Spring is right around the corner, and gardens, farms and fields across the country will soon be bursting into bloom. Accompanying the dawn of spring every March is National Nutrition Month®, an annual nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This year’s campaign encourages people to make small and simple, but well-informed choices about the foods they eat to create lasting healthy habits.
Common Threads, a partner of Together Counts™ and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, knows that getting the recommended 5-8 daily servings of fresh fruits and veggies can be challenging, however, understanding and shopping with the growing seasons ensures that you are getting the tastiest and most affordable options.
In-season fruits and veggies, picked when they are the ripest and freshest on the vine, on the tree or in the ground, taste delicious and retain the essential nutrients we need for long lasting health benefits. Shopping for in-season produce doesn’t have to be hard: farmers grow and sell more of these items during that particular season, meaning more products on the shelves, which translates to more affordable prices for shoppers.
In the spirit of starting this spring with a fresh approach to healthy eating, here are three healthy, seasonal choices you can start shopping for to get the most nutritious and delicious bang for your buck.
- Carrots, rich in Vitamins A & C, are great for healthy skin and have a tremendous impact in improving vision. They can be served raw as baby carrots with a tasty dipping sauce, or cooked into a variety of healthy soup and salad recipes, like this Common Bytes recipe for the Ethiopian dish, Fossolia.
- Some studies associate this vegetable with lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, onions may provide health benefits but are also very versatile, as they can be served raw in sandwiches or tacos, and also caramelized and added to healthy pizza or pasta recipes. You can even use onions in your healthy breakfast, like this recipe for a baked kale frittata.
- Strawberries pack a juicy, tart flavor into every brightly colored bite. Plus, they are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and many other healthy nutrients. Strawberries can also be incorporated into healthy recipes for parfaits and smoothies.
About Common Threads
Founded by Chef Art Smith, artist Jesus Salgueiro and Linda Novick O’Keefe in 2003, Common Threads educates children on the importance of nutrition and physical wellbeing, empowering them to be change agents in their families, schools and communities across the country. By providing children with a toolkit of knowledge and skills, Common Threads’ programs help prevent childhood obesity and reverse the trend of generations of non-cookers, getting America’s kids cooking for life!
For other healthy food ideas, check out other posts from Together Counts!