Apples: The Back to School Fruit

As the Fall season approaches, and kids head back to school, it's time to stock up on apples!  Apples provide several health benefits and are a great addition when packing your child's lunch. Apples

3 Health Benefits of Apples:

1. Apples have high fiber content.  A medium apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, helping you feel full, promoting intestinal regularity, and helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

2. Apples are rich in Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that helps the body create and maintain connective tissue.

3. Apples are high in antioxidants, contributing to decreased inflammation and reduced risk of cancer.  Apples contain a significant amount of an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps promote healthy lung function.

5 Ways to Incorporate Apples into Healthy School Lunches:

1. Make an "apple sandwich" by using apple slices as "bread" and filling the middle of two slices with peanut butter.  Try adding raisins.

ApplePeanutButterSandwich

2. Add diced apples to tuna salad and wrap tuna mixture in a whole wheat pita to add some crunch to your child's sandwich.

3. Use a vegetable spiralizer to make apple "pasta" noodles.  Kids can turn the spiralizer handle and watch their fruit turn into pasta.  Use as a base for a fruit salad, or place spiralized apple into a container to be eaten like "noodles".

4. Kids love to dip!  Slice apples into thin "sticks" that can be used for dipping.  Pack peanut butter or yogurt to dip the apple sticks.

5. If simply adding apple slices to your child's lunchbox, cut up the apple, then reassemble it with a rubber band around it - to keep the apple slices from browning and fresh until lunchtime.

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/