Choosing Produce—An Adult Living Skill


Selecting tasty produce is an important adult living skill for teens with special needs—or any young person. Knowing how to choose good produce can be the difference between a delightful meal and food that is inedible. Apple Week is the second week in August and an excellent time to help your students learn to pick tasty fruit.


Picking Produce is a Science


Apples, along with their pear cousins, are part of the pomes family of fruits. Picking Produce—Fruits is from the Daily Living Skills series offering lessons on adult living skills for teens with special needs. This free lesson provides students with the information they need to pick apples—and other pomes fruits—with confidence. Fun Facts, easy how-to guides and storage tips allow students to understand how to judge a fruit by its cover.


“Picking Apples” Lesson is Free


Honor Apple Week with this easy lesson on picking pome fruit.


  1. Bring in samples. Start the lesson by showing the class different kinds of apples. Note the color, shape, size and weight of each in your hand.

  2. Cut horizontally so that students can see the star-shaped cluster of seeds in the middle of the fruit. This is the characteristic seed arrangement of fruits in the pome family.

  3. Read pages 22-24 paying special attention to the “Look, Touch, and Smell” sections of the lesson.

  4. Complete Worksheet on page 25 so students can record how to select pome fruit.

  5. Compare worksheet tips to the apples you brought in. Would those tips help students pick tasty apples?

  6. View video linked on page 26. Allow students to choose favorite variety of apple and discuss why they like it.


Extending the Apple Lesson


If you want to extend the lesson further, have students make Easy Microwave Apple Crisp. Each student can make their own crisp individually in a paper cup or microwave-safe bowl as follows:


EASY MICROWAVE APPLE CRISP


For each serving you need:


  • 1 apple

  • 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 shake of cinnamon

  • ½ cup oatmeal

  • 1 tablespoon flour

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine


You need to:

  1. After seeding, cut apple into bite-sized pieces. (No need to peel.)

  2. Mix with 1 teaspoon sugar and shake of cinnamon and put in paper cup or bowl.

  3. In separate bowl, use spokes of a fork to combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter. Crumble over apple mixture.

  4. Cover with saucer and put in the microwave.

  5. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Take out and let it set for 2-3 minutes before removing saucer then remove and allow to cool for several more minutes.

  6. Serve warm or topped with ice cream.


For More Information


More ideas for teaching teens with special needs the skills they need to select healthy produce can be found in Picking Produce—Fruits and Picking Produce—Veggies from the Daily Living Skills series. Written on a 3rd/4th-grade level, these workbooks, nevertheless, honor a teen’s sensibilities and maturity while meeting Indicator 13 skills and federally mandated transition services for teens with special needs.


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