Western Australia is blessed with fresh, local fruits all year round. This means that it’s easy for you—and your kids—to eat seasonal fruits, even during the colder winter months.
Read on to learn about our great winter fruits, and how to add them to your kid’s lunchbox.
Why Seasonal Fruit?
In WA, you will find fresh, local fruits all 12 months of the year. This is thanks to our state ranging from Southern temperate to Northern tropical climate.
Eating local, seasonal fruits has multiple benefits, which is why we at My Foodie Box also emphasise using our amazing WA produce. Firstly, when going for seasonal fruits, you are guaranteed foods that have not travelled thousands of kilometres to get to you. This results in juicier, crispier fruits. In addition, short transportation minimises greenhouse gas emissions, special packaging and refrigeration.
Secondly, these fruits are harvested at their peak ripeness. This is in contrast to most imported fruits that may be artificially ripened during transportation. And this is a difference easy to taste! Just imagine biting into a juicy, sweet Spring strawberry from WA, and compare this to a hard, slightly watery strawberry imported in the middle of Autumn. Which one do you prefer?
Finally, seasonal fruits are good for your pocket. Once trees are bursting with ready-to-eat apples, the price of apples drops, just like the quality rises. It’s a win-win!
Lady Williams, Pink Lady, Sundowner, Fuji… The list of apple-varieties that ripen during our WA winter is long and appetising. Apples are rich in antioxidants, fibre and are super kid-friendly. Try cutting the apple into small wedges, toss in lemon juice and keep in an airtight container. This way the fruit is an easy
break-treat for your kid and the lemon keeps it from going brown, even if the apple is peeled. For an extra flavour-boost, try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon.
It’s no surprise to any Aussie that winter is citrus season.
Oranges are rich in vitamin C and perfect to combat that winter-flu. Plus, they taste amazing.
If peeling an orange happens to be too time-consuming and challenging for your schoolkid, try cutting the fruit into wedges and keep them in a leak-proof container in the schoolbag. This way, the healthy treat is quick and easy to eat.
3: Honeydew Melons
Honeydew melons are sweet, juicy, and loved by many kids. As an added bonus, they are rich in potassium and vitamin C and are low in calories. It’s also easy to pack honeydew for lunch. Try cutting the melon into bite-size pieces, remove the peel, and pack in a leak-proof container. Pack a reusable fork with the melon so it can be eaten without too much mess. For a fun twist, try using a melon-baller and make small balls instead.
Just like apples, pears are packed full of fibre and antioxidants and a healthy dose of many vitamins.
You can cut a pear into small wedges and toss in lemon juice to keep them for browning. However, pears are easily eaten whole and can go in the lunchbox as-is. Just be aware that very ripe and soft pears may get mashed if they end up in the bottom of the school bag!
Mandarins are another winter citrus fruit packed with especially vitamin C and A. Pack the small fruit as-is, or remove the peel if your kid has trouble doing so by itself. For a mealtime surprise, you can draw a smiley face on the mandarin!
Thanks to especially the Wheatbelt region of WA, local bananas are available year-round. They are mostly renowned for their potassium content but are also high in for example protein and vitamin B6. Pack the banana with the lunch just as it is; peeling it will only make it go brown before lunch and snack time.