by Joanna Brichetto of jewisheveryday.com 
Much thanks to Joanna for this adorable and delicious craft. She has great ideas and lots projects for families on her website, jewisheveryday.com . We look forward to her sharing projects with GKC!
You may have seen edible apple bowls used as a Rosh Hashanah honey dish . It’s also a fun family project to adapt for Tu B’Shevat. You and your child can hollow an apple—the paradigmatic tree fruit—and fill it with tree fruit salad. It’s easy with a melon-baller, and the only trick is not to get too energetic and pierce the peel from the inside. Kids can even prepare the fruit for the thematic contents using double-handled apple slicer/corer combos and Montessori-style slicing tools.
Depending on the palate (e.g. pickiness) of the child in question, you can get pretty elaborate with the tree theme. Besides typical lunch-box fruit — typical for my kid, whose lunch-box is exquisitely boring — try coconut, apricot, citrus, papaya, mango, kiwi, plums, cherries, star fruit, and tree nuts galore. Or, find atypical varieties of those typical apples and pears. Dates, figs, pomegranate (juice and/or seeds), grapes and even pitted olives make a thematic nod to the Seven Species of the Land of Israel, which are a big deal at Tu B’Shevat. Dried tree fruit is a nice textural contrast tucked amongst the fresh, and is a good excuse to see if kids (or adults) realize a prune is a dried plum. (You’d be surprised.)
A sprinkling of orange juice or a squeeze of lime will keep apples and pears from oxidizing into beige yuckiness, and act as flavor binder for a wide array of fruits. Whip some coconut cream for a literally over-the-top finish. Divine.
All this tree fruit focus can spark a conversation about where a particular fruit comes from. And what exactly is a fruit, anyway, and which ones grow on trees? Pecans are tree fruits, which might surprise kids, but bananas are not. According to Rabbinic tradition, bananas are “fruit of the ground” (pri ha-admah) because they are produced on a herbaceous, annual plant. And grapes, which kids might know grow on vines, are fruit of the tree (pri ha-etz), because they grow on perennial stems. Blueberries are considered tree fruit for the same reason, which is good news for our fancy tree fruit salad. The idea that a trees is a perennial—like a rose or an azalea—surprises a lot of grownups. Do Rabbinics and botany agree on the categorizations? Not always, but it’s part of the fun to figure out what is what and why.
Who knew a simple snack-tivity could be a vehicle to explore science and religion? You and your kid get all this, plus a hands-on, personal reference point to a Jewish holiday. And of course, a healthy dessert that tastes as good as it looks.
TIP: Adults should make the first slice on the apple bowl with a sharp knife. Turn the apple on its side and make one clean cut through the top third. This method will create a “lid,” which children find irresistible, especially if the apple still has a stem for a handle. Pile your fruit higher than the rim of the bowl for maximum effect. A heaping bowl symbolizes the Earth’s bounty, which is at the core of this sweet holiday.