Infusing creativity into an already busy day is not always easy for moms and dads on the go. When it comes to snack time, simplicity needs to be the name of the game… yet often with the crunch of the day, it’s also the moment that a quick nibble might trump more healthy, nutritious options.

That’s where Stemilt’s fresh, delicious fruit – and specifically its kid-sized fruits called Lil Snappers – come into the picture. With a few easy cuts… and cutouts… beautiful, nutritious apples and pears turn into a tic-tac-toe board game, a flower garden, or a few cute critters…

All of these preparations require only a few simple steps that are as easy as slicing fruit into halves, slices or wedges… with a bit more fun tossed into the mix!

Tic-Tac-Toe Apple O’s and X’s:

Apples and cheese make a great pairing for a quick, simple, satisfying snack. The fun factor in this little treat is in how you serve it up. Instead of your everyday plate of apples wedges and cheese slices, turn this snack into a cute tic-tac-toe game board.  It’s as simple as one cookie cutter away.

Slices of your favorite cheese, cut with an “X” shaped cookie cutter, and halves of apples quickly turn snack time into fun time. Serve it up on a flat board or plate, set up like a tic-tac-toe game, three-rows square, with your X’s and O’s strategically placed…or take a food-safe marker to pen a game board on a flat platter. Either way, simple halves of apple and “X-shaped” cutouts  of cheese will bring a smile to snack time.

Needed (to serve 3 to 6):

  • 3 Stemilt apples, halved lengthwise from stem (for small children, try Lil Snappers kid-sized fruits)
  • 5 to 6 slices of cheese
  • 1 “X-shaped” cookie cutter

Flower Power Fruit Garden:

Again… a few cookie cutters transform slices of nutritious fruit into a colorful flower garden in minutes.

Stemilt apples are sliced parallel to the core, lengthwise from stem, resulting in round “disks” that can be cut into flower shapes using a variety of flower-shaped cookie cutters. Pair these shapes with other seasonal fruits, like watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi… and Stemilt’s delicious cherries… for a colorful and nutritious layered effect. Then simply slice little wedges of Stemilt pears, any variety will do, to arrange as the leaves to your bouquets.

Create an entire platter for a bountiful garden, or simply cut two or three fruits to make a yummy one-flower bouquet for a quick treat!

Cute Fruit Critters:

While there are a host of creative ways to transform fruit into many shapes and forms, a few simple cuts in just a few minutes can achieve fun little critters that are sure to be met with a smile. Why slice an apple into wedges when that same effort can result in a cute little crab? Or halve a pear when you can have a mouse?

One Stemilt apple is all that is required to make a crab critter; or one Stemilt pear to make a cute little mouse.

For Crab Critter:

  • 1 Stemilt apple
  • 1 marshmallow
  • Apple corer (for marshmallow “eyes”)

Procedure:

  1. Simply make two cuts, lengthwise from stem down to divide your apple into three parts… two “domed” halves from each side of the core, cut lengthwise from stem, leaving the round, center core as the third.
  2. Slice one apple halve into 6 to 8 wedges to serve as the critter’s legs.
  3. Set aside the second apple halve. That will serve as the critter’s body.
  4. Then place the round, center core slice on your cutting board and cut two half moon slices by simply cutting parallel to the core from stem to base. These two slices will become your critter’s claws. Make a few simple zig-zag cuts into the flesh of these slices to create a “claw-like” shape.
  5. Arrange your critter’s legs on a plate, fanning them out (as shown in photo); then place “claws” in front of legs and your reserved apple halve on top for the head.
  6. Cut slices from each end of a marshmallow and use an apple corer to cut small rounds from these slices. The “gooey” side of each round of marshmallow will easily stick to your critter’s head to serve as eyes.

For Cute Little Mouse:

  • 1 Stemilt pear
  • 1 marshmallow
  • 1 grape (or two blueberries, two raisins, etc. for the “eyes”)
  • 1 slice of orange rind
  • 2 toothpicks
  • 1 paperclip

Procedure:

  1. Cut your pear in half lengthwise, from stem down. If your pear has the stem intact, cut your half just under the stem so that little “nob” can serve as your critter’s nose. Lay pear cut size down on a plate.
  2. Using a peeler, slice a 3” to 5” length of rind from an orange. Then trim sides of length to result in a long, thin rectangle. Coil the length of rind around your finger and secure with a paperclip to “set” the tail of your critter (hold it in a coiled shape for a bit). Set coiled rind aside.
  3. Cut one slice from end of marshmallow, then cut that round in half to create two half moon shapes. The “gooey” edge of each half moon will stick nicely to the top of your pear halve, to serve as your critter’s ears.
  4. Break toothpick in half and place “picks” in location you want your critter’s eyes, leaving about ¼” sticking out from fruit. (Just remember to help little ones by removing toothpicks before nibbling.)
  5. Slice ends off of one grape and place little “domes” over toothpicks to serve as your critter’s eyes.
  6. Using a toothpick, create a little hole in the back end of your critter to place tail (coil of orange rind). Remove paperclip from coiled orange rind and stick end into back of your critter (using toothpick to wedge rind into fruit). Reshape coil, as needed.

Stemilt’s delicious apples and pears offer a fresh, healthy, nutritious… and FUN… option for families on the go… making snack time something moms and dads will look forward to as much as their kids do.