I love fresh pineapple, however, sometimes finishing off a whole pineapple quickly in our house is a bit of a mission. Here are some ideas to help kids (including fussy eaters) enjoy fresh pineapple.
- Involve them in some exploration of the outside of the pineapple. Some great words to use include spiky, hexagon, green, yellow, brown, top, bottom.
- You can do a pencil or crayon rubbing with paper of the skin before you cut it open.
- Play some pineapple hide and seek before you open it up to build excitement (and give them some awesome pre-mealtime exercise to further engage their sensory systems)
To cut a fresh pineapple, I remove the top and bottom so that it stands up straight on the cutting board. Then either I cut it into 8 wedges and remove the hard core from the wedge and leaving the skin on. This way if your child finds it too juicy, they can hold the dry spiky skin side. Ask them if they can work out which end is sweeter than the other? Sometimes knowing they have a mission to accomplish makes the “eating” less pressurised and before they know it they are getting acquainted with the fruit in a fun way. One end is actually much sweeter than the other ;P The other way I will cut it is to remove the skin at that point and then dice it up.
If you have left-over diced pineapple, this recipe works a treat! Or try my Pineapple Crumble Slice (that also works with tinned crushed pineapple). Or add pineapple to a skewer for the BBQ. Skewers are great for helping fussy eaters and also to help break down any barriers that may have formed between fruits and vegetables when they are allowed to mix them into the same dish.
- 1 cup fresh, diced pineapple
- 1 cup natural yoghurt
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 3 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Blend all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend to get a nice smooth consistency. Give the mixture a taste and check for consistency and sweetness. If you want to drink the smoothie now, check that it is runny enough - if not, add some water and re-blend.
- For the smoothie mix that you want to make into ice-blocks, add that to your ice-block tray and freeze overnight.
How do you handle the variation in fresh seasonal produce like pineapple? I like to have a battery of ideas on how to use it just in case the fruit or vegetable isn’t as nice as I’d hoped – this means we still get to eat it. Talking to kids about why fruits and vegetables can be different and that is OK will help them when they bite into something that doesn’t live up to their expectations. What does your child think of fresh pineapple?