Fresh fruit - the healthy and tasty anytime snack for the whole family is just as popular now, as it was when I was young. I sometimes find it difficult to encourage my family to snack on fruit instead of packaged and not-as-nutritious alternatives, that's when a fresh bowl of fruit on the counter can entice them to make better eating choices.
It's a good idea to make these fresh snacks easy to spot and grab, but keeping the bowl and contents healthy is another matter.
There are many beautiful bowls on the market and a fruit bowl can double as a great centerpiece on your counter or table too.
Tips for maintaining a clean and delectable bowl of fresh fruit or vegetable snacks.
- Any fruit bowl can be a vessel for fresh fruit, but the styles that permit better air circulation all around, including under the fruit, can help maintain freshness.
- A plastic or stainless bowl tends to make the fruit sweat, which can speed up the deterioration process. Choose ceramic or preferably, wire mesh.
- Place your fruit bowl in a visible easy-to-see location. Don't hide it on a cluttered part of the counter.
- Wash the fruit bowl at least once a week or more often if needed, to reduce the presence of fruit flies and lower the risk of bacteria and molds. More often may be necessary for bowls that do not allow good ventilation. It doesn't take much for a smear of rotting fruit on a dish to affect the rest of the contents.
- Monitor the contents daily. Some fruit varieties decay more quickly than others. Replace decaying fruit to keep the bowl content fresh.
- Less (fruit) is better. And refresh often. Don't opt for a large bowl that will be difficult to manage.
- Refrigerate your fruit bowl at night. Why leave fresh fruit out in room temperature when everyone is sleeping? Keeping the fruit cool overnight will extend shelf life.
- In warm climates where kitchens are considerably above comfortable room temperatures, you may have to keep the bowl refrigerated for long daily periods. In other words, only take it out of the cooler when it's close to snack time or the kids are just getting home from school.
- An assortment of small cracker packages or nuts mixed in with fruit can also be a welcome treat.
- Washing fruit before placing in a bowl can often start the decaying process. Remove fruit labels or stickers and train your family to always wash fruit before eating.
- If your kitchen is too warm or fruit waste increases, keep the filled bowl on a front-and-center shelf in the refrigerator. It should be the first thing they spot when they open the door to browse.
- Fruit variety is key, but some need closer monitoring. Berries, for instance, will decay more quickly than an orange.
- A lemon may encourage them to add slices to their water glass.
- Alternatively, a covered container of dehydrated fruit or nuts can provide healthy snacks
When it comes to cleaning fruit, a simple rinse at the kitchen tap doesn't usually remove all the coatings and sprays added during growing, transit or to keep them looking shiny at the market. Find a fruit or veggie spray that works for you and give your snack a better cleaning.