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Family Central: Seasonally FRESH

If you’ve ever struggled to get your kids to eat their vegetables – and no, French fries do not count – or fill up on fruit instead of cookies, we feel your pain. And we have a suggestion: Think seasonally.

Kids just naturally gravitate toward food that tastes best. And at FRESH, we believe that means produce during its peak season.

Fruits and vegetables that are allowed time to grow properly, that are picked when at their peak, and, if possible, are purchased locally, just taste better. It’s why fresh strawberries usually taste better in May than in December. Wouldn’t you rather eat super-fresh local berries than those that were picked while still green, and that may have travelled thousands of miles to reach you?

So feed your family seasonal produce whenever you can. Here’s why:

  1. In-season foods taste better: It’s almost like we’re wired to enjoy certain foods at certain times – blueberries and tomatoes in the summer, for instance. But that’s also because produce just bursts with flavor during its peak growing season. At FRESH, our locally grown produce will have literally been just picked from the farm. Tastier food = happier family.
  2. In-season foods cost less and are better for the environment: In-season foods often cost less than out- of- season foods because they generally do not require as much effort to produce. During the proper season, food can be left to grow naturally on its own, which is much less labor-intensive and time-consuming. Most consumers don’t realize the hidden expenses, but the costs of fuel, shipping, and refrigeration add up. Finally, it’s supply and demand: When a fruit or veggie is in season, there’s more on the market, and the happy result for you is that you’re likely to find great prices.
  3. Buying in-season is healthier:  Fresh, unprocessed foods that have ripened naturally offer lots of nutrients. Plus, seasonal fruit and vegetables can often be grown without as much reliance on pesticides or chemicals.
  4. In-season means exciting new experiences: When you commit to serving foods that are in-season, you’ll get out of your meal-planning rut. Replace the same old mashed potatoes with a casserole of sweet potatoes while they are in-season (early March through late May). Try a cucumber salad in early April instead of the familiar green salad.

Ready to start? Here’s a cheat sheet on what’s freshest right now: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, mushrooms, onions, oranges, spinach, strawberries, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.