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This post is sponsored by Fruits From Chile Canada. I prefer to use seasonal fruits and love to support local but I do appreciate that we Canadians have a long, cold winter. There are many produce items we can’t grow here at all (like kiwi and citrus), or that only are available for a short time from local growers (like grapes and peaches). This time of the year, we’re importing grapes and kiwis from countries in the Southern Hemisphere, like Chile. They are one of the world’s largest exporters of fruit!

As a mother of four, I believe it’s important to get kids into the kitchen to encourage them to be independent and learn important life skills. Sometimes it’s faster initially to just do the chores ourselves, but getting them involved is best in the long run to make sure they know how to feed themselves as adults. This fun activity to make turtles with grapes and kiwis was perfect for my kids as they have some basic knife skills already and it required little supervision. The best part about it was that they went back the next day to make these healthy treats again on their own!

How We Did It:

Food Art Turtles

Wash all fruit thoroughly under cool, running water. Pat dry. (See notes below on how to select and store grapes to help them last longer!)

Peeling kiwis is optional. Kiwi skin is edible and is high in fibre but isn’t everyone’s favourite. We decided to peel them this time.

Peeling Kiwi

Cut kiwis in slices or halves (up to your child’s imagination!) to resemble the shell. Place cut grapes to become feet and a head.

Food Art Turtle

We used some cookie icing to make some eyes, a mouth and a little extra to embellish. Is there ever enough icing really? 🙂

These didn’t last long! Check out our little video on their Facebook page:

How to Select and Store Grapes!

In the store, look for grapes that have a green vine. This tells you that they were picked recently. The fruit should also be holding tight to the vine and the skin should be smooth (rather than wrinkled). If the vine is brown, but the grapes still look good, then they are – but eat them more promptly.

Red Grapes from Chile

Store grapes in the bag you bought them in, in the fridge until ready to use, and keep them on the vine.

You may notice that grapes have a white film on them. This isn’t left over from a spray but is naturally occurring. It’s called the, “bloom”. You’ll find it on other fruit like plums and blueberries too. The bloom acts as the fruits natural defense against decay so only wash fruits that have it just before you want to eat them. I’d suggest if you want to pack grapes for lunches, wash them in the morning but not the night before. Grapes will get soft quickly once washed.

Grapes in the bag

Rinse the bunch you are going to eat under cool running water for 30 seconds rubbing gently at the skins. If they are tight on the vine, I like to pick them off and agitate them in a spinner. That’s all that is required. You really don’t need to use added cleaners or vinegar washes. For more info. on washing food, check out these links: Produce Safety by and a video on Safe Grocery Shopping and Washing.

Thanks to Fruits From Chile Canada for inspiring us to make something new in the kitchen! This post was sponsored but all opinions are my own.

Written by Contributor Nicole Burns Food.