Lately, I have been putting a fruit bowl on the table. Honestly, the reason is because my crisper is full- but imagine I was smart enough to realize the good this would do and that I did this as a clever parenting strategy.
Can't suspend disbelief that I'm a clever parent? That's okay. You can learn from my mistaken misfortune and be a clever parent.
So I put the fruit bowl on the dining room table, and Violet saw it at dinner. She wanted the bright and pretty things. I kind of thought it was just a visual thing. Then, I gave her an apple. She LOVED it! Now, I will admit that my 16 month old does not eat an entire apple on her own, so giving her a whole one is not the clever part. I need to either accept that I will be washing off and eating an apple I find on the floor or in the toybox at some point in the hopefully near future, that my dogs will be eating an apple later, or that it will be otherwise disposed of. I've found that Violet won't eat apple slices most of the time. She likes to eat it off the core, but not in slices. She will nibble on the slices if I put We Can't Say It's Cheese cheddar spread by Wayfare, but really she's going more for the spread than the apple.
I moved the fruit bowl to the counter that Violet can get to (though I really don't like her climbing on it, so I probably shouldn't put bait there). As a result, she's eaten ripe persimmons, pears, and oranges (she tries to eat the peel and I help out). Yesterday she ate all five satsuma oranges that came in our CSA box by herself. I was impressed and fearful for the reprecussions. The only result is that her cold that has been lingering finally seems to be on its way out.
The moral of this story is that fruit in plain sight is a good idea.
I also keep grapes and baby peppers on the lowest shelf of the refigerator so she can grab them when I open it. I give her celery or carrots out of the crisper if she's at the refigerator door asking- which is often lately. She's all about the raw produce, and I can't complain about that. It's great to watch her eyes light up as I put away the produce from our weekly CSA box, and the joy in her exploration of each new taste is a real treat for me just as much as it's a treat for her.
When good fruit goes almost bad?
Make fruit leather. I have been making my own fruit leather with whatever is about to turn, and it's worked out great. I chop and quickly cook whatever fruits I have left over or about to go bad, and then I puree them and spread them on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. About four cups chopped fruit is just right for one cookie sheet. I bake it overnight at 170 (or if I had a dehydrator I would use that), and in the morning I have a huge sheet of fruit leather. I break it up and keep it in a ziplock bag in my Ergo pouch and we have fruit to go no matter where we are. When I forget snacks or we just need a quick something, this has saved me many times.
My next trick will be to try to make some veggie/fruit leather. We'll see how that goes...