For FOOD SERVICE PROVIDERS:
Remind your students that apples taste great and are grown here in Massachusetts!
Blurb for your school newsletter or menu:
In the cafeteria this month we’re featuring APPLES as our Harvest of the Month! Our school cafeteria is serving fruits and vegetables from local farms throughout this school year. Locally grown APPLES will be featured in ___(dish)___ on __(date)______. To learn more about Massachusetts Farm to School’s Harvest of the Month program, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.
Recipes for K-12 school lunches:
Apples are wonderful as a grab-and-go fruit. Why not offer a colorful array of varieties on the lunch line? Try these recipes too!
- Aztec Grain Salad (Wisconsin Dept. of Ed)
- Apple Yogurt Salad (Kansas Dept. of Ed)
- Cranberry Apple Cornbread Muffins (Wisconsin Farm to School)
- Baked Apples (Wisconsin Dept. of Ed)
- Maple Apple French Toast Bake
- Cranberry Apple Oat Bar
- Cucumber Apple Salad
- Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw
- Wheatberry and Apple Salad
- Moroccan Carrot and Apple Salad
- Braised Cabbage and Apples
- Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole
Recipes for college dining services:
An Apple Taste Test:
Kids love eating apples, but might not know about the many varieties available. Apples come in so many different shapes, colors, textures and tastes. Why not introduce a few Massachusetts grown varieties with a taste test in the cafeteria or classroom? Click here for a quick step-by-step guide (written for pears, but great for apples too) and here for Vermont FEED’s complete “A Guide to Taste Testing Local Food in Schools”.
An Apple a Day…:
Get students excited about apples! Post these facts on your bulletin board or include them on your lunch menu (you can also find them on the back of the Apples Harvest of the Month Trading Cards).
- Nutrition: Apples are full of vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients that keep you healthy, especially if you eat the peel! Many of the nutrients and 2/3 of the fiber in apple are contained in the peel.
- Nutrition: Apples are a perfect snack food. Their natural sugars provide quick energy and their fiber makes the eater feel full.
- History: Massachusetts is important to apple history in the United States. The first apple trees were planted here by the Pilgrims in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- Production: The science of apple growing is referred to as pomology. There are over 40 varieties of apples grown commercially in Massachusetts! You can read more about many of those locally grown varieties here.
- Fun Fact: 25% of an apple’s volume is air, which is why they float and make dunking for apples so fun!
- Fun Fact: Massachusetts grows over 40 different varieties of apples, but there are over 7,500 varieties grown worldwide. If you ate a different one every day, it would take over 20 years to try them all!
For TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Here are some ideas for how to integrate apple-themed activities into classrooms and school gardens.
Text for morning announcements
“Good morning students, this is _____, with January’s Harvest of the Month soundbite. This month we are featuring fresh, healthy, LOCALLY GROWN APPLES in the cafeteria. Did you know that apples come in many shapes, sizes, and colors? In fact, there are over 40 different varieties of apples grown right here in Massachusetts! Look for APPLES grown in local orchards (name the farm(s) you’re purchasing from, if you can) in school lunches this month. Can you taste the difference?”
- Johnny Appleseed Activity – make apple sauce and/or apple chips in the classroom and learn about Massachusetts’ own apple history.
- A list of apple varieties grown in Massachusetts
- A list of children’s literature about apples
- Apple math story problems handout (simple addition and subtraction)
- Apples can also be useful for teaching fractions, symmetry, estimating, circumference. Take a look at this link for some ideas for your classroom and check out Apple Math Fractions, a fun book by Jerry Pallotta.
- Cooking in the classroom with apples – Apple Quesadilla recipe and lesson plan (K-2)
School garden activities
As fall weather spells an end to some school gardens, encourage students to become seed detectives by identifying, collecting, and saving their own seeds from the apples they eat, from the school garden or in the wild. Some fruits and vegetables to consider: melons, tomatoes, beans, peas, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and corn. Ask, “How do plants grow from seeds? What nutrients do plants need for optimal growth?” Compare plant nutrients with the nutrients humans need. Explain why it is so important for us to eat plenty of plant foods, especially fruits and vegetables. For more ideas, visit Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom.
For FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS
Share this information and try an apple recipe at home!
- Click here to download our family newsletter with fun facts and serving ideas for apples.
- Info sheet about apples from Island Grown Schools (on Martha’s Vineyard). Click here to download.
- Make baked apples this month, they’re a healthy, delicious treat!
- Instructions for a fun apple print craft to try.
- Interested in visiting an apple orchard? Here’s a link to help you find one near you.
- Tips for buying and eating apples:
- Look for apples that are firm and free of bruises and soft spots.
- Apples can be stored at room temperature, but keep longer if refrigerated.
- For best keeping, do not refrigerate apples in closed bags.
- Wash apples well with water before eating.
- To keep sliced apples from turning brown, dip slices in a mixture of lemon juice and water or pour apple juice over the sliced apples.
Thank you to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for helping to make Harvest of the Month possible.