Eating With The Seasons
What better way to promote a healthy lifestyle in the new year than by eating healthy, fresh, and in season! As a good facet of a nutritionally sound diet, eating seasonally can promote well being for the entire family by increasing nutrient intake and variety, saving costs, and much more!
Eating seasonally with fruits and vegetables...
- Saves money: Crops work on supply and demand. When crops are in season, the abundant amount of crops available through production can dramatically reduce costs and benefit the consumer. Reduce expenses by stocking up on what's available.
- Has great nutrients: The longer the distance that foods have to travel to get to the table, the more nutrients are likely to be lost. Fruits and vegetables are picked and refrigerated early to prevent spoilage. Flavor, vitamins, and minerals are lost through shipping and holding procedures. Foods in season are likely to be more flavorful and filled with nutrition. The more flavorful a food is, the more likely it is to be consumed and therefore beneficial.
- Promotes variety in your diet: The abundance of fruits and vegetables available during the differing seasons offers an assortment of ideas and ingredients to change up your everyday meal and offer extra benefit for growing bodies.
- Is beneficial for the environment: Eating within season and what's produced locally can save a lot of money in transportation costs, which promote rising produce prices and increased carbon monoxide emissions.
- Is a learning opportunity: Shopping seasonally can be a fun experience that allows children to become more aware of food choices and create health eating habits that can last for a lifetime. Incorporating children in the food preparation process allows them to explore and contribute exciting new ideas for recipes and projects that the whole family can enjoy. A creative way to encourage even more learning is to help children grow their own fruit and vegetables and experience seasonal growth first hand. The more involved children are in helping to prepare the plate, the more likely they'll eat it!
Here are some examples of foods available each season:
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And here are some links to more seasonal food resources:
This article was co-written by Keri Yee, LEAH nutrition fellow and graduate student at TWU.