Making the kids' lunches comes so easily to you, you could probably do it in your sleep. But what do you do when nature steps in and turns those gorgeous apple slices you prepared from fresh and bright to tinted brown? Even though you know the apple is still fine to eat, there's a good chance it'll come back from school untouched, still stuffed inside that Paw Patrol lunch box where you left it that morning.
To avoid getting any more lunchtime "returns," here's a snack hack that'll keep those apples nice and white all the way through recess.
What You'll Need
1. Slice the apple as you normally would. Cut around the core to make eight little wedges.
2. Spray the slices with a bit of lemon juice.
3. Put the pieces of the apple back together around the core, using a rubber band — preferably one made for use with produce — to keep it together. This will keep the enzymes and iron and phenols in the fruit from oxidizing — aka browning — during the day.
5. Wrap the apple in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for the next day.
If you're confused as to how the magic behind this simple trick works, it's pretty simple. Apples turn brown when they're cut because the fruit oxidizes when it's exposed to air, causing the (inner) surface of the apple to "rust." Wrapping a rubber band around the fruit, however, protects the inner layer against pathogens and other icky things without actually changing the taste of the apple itself. You can also immerse your apple slices in water or lemon juice, but be careful — leaving it summered for too long might affect its sweet taste!
Is your little one too young for apples? Check out the video below for the best homemade baby food ideas: