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Let Your Kids Make the Fruit Salad!

Updated on March 29, 2016
Brainy Bunny profile image

Brainy Bunny is the mother of two. Together they read, craft, and play games for fun.

Apple-strawberry salad
Apple-strawberry salad | Source

Who doesn't love dessert? Kids especially love something sweet after their meal, and fruit salad is a healthy way to give it to them. But sometimes it can be a pain to do all that cutting and peeling, and store-bought fruit salad is expensive and not very good (who eats giant chunks of green melon, anyway?). Here's an easy way to solve the problem: let the kids make fruit salad for dessert while you're in the kitchen making dinner! You can supervise their efforts, but they'll feel a sense of accomplishment from having made dessert "all by themselves."

First, find some fresh fruit.
First, find some fresh fruit. | Source

1. Have the kids forage through the fridge for fruit. It's really hard to make a bad fruit salad, so let them have free reign over what to choose. Stocking basics like apples and bananas in the winter or peaches and plums in the summer will make it easy for them.

2. Get out a cutting board and knives while the kids wash their hands with hot water and soap. (Make them try again while singing "Happy Birthday" if they come out of the bathroom too soon!)

Watch your kids while they use sharp knives.
Watch your kids while they use sharp knives. | Source
Younger kids can use table knives or even plastic knives on soft fruit like strawberries and bananas.
Younger kids can use table knives or even plastic knives on soft fruit like strawberries and bananas. | Source

3. Let the kids get started prepping the fruit. Your younger child can wash and peel fruit while the elder does the cutting, or they can split the jobs by type of fruit. For instance, even a four-year-old can cut banana coins safely with a plastic knife, while an eight-year-old can chop peaches or plums with a table knife or paring knife. (You may want to save the apples to do yourself, since they're the hardest fruit and can cause a knife to slip.)

Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Dog Knife with Teeth
Kuhn Rikon Kinderkitchen Dog Knife with Teeth

This child-safe knife will let your child cut fruit but not fingers!

 
Add some orange juice and stir.
Add some orange juice and stir. | Source

4. Once the fruit is all cut into small pieces, have the kids put it into a big bowl and stir. If you've included apples, you may want to add a splash of orange juice to keep them from oxidizing. A little OJ also keeps other dry fruit moist. My children like to add raisins to our fruit salads, and they soak up the juice and become extra-delicious.

Ingredients

The best fruit salads have ingredients that change with the seasons. Don't buy expensive, imported fruit because it tends to be dry and tasteless. Check out your supermarket's produce aisle for local or peak-of-season fruits. Here are some seasonal suggestions:

Summer Fruit Salad
Winter Fruit Salad
peaches
apples
blueberries
pears
kiwis
strawberries
nectarines
mandarin or navel oranges
raspberries
bananas
grapes
raisins
cherries
 
plums
 

If you want a summer fruit salad in the winter, frozen fruit is a great addition. Use a base of apples and pears, and then toss in frozen berries or mangos for more flavor and color. You don't even need to defrost them first, as long as they're not too icy. (If they are, leave them in a covered bowl on the counter for an hour or two and then drain them before tossing with the fresh fruit.)

Your kids can choose just two or three of these ingredients, or half a dozen. As long as the fruit is ripe, it's nearly impossible to make a fruit salad taste bad. Let them have an adventure in fruit salad today!

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    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mmmmm! Great idea about younger kids cutting soft fruit with plastic knives. This is another ready idea that requires minimal hovering and let's creativity shine. Great job!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
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      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Thank you, theclevercat. It's true about the creativity; my kids once made a fruit salad of blueberries, grapes, and peaches that was out of this world. Simple, but I wouldn't have thought of it myself!

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 5 years ago from USA

      Nice! My girls are grown now, but this would have been a fun thing to do on those lazy summer days.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Absolutely. Let the kids run riot in the fruit bin, and hose them off when they're done!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      This is a good idea because kids tend to eat more of what they have made themselves.

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Thanks, daisyjae. I have noticed that my kids take extra helpings when they have made something themselves, especially fruit salad.

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 5 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      This is fantastic! I have very fond memories of helping my mother make fruit salad as a little girl. I don't have the patience for all the cutting and chopping these days (and no kids of my own, yet) so I usually cut up some bananas and strawberries and call it quits. I fold them into cool whip and I could eat it for DAYS! Anyway, great hub. I'm gonna follow this bunny now ;)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Thanks, Heather. I LOOOOVE cool whip, so I don't keep it in the house (otherwise everything I ate would be covered in creamy white deliciousness!). But that's a nice variation, especially if you're having company over -- cutting up some fruit and putting it in a pretty glass layered with cool whip. Easy and sophisticated, and the kids can still do it themselves (once you have them). :-)

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Now THIS sounds great! We don't have small kids now, but our grandkids often spend a day or two with us and always want to help cook.

      A kid friendly fruit salad has just gone on the menu!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image
      Author

      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Fantastic, wilderness! My kids just spied some strawberries in my fruit drawer, and are already planning what else they're going to add to some fruit salad tomorrow. Meanwhile, I can read the newspaper and glance over every so often to make sure their fingers are all still attached! ;-)

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