My kids eat a lot of fruit, but their favorite fruit salad is a far cry from the creation my grandmother used to make—which I loved. Hers was a true gem, concocted to look like a candle, and trotted out for guests on special occasions. A pineapple ring served as the candle base, half a banana inserted into the pineapple ring became the candle, and a red Lifesaver morphed into the flame on top. A drizzle of mayo dripping down the side of the banana was the candle wax. I loved helping my grandmother arrange the components; I thought this was the best fruit salad in the world. Guests raved about the dish, which was served as a side at dinner, the way we might serve a salad.
Today, our family loves fresh fruit salad—dressed with yogurt. As the weather warms up, fruit becomes extra sweet, juicy, and delicious. Strawberries, apricots, and peaches are just a few of the fruits that are perfect to use in a salad, and this salad is so easy, preschoolers can help. Serve this anytime—it’s an awesome school snack or dessert.
- 3 or 4 ripe apricots
- ¾ cup seedless green or red grapes
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup strawberries
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
Here’s how to shop, chop, and connect with your child over a truly refreshing dish.
- Select fresh fruits together—the list above is just a guide. Grab what looks good. Show your in-house chef how to choose fruit and wash it together at home.
- Peel and core fruit, but hand over a small plastic knife and allow your little one to slice the bananas. (She can use the same knife to cut the grapes in half and the apricot into pieces.) Continue chopping and chatting until all fruit is sliced into fork-size bites.
Teachable Moment: Why do some grapes have seeds and others don’t?Seedless grapes emerged decades ago when a genetic mutation—an accidental change—stopped the seeds from growing. Fruit fans loved the seedless version, so growers produced more by taking small cuttings from the original vine and planting the ends in the soil. The plants rooted, and the new vines grew genetically identical seedless grapes.—Andy Boyles
- Have your child slide the fresh fruit into an attractive large bowl, creating a tempting dish of pretty colors.
- Show him how to measure yogurt and jam, and let him combine ingredients until well mixed.
Teachable Moment: What’s that liquid on top of yogurt?That yellowish liquid that forms on the top of yogurt in a container is called whey. Whey is full of protein, and it also contains vitamins B2 and B12, plus calcium and phosphorus. If you don’t like the whey, you can drain it off for a thicker yogurt, but you will lose some nutrients. Or you can mix it in for a lighter textured yogurt that packs an additional nutritional punch.—Andy Boyles
- Together, spoon the yogurt and jam combo onto the fruit, and demonstrate how to gently stir the fruit and yogurt together to give the fruit a light coating. He can finish tossing the fruit salad himself.