Have you ever wished those store-bought fruit cups were made with fresh fruit?
Parents often want to know how to get their kids to eat more fruit, fresh fruit. Since our MOMables school lunch menus include a side of fresh fruit and veggies, those who subscribe get a constant reminder to pack more fruit in the lunch box.
Mixed fruit, peaches, tropical fruits, baby oranges—I can really see the kid appeal.
From the lunch-packing perspective, they are genius. Individually packaged, disposable cups, long shelf life—just high in sugar. The cups are convenient but just not that good (for you).
I know many of you purchase them, and dozens have e-mailed me asking for a homemade recipe your kids will love.
The idea of homemade fruit cups isn’t a new one.
Based on your e-mails, this is what you wanted to see in the MOMables version:
- No high-fructose corn syrup
- No lemon
- No added sugar
- Must use fresh fruit
- No cooking the fruit
- Easy to adapt to any “in-season” fruit
- All natural ingredients
- Packed in reusable and leak-proof containers
- Must be able to pack ahead
Is that all?
Of course, I immediately began to think of ways that I could “preserve” the fruit, so that it wouldn’t brown by lunch while making sure I wasn’t adding sugar or lemon juice to it.
Because we are at the peak of fresh fruit season, finding awesome fresh fruit for these cups was really easy. Of course, you know that I would stay true to the MOMables philosophy of packing ahead and using reusable containers.
The biggest issue for this recipe was how to pack ahead and prevent the fruit from browning.
And then, it hit me. I still had one of those fruit drink pouches from HonestKids in my garage fridge from my daughter’s birthday party—the lemonade ones! Those have vitamin C (perfect to preserve the fruit), they are very low in sugar, they taste great, and my kids love them.
After a short trip to the store to get more pouches and a large family-size bottle, I was off to test away! After a couple of attempts and some not-so-careful measuring at times, I came up with an easy recipe my family loved.
This week, I am thrilled to have partnered with Honest Tea Company to create a healthy version of the beloved fruit cups.
But you know, that’s not all I came up with! Remember I mentioned those not-so-careful tests? Well, I froze them and made lemonade popsicles. Essentially, the same recipe, but it just depends how you want to make it. Either way, it’s a winner.
- 2 cups fresh fruit, washed and diced
- 6 ounces Honest Kids Berry Berry Good Lemonade
- Divide the fruit into four water-tight, lidded lunch containers.
- Fill each container with enough lemonade to almost cover the fruit. You might need more liquid, depending on the container size.
- Close the lid, and give it a quick shake to coat all the fruit with the lemonade.
- Divide the fruit into four to six popsicle molds (number varies by size).
- Fill each popsicle mold nearly to the top with the lemonade.
- Freeze for 6 hours or overnight and enjoy.