Lunchbox Apples: How To Keep Sliced Apples From Browning

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lunchbox apples

My kids love sliced apples. Hand them a bag of slices and they finish it. Hand the same kids a whole apple…. you get maybe 3 bites and then they toss it. This drives me crazy.

As you are probably aware, as soon as you slice an apple it starts to brown. My kids don’t do “brown” apples because brown apples have cooties…and nobody wants apple cooties. You see my dilemma.


So I purchase the sliced apples to pack in their lunchboxes. Just yesterday I purchased sliced apples at a cost of $5.49 for a 5 pack (each pack 2 oz).

I know what you are thinking…. I could purchase whole apples for less than half of the cost. So I decided to do a little research and found it is easier than you may think to make lunchbox apples yourself (using only natural ingredients). So I did.


What you will need:


Lemon Juice



Apple Corer/Slicer

Small Plastic Sandwich Bags



Step 1

Core your apples and cut into wedges. I used this Apple Corer and Divider from OXO.


Step 2:

Place the sliced apple slices in a large bowl.


Step 3:

Pour enough water in the bowl just to cover the apples.


Step 4:

Add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of water.


Step 5:

Allow apples to soak for at least 5 minutes. Also make sure that you rotate the apples so the flesh is submerged in the water.


Step 6:

Remove apples and place on a paper towel to remove the excess water.

Step 7:

Place apple slices in small plastic bags. Be sure to remove as much air as possible when you seal the bag.


Refrigerate. Apples can last up to a week in the fridge.

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  1. says

    I’ve used lemon on apple when cooking before, I also vaguely remember something about a vitamin C tablet working too, I’ve not thought to try it like this for lunch boxes. It’s the oxygen in the air getting to the cut surface isn’t it, I guess the bag with no air helps too.
    Have you tested this for a week? I’ll definitely be giving this a try. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Julie,

      Yes! That make sense. I have also heard of folks using citric acid. I have not tested it for a week. 2 days is the longest my apples have made it before being consumed. I am going to try a bigger batch next time. 🙂 -Jessica

  2. Erin says

    I was just wondering if anyone had ever tried this with bottled lemon juice? If so, did it work ok? Thanks!

  3. Krystal says

    Does the lemon leave any excess taste to make them taste differently? I have a ridiculously picky eater on my hands!

  4. Katie says

    Thank you so much!!! I have three little boys who take apples for snack at school, about half to 3/4 of each apple would come home in their backpacks. Thank you for solving my frustration about the waste:)

    • says

      Hi Katie! You are welcome. I hope it works out for you. My kids can’t taste the lemon juice…but I understand that is not always the case. You might also try soaking in Apple Cider Vinegar…that is what my grandmother recommends. Have a great day! -Jessica

  5. says

    One of my kids loves sliced apples for lunch. I just put the slices in a bowl and squeeze about 1/4 of a lemon on it and then sprinkle cinnamon over the top. Stir with a spoon and put into a reusable lunch container. Tastes like apple pie! Cheers!

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