Seasonal and local eating has many benefits and we are fortunate to live in a community where there is emphasis on and access to both. Seasonal and local produce tastes better, can be more nutritious, is more affordable and supports the local community. In addition, it adds variety to your diet which improves overall diet by providing a wider spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
All of the above benefit families and growing children and can actually help improve eating habits. Just think about how different tomatoes in season from Farmer’s Market taste compared to tomatoes from the store in the middle of winter. As a bonus, these tomatoes are picked at their peak when they are ripe and abundant with nutrients.
Eating with the season can also create excitement – kids may look forward to eating fruits and vegetables and adults may look forward to cooking with their recent harvest. There are many ways to enjoy eating with the season such as joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), visiting Farmer’s Market once a week, taking the kids to a U-Pick farm, planting your own garden and looking for local produce in grocery stores.
Hopefully you are excited to fill your basket with local and seasonal produce and giving thought to how to use your beautiful rainbow of colors. This may come easily to some but not others, especially when it comes to delicious and easy-to-prepare meal ideas that the whole family will enjoy. The good news is, it can be easy and tasty!
If you are interested in learning how to eat seasonally, please join me on June 28th from 5:30-7:00pm at The Nest as we explore my favorite season, summer. We will discuss how to involve kids in meal planning and preparation while preparing and sampling in-season recipes made with local produce.
I hope to see you there!
Shauna Schultz is a registered dietitian, college nutrition instructor and teaches plant-based nutrition classes for children and adults. She is an advocate for plant-based nutrition and believes nourishment begins with enjoyment of meals and simple healthy cooking skills.
Register for her upcoming class!