Kids in the Kitchen: More Than Applesauce

Applesauce-in-bowl-with-spoon

Rebecca Lemar

You probably already know how to make applesauce. It’s as easy as peel, chop, boil, mash. For children, it’s simple, delicious and a wonderful exercise in healthy eating and cultivating a love of cooking. Below is a how-to version of applesaucing, but here are some extra ideas to consider when doing this fun, tasty activity together with children.
1. Pay attention to the seeds. Get them curious about the small wonders of the world. Pick out the seeds carefully and put them in a pile. Tiny hands love to pick. Count them. Compare the amount of seeds with another apple or add pear to your homemade treat and compare the seeds. Make guesses whether all apples have the same amount of seeds. What OTHER foods have seeds and what do they look like?!IMG_3481
2. Make the Peels a Cinnamon Lick’m Treat. Teach children that everything has a purpose. Instead of throwing away the peels, coat them with a touch of cinnamon and eat for a snack while waiting for the apples to boil.
3. Blindfolded Taste Test. Isolate your sense of taste. Make varieties of applesauce to have a blindfolded taste test: just apples, apples with cinnamon, apple with pear sauce, apple with lemon juice, vanilla extract, salt, carrot sauce, onion, etc. Be creative and gentle with a child’s young palette. You can make little cards to go along with your game using pictures or words.
4. Kitchen Safety. This is a great lesson in how-to safely use a chopper and peeler, and how to work near a stove safely.

IMG_3490What you will need:
Children’s Vegetable Chopper
Children’s Vegetable Peeler
• Children’s apron
• Pot
• Potato Masher, Food Mill OR Food Processor
• Apples
• Cinnamon (optional)
Procedure:
1. Wash Hands
2. Put on clean aprons
3. Peel apples
4. Chop apples into smallish pieces
5. Boil them in water under tender (10-15 min)
6. Let them cool and mash them with a masher, food mill or food processor
7. Add cinnamon (optional)

Toddlers can: Pick out seeds, chop apples with a child sized chopper, pour water into the pot, put apples into the pot and mash apples, add cinnamon.
Preschoolers can: Peel, chop, stir apples in the pot, mash, pour cinnamon and add ingredients for taste test.

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