An Apple a Day: Nutrition Lessons Learned at the Orchard

Visiting our local apple orchard is a regular fall tradition. Like many families in our community, the “How Tall Am I This Year?” has become a marker for the growth that happens from one Autumn season to the next.

Similar to visiting a farm, a trip to the orchard is a chance to introduce children to the origin of our food–to increase their understanding of how an apple makes it to the store, which is where they are used to finding it. Of course, the lessons don’t end there. Here are some great resources to help you make the most of your next adventure to the apple orchard.

Apple / Alession Maffeis / CC BY 2.0

An Apple a Day: There is a reason for this common saying. An apple offers fiber, vitamin C and potassium. For more apple nutrition facts visit the NY Apple Association.

Little-Known Facts: Did you know that the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” originated in Wales in the 19th century? Get your children excited for their visit to the orchard with more Fun Apple Facts like this one.

Apple Tree Science: Bring out your child’s inner scientist with a lesson on the life cycle of the apple tree.

Today’s Pick: Only mature apples are ready for picking…too early and the apples may be sour or starchy and too late the apples may be soft. Pick Your Own offers these tips for knowing when apples are just right for the picking.

To Cook or Not to Cook: While all apples are just perfect eaten fresh off the apple tree, only some are ideal for applesauce or baking. An apple directory, such as this one from Orange Pippon, will ensure you use every apple to its fullest potential.

Preserve Your Harvest: Sometimes we get a little too excited at the orchard. If you have more apples then you know what to do with, teach your kids how to safely preserve food with this Guiding Stars guide.

Keep the Nutrition Lesson Going: These recipes for DIY flavored oatmeal  or Slow Cooker Apple-Spice Oatmeal will keep the nutrition lesson going from the orchard with whole grain, fiber-rich breakfast options that are sure to satisfy before a long school day. Or prepare a dessert you can feel good about serving, such as Slow Cooker Apple Confit , which use apples and raisin paste in place of other sugars.