Vanilla Fruit Salad

vanilla fruit salad recipe - a long time family favorite and great back-to-school lunch

I try not to over schedule activities, but sometimes it feels like we are busier and crazier than ever. I had planned on this being a laid back summer, but between swim team, vacation, buying a lake house, out of town guests and a few illnesses, it seems the summer is coming to an end in the blink of an eye. I’m making an effort to slow down and soak up the last few weeks of summer enjoying the simple things with the girls before I have to share them with their teachers.

Easy vanilla fruit salad recipe with a secret ingredient

As a child, I remember stopping by Aunt Mildred’s on the way to the farm to visit Grandma and Grandpa. She always welcomed you with a smile and left you with a full stomach and a jar of jam – the simple things in life. I could always count on her to make my favorite fruit salad – she used a can of fruit cocktail, whatever fruit she had on hand and a package of instant vanilla pudding. I couldn’t get enough of it!

The best fruit salad recipe - a healthy snack and side option

Even when life gets crazy, I like to do good for my family. It’s time to let go of the hectic schedules and embrace what I loved growing up – not being entertained, but finding entertainment in everything we did. Aunt Mildred didn’t have activities and toys for us, but we somehow managed to create fond memories getting creative with the games we would play along the side of her house. I’ve also simplified Aunt Mildred’s fruit salad, using fresh fruit, a splash of lemon juice and lightly sprinkling the fruit {inspired by the fruits in Minute Maid Fruit Punch} with instant pudding mix. It’s light and refreshing, but gives you the same vanilla flavor that I loved.


Secret ingredient fruit salad recipe | healthy school lunch options

Whether it’s creating simple moments, preparing loved foods or one of the many other things you do for your family every day, I want to join Minute Maid’s mission to acknowledge that you’re #doingood as a parent. Minute Maid’s #doingood initiative reminds us all of the wonderful things—big and small—parents do to make a positive difference in their children’s lives.  It’s time to celebrate perfect imperfections for us moms and dads who, in reality, are doing much better than we think! Take a minute today to tell a parent you know that they are #doingood.

Secret ingredient fruit salad recipe | healthy side for kids

This post is in partnership with Minute Maid and my friends at Better Homes and Gardens. 

vanilla fruit salad recipe - a long time family favorite and great back-to-school lunch


Secret ingredient vanilla fruit salad

Vanilla Fruit Salad

Prep Time 5 mins Total Time 0:05
Serves 8     adjust servings


  • 4 cups of fruit of your choice
  • 1 c lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla pudding


  1. In a bowl, pour lemon juice over fruit that browns, like pears and apples and strain.
  2. Toss fruit in a large bowl to mix thoroughly and gradually add in 2 Tbsp vanilla pudding mix


entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner


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