bunch - check daily for berries going bad and remove from the bunch
4. Store in the fridge if not using same day - store in a partially closed contained, line with paper towel (putting between layers if stacking), and if using original container wash thoroughly.
Blueberries - In BC these are a staple, come August it's all about buying as many as you can to eat, freeze and save to enjoy all year! When Pearce was about 3 months he started teeth, so we put frozen blueberries in the mesh teethers and he fell in love!! Blueberries have so many options, smoothies, yogurt, or just on their own. Keep in mind if your little one eats too many you will have dark poop, don't worry its just the berries! The best way to store them is:
1. SORT - remove all the bad ones!
2. Pull of the stems
3. Soak for min 5 mins in a vinegar bath 1-part vinegar 3 parts water - after be sure to rinse the vinegar off
4. DRY! - best way lay a dish towel down and let them dry for an hour on the counter
5. store in a breathable non-metal container with paper towel on the bottom and between the rows.
Bananas - These gems are amazing for little ones, an awesome night-time snack to get baby to sleep longer - or so a few mom friends have said. Bananas are good because they are EXTREMELY safe, just be sure that if your little one is a new eater you don't give them to big of a piece for them to shove down their throat. Bananas are best stored at room temperature.
Kiwis - When I was a kid my older sister taught me to cut a kiwi and I never thought much of it until my little sister was over and I told her to cut a kiwi and she didn't know how! the best way to cut a kiwi IMO is to cut the kiwi in half, then take a spoon and scoop it out. Then cut the two halves into cubes. I suggest only cutting night before or day of eating. Kiwis are best stored at room temp until ripe then put them in the fridge in a bag.
Dried fruit are also great treat for little ones so if you have a dehydrator start experimenting for delicious treats, my favorite is definitely pineapple and mango! You can also buy these in a store, but they can get a little pricey. Pearce is a huge fan of raisins and pineapple.
Here is a Breakdown of where to store your fruit:
Apples - washed than loose in the fridge in a crisper
Bananas - on the counter
Stone fruit (peaches, plums etc) - on the counter until ripe then in a bag in the fridge.
Berries - Fridge
Citrus - on the counter
Grapes - in the fridge in a bag - we do off the vine in an open container
Kiwis - on the counter till ripe then in a bag on the counter
Mangos and Melons - Store on the counter until ripe and then in the fridge in a bag
Tomatoes - on the counter, uncovered or if very ripe in the fridge
Best Time of Day to eat Certain Foods - this is more for us adults but can also affect our little ones.
- best eaten for breakfast in moderation helps to prevent weight gain and bloating
- worst time eaten for dinner - cheese is heavy to digest eating for dinner can lead to indigestion and weight gain.
Figs & Apricots
- best eaten for breakfast to boost metabolism and warm up the digestive system
- eating for dinner can lead to indigestion and gas troubles
- Best eaten for breakfast giving you anti-oxidants which reduces aging and lowers risk of heart disease
- worst eaten as a snack, can increase body fat
- Best eaten for lunch as metabolism is higher during the day, giving you lots of time to use up the carbohydrates
- eating rice for dinner can lead to weight gain
- Best eaten for breakfast will improve digestion and increase metabolism
- Eating tomatoes for dinner can cause stomach swelling
- Best eaten for a snack to improve digestion and increase metabolism
- Eating oranges for breakfast can cause stomach irritation and gastritis
- Eating nuts at lunch time can lower your risk of blood pressure
- eating nuts at dinner can lead to weight gain
- Best when enjoyed at night slightly warmed will help get a good nights sleep
- worst when had for breakfast - unless followed by increased physical activity as milk can be hard to digest
- Best eaten for breakfast to lower cholesterol and because it is rich in minerals
- Eating potatoes for dinner can lead to increased weight gain
- Best eaten for breakfast, because apples contain pectin it helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- When eating pectin for dinner it is harder to digest at night it also increases stomach acid.
- Are best eaten at Lunch time, to strengthen immune system and improve skin
- Eating bananas for dinner can lead to mucus formation and disturbed digestion
If you have developed a child who is a picky eater, try talking to them about trying it once and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to try again. You can also make things they like, like spaghetti, or smoothies, or chili and cut vegetable up small and put it in their favorite things to ensure they are getting enough vegetables. I hope you guys found this helpful, I am always looking up how to keep things lasting longer. If you have any tips, please share!!
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