Yesterday my son walked through the doors of his elementary school for the first time. The milestone was bittersweet, of course. He had been going to daycare since he was three months old, but this was different. This was real.
Now that we have a baby in the house, it’s been startling to look at my firstborn. To see how his baby fat is melting away. To see how big his feet are getting as we buy yet another pair of shoes, the ones that take him into that big, unfamiliar school full of strangers.
My son inherited many of my traits, including my sensitivity. Kindergarten was a fraught-filled time for me, and while my son has more experience navigating the social world of children than I had, I want to do what I can to remind him that no matter what is going on during the day, he is loved.
One of the ways I express love is through food, and I thought his entry into elementary school would be the perfect time to expand my homemade snack repertoire. I’m trying to keep his packed lunches as healthy as possible, but we all deserve a treat now and then. These homemade fruit snacks fit both orders.
These fruit snacks are pretty darn easy (if you’ve ever made jam or Jello, you’re set) and have less than a handful of ingredients. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t stashed a container away for my own snacking.
They do require a fair amount of plain gelatin, so if you don’t want to fiddle with multiple tiny packets, I recommend buying a bulk-sized jar from a natural foods store or Amazon. For this batch I used mixed berries and didn’t strain the seeds out of mine because we like the crunch, but you can strain the berries before adding the gelatin if you don’t want seeds. Or, just use another kind of fruit. My favorite to use are juicy peaches.
If you’re packing these for lunch, they do keep set at room temperature, but I recommend otherwise storing them in the fridge.
|Homemade Chewy Fruit Snacks||
- 1 1/2 cups fruit
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons gelatin (3 Knox packets)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat fruit, honey, and vanilla until fruit has softened and started to release juices.
- Turn off heat, pour mixture into a blender and puree (or use an immersion blender), then return to saucepan.
- Pour in gelatin slowly, whisking to incorporate. Continue to whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved and incorporated into the fruit.
- Pour mixture into a glass, Pyrex, or silicon pan, and put in the refrigerator to cool for at least an hour to set.
- Once set, cut into individual pieces and store in an airtight container.
What snacks are you sending off with your kids this year?