Have you ever felt a little twinge of guilt when you handed your kid a package of fruit snacks? I didn’t allow my first child to have any until AT LEAST well into her twos, and even then it was very limited. Ah, we’re so idealistic as first time parents. (This post contains affiliate links.)
Full disclosure, I stress much less about what kid number two eats, and I may or may not have a Costco sized box of fruit snacks in my pantry as we speak. They are organic (because organic sugar puts kids to sleep as opposed to getting them wired… not), and they were purchased for my daughter’s VIP school party, not for every day consumption.
Despite doling out store bought fruit snacks in kindergarten as if I’m offering a “healthy” option, I know that healthy they are not. That’s why when my amazing mom started making homemade fruit snacks with my kids, I knew I had to share how easy it is to make these delicious little gummy treats with good, all natural ingredients. Not only do they taste yummy, but the kids love helping, and you can change up the shapes for any season or holiday.
How to Make Homemade Fruit Snacks
I wanted to make some festive Christmas themed fruit snacks this time, which you could either take to a holiday party, put a handful in a mason jar for neighbor gifts, send in your kids’ lunches, or just make for a fun cooking/craft project. The kids and my mom will whip up a batch just for fun to have a healthy tasty treat lying around. Or you could always use it as #1 in my 4 Secrets to Successfully Shopping With a Baby!
The Juice: 1 Cup
You’ll want the juice to be fairly strong and not watered down. The flavor will get diluted a lot so using something like the 100% Red Tart Cherry Juice below is perfect. Since I was going for the whole Christmas theme, I wanted a red, green, and white juice. The red and white were pretty easy, but I will warn you the green came out tasting a little grassy. I suppose if you like green juice, you would like it as a gummy as well.
Pour the juice into a saucepan. If you can find a cute helper, even better.
The Gelatin: 3 Tablespoons
We use this Great Lakes Gelatin from Amazon, which has all kinds of crazy good health benefits. You can also use the kind you find in the grocery store in the Jello section. It will be much easier to mix in if you sprinkle it over the top of the juice rather than just dumping it all in at once.
The Sweetness: 2 Tablespoons
You could use honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup. Here we used honey for one batch, then ran out and used agave syrup which tasted just as good. The juice is so tart (remember, buy full flavored juice!) that this just adds a little sweetness to your fruit snacks.
The Citrus Juice: 1-2 Tablespoons
My mom’s recipe calls for lemon juice. We were out of lemons so we ended up using fresh orange juice, which my daughter claimed tasted just as good.
Once you’ve combined all the ingredients into the pot, bring it up to a quick boil then turn it down to medium and let it cook for about 7 minutes, or until the gelatin has all dissolved.
I got these cute Christmas candy molds, but again you could use any shape for any occasion.
Put a layer of foil down on a cookie sheet for easy clean up in case there are any spills. Once the molds are filled, put them in the fridge until they’ve set and are gummy-like. One thing to note, if you don’t eat them right away you’ll want to keep them in the fridge, otherwise they will go south pretty quickly.