The Sprouts - Apppppplessssss

During the last two weeks, I’ve noticed when I send apples in O’s lunch they aren’t eaten. Initially I cut them. But of course they turned brown. Then I tried sending a whole apple but it got sent back two times. I asked him if he was just full or didn’t want apples. He said, “I like it better cut up. But I don’t like them brown.”

The scenario reminded me of a Sid The Science Kid episode. Recently O’s interest in Sid re-emerged and on his first day of school he wanted us to call up the stairs…. Breakfast Time, as he ran down with a microphone emulating Sid’s famous….BREAKFAST TIIIIIIIIME (you know what I mean, if you’ve seen the PBS show Since there is lots of interest in experiments around here, I decided to pose the question⎯ “Why does a cut apple turn brown?”

O immediately got out his microphone and belted out, “Why do cut apples turn, Broooown, Broooown? I asked him to make a hypothesis (another concept introduced on the show). He guessed the air… wow! We have a book called, The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments & Recipes for Kids. We pulled it out and read that when fruit is sliced, oxygen in the air reacts with chemicals in the fruit to turn it brown; a process called oxidation. But juice that contains Vitamin C, like lemon or orange juice, is an antioxidant and prevents the fruit from turning brown.

To see it first hand, we cut an apple from the tree in our backyard. First, we placed half of the slices in one bowl and drizzled some orange juice over them and then stirred. Next, we placed the other half of the slices in a separate bowl. After 15 minutes we returned to see what happened. Since Vitamin C is an antioxidant, the apples with the orange juice did not oxidize and turn brown. O wanted to draw his observations in his journal.

And the lesson learned⎯ try and remember to add a little spritz of orange or lemon juice when sending apples in O’s lunch. Or another option, dip the apples in a bowl of water with 1-2 teaspoons of orange and lemon juice for a couple of minutes to avoid altering the taste.

A few quick apple snack ideas:

This month Food Network has a short article entitled An Apple A Day with ideas for the 31 Days in October. There are lots of fantastic tips!! Check it out One that my kids enjoyed is apple slices topped with peanut/soy/sunflower butter, raisins and a pinch of sea salt. And Tip #23, slice apples and toss with lemon juice, what do you know?!?

This past weekend we brought a caramel ice cream topping to friends’ for dinner. It was a simple, yet tasty way to end a MAGNIFICANT dinner! The next day, the sauce saved me, when at the last minute, I was trying to think of what to bring to another engagement. I spread the extra sauce on apple slices for a sweet-salty treat!

Or you could make this quick 10 minute applesauce and you won't have to worry about the apple slices turning brown!

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