July in National Food awareness Month

Apparently July is the national awareness month for food – I know who knew?

There ‘s a calendar that schools use to get their themes – well it seemed like a good idea for a post about sensory and communication issues around food! One of my favourite topics lol!

Where to start – let me refer you to a previous posts I did on feeding and sensory needs and the Rice Krispies as a sensory experience!

Well as the song goes “Lets start at the very beginning” – we all know “ A is or apple” Therefore I have decided to do this post all about Apples!

Apples are nice and crunchy and provide good sensory feedback in the jaws, they are various flavours so can excite our taste senses. They also have a nice aroma to stimulate or sense of smell, they work on our taste buds, or sight and tactile senses.

Great start but I’m sure there’s a lot more fun to be had with a plain old apple?

  • Apple printing – cut it in half, put paint on it and use it as a stencil
  • Make a bird feeder with it – hand it on a piece of string and add seeds into it
  • It can be used an alternative to an egg in the egg and spoon less (far less messy)
  • If the weather permits you can go apple picking
  • You can “dunk” for apples doesn’t have to be just at Halloween

You can make an “Apple head” Simply peel your apple, carve a face, and hang your creation out to dry. As time goes by, your apple will start to look more like a wrinkly grandma than a piece of fruit.

Carved Apple
3 weeks later

Make an “Apple picture from a bath loafer” –  You will need some cardboard – an old cereal box will do nicely, some red paint, a red and green marker, scissors, a plate, glue and a plastic bath loafer.All you do is draw an apple shape on the cardboard, if stuck just draw a circle or a wonky heart .Then you pour your red paint on your plate. Next dip your bath loafer in the paint then put it on the cardboard in the apple outline. Then all you do is Draw and colour in a green leaf with your marker on some extra cardboard. . Cut out and glue the leaf on! – An artist in the making.

  • While feeling creative why not make an apple button tree – draw the outline of the tree (or print one off) and then simply get the kids to decorate with buttons – great for those who are wary of new tactile experiences they don’t have to get their fingers all the way in the glue but will experience it a little
  • How about some apple songs/poems

The Apple Tree – poem
Way up high in the apple tree. (Point up)
Two little apples smiled at me. (Close thumb & forefinger of each hand to make an apple)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (grab pretend tree & shake)
Down fell the apples— (raise hands & let fall)
MMMMMM, were they good!

Five Red Apples 
Five red apples in a grocery store
Bobby bought one & then there were 4
four red apples on an apple tree
Susie ate one & then there were 3
Three red apples. What did Alice do?
Why she ate one & then there were 2
two red apples ripening in the sun
Tommy ate one, & now there was one
one red apple & now we are done
I ate the last one & now there are none!

  • Why not try a science project

Discover the difference between raw and cooked apples. Bake a whole apple, and slice and simmer another. Have a raw one cut up as well so children will be able to see the changes in colour, texture and taste. Great rich sensory experience

  • What about some nice cooking recipes – if the kids are fussy with new tastes this could be a way in!

Apple pizza

Ingredients: Pizza dough, apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon, shredded cheddar cheese.
1. Roll pizza dough out onto tray.
2. Sprinkle cheese on dough.
3. Put cut apples (pre sliced thin by you – although you can do a few with them to show them) on dough.
4. Mix equal amounts of flour, sugar, cinnamon in a bowl (enough to cover pizza).
5. Sprinkle mixture on pizza.
6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
7. Enjoy!!!

Individual Apple Pies

Ready-made pie crust (the kind that comes packaged flat in the dairy case)
canned apple pie filling
have your child cut out two large circles of pie crust (using a large, round cookie cutter or a large plastic drinking cup). Put a spoonful of pie filling in the middle of one circle. Place the second dough circle on top.

Use a fork to “crimp” the edges and pierce a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake in a toaster oven 10-15 minutes or until brown.

Apple Honey Crackers

Peanut butter
Optional: honey
Give your child a slice of apple and a table knife for dicing the apple, use hand over hand method if they struggle! Encourage them to spread the cracker with peanut butter. Add honey, if you like. Sprinkle diced apples on top.

Apple Sandwiches
Peanut butter
Slice apples the “round way” so that a star is formed in the centre. Spread a slice with peanut butter and top with a second slice to form a sandwich. (You don’t need to core the apples if the slices are thin.)

You can use the leftover end pieces for making applesauce or for dicing on the apple grahams described above.

For each quart of peeled and sliced apples, add:
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
Cook until tender. Mash apples with a potato masher or electric mixer. Add more sugar if needed. Serve cold.

Dried Apple Rings
Peel, core, and cut apples into rings. Dip in salted water for 15 minutes. Dry for two weeks.

Apple Ring Sandwiches
Peel, core, and cut apples into rings. Spread with:
peanut butter and bananas slices
cream cheese and raisins
granola mixed with honey
cheese spread or a slice of cheese
Cover the first apple ring with another apple ring to make a sandwich.

Apple Juice
1/2 cup seeded apples
1 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
Blend the ingredients in a blender. Serve chilled.

So I think that’s me exhausted by bank of ideas for apples – that’s just one food that there is so much we can do with it – not simply just eat it – although that works as well.

Hope you have fun – if you have more suggestions to share please let me know as I am compiling a list of fun sensory activities that are cheap and easily accessible to all.

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