One of the best ways to encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables is to serve them the produce when it is in season. When a fruit or vegetable is in season, it just tastes so delicious and fresh, making it easier for the picky children to taste something new, and develop a taste for it.
In the US it is tough to know when fruits and vegetables are in season as they are available all year round in the supermarkets. I loved having access to all the fruits and vegetables all year round when I first moved to this country even though they didn’t taste as good certain times of the year. Now I realize my folly as I better understand the consequences of my actions. Buying food that has traveled thousands of miles has an impact not only on the environment but also on the health of our kids. Did you know that every year almost 270 million pounds of Chilean grapes arrive in Los Angeles? Did you also know that the Chilean grapes travel 5,900 miles in cargo ships and trucks and release 7,000 tons of global warming pollution each year, and enough air pollution to cause dozens of asthma attacks and hundreds of missed school days in California? Wow…. all of a sudden buying grapes year round doesn’t seem all that attractive. Btw – if you buy grapes from out of the US then make sure to buy them organic as they have very high pesticide content.
So how do you know when something is in season?
Here’s a nifty little tool by National Resources Defense Council that tells you what produce is fresh in your location based on the time of the year. It makes for a great shopping list to buy only fresh produce. If you happen to live in California, Washington, Iowa, Connecticut, Colorado or Georgia, here’s a great visual showing what’s in season using the data from the tool above.
What am I going to do with this information?
1) When fruits and vegetables are in season, I am going to cook more recipes using the in season produce.
2) I am going to freeze the fruits and vegetables that are most eaten in our home when they are in season so I have it on hand in its flavorful state throughout the year.
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