Teaching kids about health at an apple orchard

Orchards are a great place for youth to learn about being healthy and where food comes from. This article explores apples and how an orchard can be a great classroom for learning.

Fall is here and that means it is apple season in Michigan! Photo credit: Alex Arends | MSU Extension

Fall is here and that means it is apple season in Michigan! Photo credit: Alex Arends | MSU Extension

Fall is here and that means it is apple season. Orchards around the state and country are opening their doors to the public. There are many things to do and see at an apple orchard and many orchards will have community events or special kid’s day that will give youth the opportunity to see an apple orchard and possibly how apple cider is made.

A great fall activity is to plan a day at the orchard and teach youth about how apples are grown. Apple blossoms come out on the tree in the spring and then, over time, an apple will grow and be ready for harvest in the fall. Share with them that farmers take good care of their trees all year long by cutting the branches that are old or not necessary.

While touring the orchard, let youth know that apples are a great fruit for them to enjoy as they are packed with many important vitamins and nutrients needed for everyday health. Apples provide a great source of dietary fiber needed for good digestion, as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron and calcium. To learn more about the nutritional facts about apples, check out the USDA fact sheet.

As youth enjoy the apple orchard visit, share that while apples are great for snacking, they can also be used to make applesauce or apple cider. There are a variety of different apples grown in Michigan that supply various tastes and textures. A Healthier Michigan website provides a nice list of apples to explore and a short description of their qualities.

Orchards are a great place for youth to learn about being healthy and where their food comes from. To locate an apple orchard near you, visit the Michigan Apple Committee website. To learn more about eating healthy and growing apples, visit your local Michigan State University Extension office.

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