Easy Apple Recipes for Young Chefs

Child hunger in America is a troubling issue, hiding in almost every community across the country. Because the signs can be difficult to spot, it may be hard to believe that 1 in 6 children in the U.S. don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

This means millions of kids, including youth in every community, have limited access to proper nutrition. Yet, healthy eating habits are a cornerstone of youth development.

That’s because children cannot grow, learn or reach their full potential without healthy meals and snacks. When an empty stomach is distracting a child’s mind or zapping their energy, their development suffers. 

At the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, apples are a staple snack. Staff also look for new ways to keep things fresh by involving children in the prep process and presenting the popular fruit in unusual ways.

Watch them in action:

Then, try these recipes with aspiring youth chefs at home, in your classroom or at your Y. Don’t forget the child safe knives!

Apple Nachos

Total time: 10-15 mins
Serves 1-4


  • Mix of apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala) – 1 per serving
  • Sun butter or peanut butter
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Raisins


  • Core and slice apples, lay out on plate
  • Heat nut butter until creamy, drizzle over apples
  • Let each person choose their own toppings to sprinkle on top

No-Cook Strawberry Applesauce

Total time: 10-15 mins
Serves 4-6


  • 4 apples (suggested: Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, McIntosh)
  • 10 strawberries


  • Core and chop apples
  • Remove strawberry tops
  • Blend apples and strawberries together in food processor or blender
  • Serve cold

Cinnamon Applesauce

Total time: 20-30 mins
Serves: 4-6


  • 4 apples (suggested mix: Honey Crisp, Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup of 100% apple juice or 100% apple cider (may substitute water)
  • 1 tablespoon of Cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)


  • Core and chop apples
  • Add apples, 100% juice and cinnamon to saucepan on medium heat (cover)
  • Allow apples to simmer and mash softened apples in saucepan or add to blender
  • Serve warm or cold

Looking for more tips and support?

Do you have other easy-to-make recipes for young chefs? Share the link on Twitter using #TheYFeedsKids

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The YMCA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.