How to Pack Apple Slices for Lunch

Posted by Grant Oster on

When you were a kid, your lunchbox was the best part of your day. And apples were always in there—whether they were sliced, diced, or just plain old whole. They’re great looking, delicious, and full of vitamins, minerals, and other dietary essentials that boost overall health. With so many nutrients packed in one fruit, it’s no wonder we’ve dubbed them “nature’s gift to mankind.”

Apples are a great way to get more fiber and antioxidants into your child’s diet. Fiber helps children stay full longer, which can help with weight management and overall health. Antioxidants help to fight cancer-causing free radicals, which is especially important for children because their bodies are constantly growing and dividing cells.

They’re a staple in kids’ lunches because they’re healthy, delicious, and easy to pack. But it’s not always easy to get them right!

The trick to making sure your kids get the most out of their apples is to peel and slice them. This allows you to pack more fruit into a lunch bag or container, which can make it seem like you’re giving them more than they really are eating! Alternatively you can leave the skin on and just slice apples into thin pieces.

But what about the browning situation? If you keep them in your lunch bag all day, they could start to turn brown and mushy—and no one wants that.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about packing apples in your kids’ lunchbox. From how many slices you should pack to what size containers work best, this post is sure to help you make the most out of your apple slices every time.

Why do apples turn brown after slicing?

There are three main reasons why apples turn brown: oxidation, air exposure, and temperature. Oxidation is the process of chemical reactions that occur in the presence of oxygen and other molecules. In other words, it’s what happens when you let your apple slices sit out in the open air for too long—the longer they’re exposed to air, the faster they oxidize (that’s what makes them turn brown).

Next up is air exposure. If you’re storing sliced apples in a plastic container or baggie where there’s no way for any residual moisture to evaporate out of them, then those slices will dry out quickly, which will cause them to turn brown.

Finally, there’s the temperature of your apples. The higher the ambient temperature where you store your sliced apples, the faster they will oxidize. If you leave them out in a hot car on a sunny day or in an overly warm pantry where the air is circulating too quickly and freely, then those slices will turn brown within hours of being sliced!

Three methods to keep your apples fresh

Now, we’re going to go over three different ways you can keep your sliced apples fresh.

When it comes to keeping your apples fresh, there are three main things you need to think about: air circulation, moisture, and temperature.

Air circulation is important because it helps prevent mold from growing on your apples. If your apples have been sitting in a bowl of water for too long, they may start to rot. So make sure you store them somewhere where air can circulate around them.

Moisture is also important because it prevents the apples from drying out. If an apple gets too dry, it will start to shrivel up and become hard. This is why some people recommend putting slices of apple in plastic bags with some water—the water helps keep the moisture in a while, allowing air to circulate freely around the bag so that mold doesn’t grow on the inside!

Temperature is important because it helps slow down the rate at which enzymes break down proteins in your fruit (or any other food). The higher the temperature, the faster these enzymes work—so if you store your sliced apples at room temperature or above, they’ll start breaking down faster than if you store them in a refrigerator or freezer (where temperatures are lower).

Method 1

To keep your apple slices fresh, you can freeze them. The cold will help to slow down the process of oxidation, which means that your apples won’t turn brown as quickly. However, if you want to use them later on, then you’ll need to thaw them out before doing so. Just put the slices on a baking tray in the freezer and once they’re frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or bag.

  1. Wash your apples, then peel and core them.
  2. Cut the apples into thin slices, about 1/8” thick, leaving the skin on if you’d like.
  3. Place the apple slices on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper or wax paper in a single layer, about 1/4” apart from each other, so they don’t stick together.
  4. Freeze for at least 2 hours, or until completely frozen solid—but remember that the colder your freezer gets, the faster your food will freeze! So if you want your apple slices really frozen quickly, try putting them in the freezer for about 30 minutes before putting them back in for another hour or two (just make sure they’re properly covered with wax paper, so they don’t get crushed!).
  5. Once they’re fully frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and keep them in your freezer until you’re ready to use them!
  6. To thaw quickly, place in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before enjoying!

Method 2

Another option is to use lemon juice. Place apple slices into a bowl with some lemon juice added. Seal tightly and shake vigorously. After about 15-20 minutes, strain out excess liquid and store it in the refrigerator for up to one week!

  1. Wash your apples, then peel and core them.
  2. Cut the apples into thin slices, about 1/8” thick, leaving the skin on if you’d like.
  3. Place lemon juice in a bowl and add cold water to just cover the apple slices. The amount of water needed will depend on how much lemon juice you use; if you use more than a cup of lemon juice, add enough water to just cover the apples so that they’re not touching the bottom of the bowl (this prevents them from getting brown when they sit).
  4. Add enough lemon juice (or sweetened lime juice) to taste to the bowl with your apple slices, and stir well to coat evenly with liquid.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and let sit for at least one hour before serving or refrigerating for later use as desired!

Method 3

Finally, if you have a vacuum sealer at home or access to one at work, then this would be the first choice because it will keep your apples from getting brown over time due to oxygen exposure which is what happens when you leave fruit open before refrigerating it without any kind of protective layers such as a plastic wrap or aluminum foil (which is better than nothing but doesn’t do much).

  1. Wash your apples, then peel and core them.
  2. Cut the apples into thin slices, about 1/8” thick, leaving the skin on if you’d like.
  3. Place them in a bowl of water. The water helps keep the apple slices from browning while they’re being sealed.
  4. Place the apples in your vacuum sealer, taking care to arrange them so that they don’t overlap or touch one another. You can also use an airtight container if you don’t have access to a vacuum sealer.
  5. Vacuum seal the container, or close it with an airtight lid or cover. You’ll know your container is properly sealed when there’s no air left inside it: if you squeeze the top of the container, there should be no air coming out through any part of it.
  6. Remove your container from its sealer or lid and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat!

Tips on packing apple slices

If you want to make sure your child is really getting the most out of their apple slices, you’ll need to pack them properly. Here are some tips for making sure your child gets the most out of their apple slices:

  • Use separate containers for each food. This will help you avoid packing too many slices in one container, which could cause them to get mushy and soggy before lunchtime. This will also help you avoid cross-contamination of your child’s food.
  • Use a sealer to keep the slices fresh and crisp. You can use any type of sealer to keep your child’s apple slices fresh and crisp. If not, there are plenty of other options that will work just as well. Try using freezer bags with an oxygen absorber or baking soda.
  • Keep your vegetables in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
  • Pack them in a lunch box with a cold pack to make sure they’re still crunchy when your child opens their lunchbox at school.

Practical tools to make packing lunches easier

To make lunch packing easier, we have a few kid-approved tools that can help. If you’re looking for something more simple and more practical, consider getting a set of bento boxes with lids. These are great for packing snacks or small meals in just one container that can be easily carried around without spilling or leaking.

The decision to put an apple slice into a children’s lunchbox may seem like an easy one at first. However, the factors that you should take into account will depend on the needs of your child, so imagine what they’ll need from their apple slice and go with that option. As long as you do your research and find the right fit for your child, apples will make for a healthy, nutritious addition to any lunchbox.

← Older Post Newer Post →