Tasty fruit for children: where to find fresh fruit that will appeal to children in the spring offering?
It is, as always, often down to the variety of each fruit type, though conventional wisdom also states that children like sweet fruit and small pieces: by no means a certainty! Like adults, children will find fruit with flavour so much more appealing, regardless of overt sweetness.
Much of the new season fruit on offer are early varieties which grow and mature quickly, or are the result of the first harvest. Although very fresh, they are often a little bit tart and slightly low in sweetness, though good flavour can be found by careful choice.
The Good Fruit Guide selection for children is based on flavour, ease of eating and potential for packed lunches.
FOR OUR CHILDREN’S FRUITBOWL, WE WOULD BUY:
- Satsumas: South African Mihowase or Peruvian Okitsu
- Mandarins: Nadorcott or Murcott from Spain and Morocco
- Blueberries: Spanish or Moroccan
- Apples: Smitten, Gala and Jazz
- Pears: Forelle from South Africa and Rocha from Portugal
- Grapes: Crimson from Chile, Thompson from India
- Apricots: Spanish
- Kiwis: Sungold from New Zealand
Satsumas: Delicious, tangy, sweet, juicy Mihowase satsuma (from South Africa) is in all shops, and lovely Peruvian Okitsu satsumas are starting to appear.
Mandarins: Nadorcott and Murcott from Morocco and Spain are very sweet easy-peelers, but have that end-of-season flavour due to diminished acids.
Blueberries: Fresh Moroccan and Spanish blueberries: such a wonderful fruit, a great snack, and a perfect substitute for sweets. Most varieties are satisfying at this stage of the season.
Apples: The best new season variety is Smitten from New Zealand: super crisp and sweet (in M&S, Morrisons and Waitrose). Northern hemisphere apples still predominate in stores, but Royal Gala, which is usually packed for children by retailers, is mostly fresh from the southern hemisphere. Jazz is also a winner due to its wonderful texture and taste.
Pears: Munching on a sweet, crisp pear is more alluring than you’d think: children will love them. European Conference is the choice of most people, but better flavour and sweetness can found in Portuguese Rocha (still in many shops) and Forelle from South Africa or Chile (most stores). They need eating within a few days to retain the crispness.
Grapes: Most grapes are clinging to tired-looking stems as we await the fresh, new harvest from Egypt. However, Indian Thompson and Chilean Crimson are quite cheap and both have sweet berries.
Apricots: A fruit that can flatter to deceive, apricots are now in all stores from Spain. Good apricots are among the best of fruit, and the early season varieties on sale, Colorado and Sunsweet, are promising. Make sure they are softening to get the best flavour.
Oranges: Mediterranean oranges are still plentiful, sweet and cheap, in particular, Valencia Lates (Maroc Late, Midknight) from Spain, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco: flavoursome, nice chopped into segments and great for juicing.
Kiwis: The green Hayward kiwis, still from the Mediterranean, are a great snack, particularly if you don’t mind eating the tickly, fuzzy skin (not to everyone’s taste, so they need peeling!). Golden Sungold kiwis from New Zealand are now in shops: these have smooth skins, a ‘tropical’ fragrance and are less tangy than the Hayward. All kiwis need to have some softness for the best eating quality.
17th May, 2017
©Good Fruit Guide 2017. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the very best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research. The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.