I am all astonishment when I see moms handing their young children a whole apple, peach, or other fruit.
And then I am further mystified when I read "tips" on how to rescue half-eaten apples to be made into something in the name of frugality. Even the venerable Amy Dacyczyn, a person who would rather make a diaper cover out of old bread bags than throw them away, actually advises her readers to save chewed-on apples to make a dessert with later. Yuck and also, a waste of sugar, flour, and other expensive ingredients. Priced butter lately?
People, you are throwing money in the trash! And I don't know about you, but my time for making extra desserts is limited -- certainly, it doesn't keep up with the demand for fresh fruit in a busy family.
Now, I am going to tell you just what to do, but I realize that it will go against a strong American trait, which is an aversion to cutting up fruit. Perhaps this is because in America fruit is actually plentiful, or perhaps Americans don't have a love-affair with our food the way other people do, but for some reason, I find that most Americans laugh at the idea of cutting fruit up into bite-sized pieces.
However, your typical European or, say, Egyptian (and I get this trait from my Egyptian side, which yes, I have one), is shocked at the offhand treatment of comestibles and makes a ritual of even the smallest snack. It takes less than a minute to cut up an apple and put it on a plate or cutting board. It's also something an older child could do for a younger one.
I'm afraid that, other than while actually apple picking, or maybe with the smallest fruits, it's not going to happen that your average four-year-old is going to a) have the appetite for a whole apple and/or b) stay interested long enough to finish it. Most children seem to take delight in abandoning a half-eaten apple (it sort of does get gross, you know?), whereas few can resist just one more crisp untouched slice...
My way (and the way of most of the world) has the advantage of not only saving on fruit and expensive ingredients to rectify its waste -- and is more aesthetic -- but also relieves you of ever again finding a mushy-yet-also-dusty brown substance behind your sofa.