If you enjoy apples, you’ll know all about the frustrating problem of having sliced apples turn brown. Spoiled apple slices look unappetizing, and this can be a problem when you’re trying to get kids to eat more fruit.

We all waste too much food already, and those browned apple slices coming back home at the end of the day in a lunchbox are adding to the problem.

There is a surprisingly simple solution to end brown apple slices and reduce food waste. It doesn’t rely on adding lemon juice, or using some complicated and expensive food container, either. It was discovered by Eleanor Hill, an Australian mum-of-three. The amazing life hack is…a rubber band!

Eleanor revealed that first she cuts up the apple into slices, but keeps the core intact as a square-cut rectangle. Then, she puts the apple back together like a jigsaw puzzle, with the squared core at the centre. She then puts the rubber band around the reassembled apple to hold it all together.

The idea came to her from the way she’s always stored avocado, which is by keeping the stone in and putting the two sides back together. She wondered if this trick would work with all fruits, and she tried it out on an apple. Eleanor says that it works for pears, too, and it’s effective because this method uses the fruit’s own acids to keep it fresh.

Fruit that has been cut and put back together this way doesn’t need any cling film or a fancy storage container, and as it’s pre-cut, it’s ideal for adding to a snack pot. Another option to use this hack is to use an apple spiralizer, which keeps the apple together and white.

Eleanor also has another handy trick for preparing fruit. Giving small children whole grapes or cherry tomatoes can be a choking hazard, so that means cutting them in half to reduce the risk. Cutting the fruit one by one can be a chore for a busy parent, so Eleanor looked for a way to do it much quicker. Her method is to place the grapes or tomatoes on a flat plate or chopping board, then placing a plate on top to hold them down. She then cuts through the middle of all the fruit with a sharp knife.

There you have it – a great, simple way of keeping your chopped apples and pears looking delicious.