Fun Apple Facts for Kids
Introduce a world of history, nutrition, and trivia with fun apple facts for kids. As naturalist Henry David Thoreau once wrote, "It is remarkable how closely the history of the apple tree is connected with that of man."
True Classics: Fun Apple Facts for Kids
The main ingredient in pies, turnovers, and Halloween treats, the apple is also a major symbol in the Bible, a member of the rose family, and a fruit of many hues: reds, greens, and yellows. Ranging in taste from sweet to sour to tart, apples are famed for their flavorful panache, as well as for what they represent.
Indeed, the apple is one fascinating fruit. Originating somewhere between the Caspian and Black Seas, apples today are grown the world over -- from China to Italy to the United States. In the U.S., they grow in every state, with the top producers being Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Virginia.
"A" Is for Apple
Did you know: The largest apple ever picked tipped the scales at an astonishing three pounds! To put this in perspective: that's equivalent to about a half-gallon of milk. Imagine an apple with that much heft.
More fun apple facts for kids? Consider this:
- The nation's first president, George Washington, pruned apple trees in his spare time.
- In Colonial times, the apple was better known as a "winter banana" or "melt-in-the-mouth."
- The science of growing apples is pomology and the French word for apple is "pomme."
- Apple harvests are still picked by hand.
- NYC's moniker, "The Big Apple," is tied into America's love affair with jazz in the 1930's and '40's.
Apples: By the Numbers
With 4,000 years behind them, it's no wonder there's an abundance of fun apple facts. For kids, such trivia can make nutrition an interesting subject:
- To make a traditional 9-inch apple pie, you'll need 2 pounds of apples.
- Worldwide, a remarkable 7,500 varieties of apples are grown.
- In the United States, a hearty 2,500 varieties can be found; though only 100 are grown for commercial purposes. The only apple native to North America is the Crabapple.
- Out of the 100 apple varieties grown, 15 comprise 90% of total production: Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji lead the way.
- Apple trees can grow up to 40 feet high; though many orchards have dwarf trees for easier picking.
- The first apple nursery opened in 1730; the location was Flushing, New York.
- A peck of apples is 1/4 a bushel and weighs approximately 10.5 pounds.
- A bushel weighs 42 pounds.
- A bushel of apples can produce 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
- At room temperature, an apple will ripen 6-10 times faster than in the refrigerator.
Did You Know?
An average of 65 apples per person are consumed in America each year.
Apples: Wit and Poetry
Ever wonder where the expression, "You are the apple of my eye" came from? Would you guess, the ancient Romans and Greeks?
- "Apple of my eye" is a term used to express love, admiration, and beauty. Not surprisingly, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed the pupil of the eye resembled an apple: a golden apple. Hence, the phrase was (somewhat) born.
- As for the word "apple", its origin can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxons. Their word "aeppel" has a duo-meaning word: "apple" and "eye."
- Geoffrey Chaucer is attributed as the author behind the saying, "One bad apple spoils the bunch (or barrel)." In the poet's words: "The rotten apple injures its neighbors."
- In anatomy, the "Adam's Apple" is the thyroid cartilage of the larynx. As an idiom, the term refers to Adam from the Bible, who famously disobeyed God and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. As a reminder, the "apple" remains.
- Curious about "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away"? The credit goes to Wales (though it's known as an English adage). The original proverb, printed in 1866, goes: "Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
As you can see, fun apple facts for kids are deliciously varied. With them, you can easily create a lesson plan or introduction to nutrition. The above just scratches the surface. There are plenty more to "pick" and enjoy.