Fall in Love with Apples!
PA Virtual may be a cyber charter school that excels at virtual learning, but we still love in-person, family-oriented activities — especially those involving food! In this special edition of our blog, we're celebrating National Apple Day with some facts about this delicious fruit, as well as the connection between apples and our Pupil Health department!
If you adore apples, then fall is your season!
Autumn weather is the best for apple picking in Pennsylvania. This activity is a great way to head outdoors with your friends or family, get some exercise, and enjoy time in nature while hand picking the perfect bright red fruit.
Many local farms also offer a variety of related fun during the fall months, such as bobbing for apples, apple slingshots, hayrides, and enjoying some warm apple cider and an apple treat.
Here are some of our favorite farms and orchards across Pennsylvania:
Greater Philadelphia Area
Full Up with Fruit — So Now What?
After you’ve visited your orchard, and have purchased more apples than you can handle, what will you do with them all? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! Apples can be used to create anything from homemade art to yummy desserts. Here are some family-fun things to do with all that fruit.
- Apple Décor — That’s right! Use your fresh apples to spruce up your house with a nice touch of fall.
- Apple Bird Feeder — See how you can turn that delicious apple into a fall treat for our bird friends.
- Create Apple Art — There are so many ideas to create your own art using fresh apples. For example, cut apples into different shapes, dip them into paint to create stamps, and create a beautiful apple picture.
- Apple Desserts — Make your whole house smell like fall by baking your favorite apple treats!
- Apple Dog Treats — We can’t leave out our favorite furry friends! Dogs like apples too! your apples and share some dog-friendly treats with your pup.
Nutritious AND Delicious
Apples come in many varieties: green, yellow, red, sweet or bitter, soft or crunchy, and more. Some are better suited for making applesauce, while others are best used for apple pie. No matter which apple you prefer, eating this snack can provide you with many health benefits.
Have you ever wondered about the history behind the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? The aphorism in its current form dates back to 1913, but originated in an 1860s Welsh proverb from Pembrokeshire that read, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” Consuming an apple each day may have long-term health benefits that can minimize your use of prescription medications or extra trips to the doctor.*
Apples are mostly composed of water and carbs. They have 52 calories, 13.8 grams of carbs, are made up of 86% of water, and have 0.3 grams of protein, 10.4 grams of sugar, 2.4 grams of fiber, and 0.2 grams of fat. Because apples are so nutritious, eating them regularly can:
- Improve bone health
- Promote brain function
- Decrease the risk of diabetes
- Help maintain a healthy heart
- Relieve constipation
- Reactivate good gut bacteria
- Assist in removing toxins from the body
- Help control your weight
- Help with cancer prevention
- Protect against osteoporosis
*Apples are a great choice for a healthy snack, but just like anything else, too much of a good thing can cause some side effects, so use moderation. Also, it's important to have regular check-ups with your doctor!
Promoting Health at PA Virtual
Here at PA Virtual, we love apples, but not as much as we love supporting our students’ health and well-being! Our Pupil Health department provides student health screenings across the state of Pennsylvania, where they perform height and weight checks, as well as vision, hearing, and scoliosis evaluations.
Current PA Virtual students can sign up for one of our health screenings this fall across the state. If your student is interested in one, contact your Family Support Coordinator.
About the Author: Heather Varalli is the Marketing & Communications Specialist at PA Virtual.
NOTE: This blog was originally published in October 2021, and has been updated for accuracy of content.