Seasonal Perks to Benefit Your Family
Even in the United States, with supermarkets packed with fruits, vegetables, and proteins, healthy eating can be a challenge. Unfortunately, despite good intentions, many of us “fall off the wagon” and make our diets less of a priority than work and other demands. However, many families have a resource right in their backyards that can help them make healthy eating a lifelong habit – the farmers’ market! Take advantage of this seasonal perk to help your family achieve your healthy lifestyle goals.
Make a habit of healthier eating
Eating healthier often means overcoming the draw of comfort and convenience foods and incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats into your diet. The best way to avoid stocking your pantry with snack foods is to find tasty, nutritious substitutes that still satisfy your taste buds without the calories, salt and sugar we so frequently crave. Let nature lead the way and you will find an abundance of fruits, vegetables, fats and grains that can provide the variety and nutrients your body needs. What you won’t find (or miss!) are the chips, crackers, and highly-processed foods that are great for your schedule, but not so good for your wellness.
Broaden your family’s taste horizons
Incorporating more farm-to-table ingredients in your family’s meals can seem challenging, but it can also be a great excuse to try new foods and flavors. Start simple by using spaghetti squash “noodles” in your next pasta dish, or swapping regular white potatoes for the more colorful (and nutritious) purple variety. From there, you can work toward building entire meals around the unique foods you find at the market – and know that buying direct from the farm means you’re eating what’s in season and most likely to taste great!
Take your kids with you when shopping for produce. It’s a great opportunity to speak to them about healthy eating, and to begin to instill those wholesome preferences that will support a life-long habit of eating right. Let them chose something fun and unique that they’ve never tried before, then initiate a weekly family taste test and enjoy new flavors together.
Support your local community
It’s common knowledge that exercising and eating nutritious foods are important, but did you know that your community can impact your health status as well? The US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion describes environment as one of the “social determinants” that plays a key role in an individual’s overall health and well-being. Communities with local farmers’ markets benefit from increased opportunities for outdoor time and social engagement, as well as expanded access to nutritious food and informational resources to promote health and stress reduction. Becoming a patron of your local farmers’ market helps ensure that this resource remains a part of the community for years to come.
Developing good eating habits can be easier than you think. Consider being adventurous as you chose how to stock your pantry, and make coming up with new selections or recipes a family challenge. Let variety and nutrition become a passion your family members can take with them for many years to come.
As another part of our commitment to building a healthy community we are presenting sponsor of the Rochester Farmer’s Market, join us on opening day as we will be distributing reusable bags and focusing on healthy families.
Take advantage of this seasonal perk to help you and your family achieve healthier lifestyle goals. Visit the Downtown Rochester Farmers’ Market, opening May 7, to find fresh fruits and vegetables, locally-sourced meats, eggs and dairy products, and even some delicious baked goods. And while you’re there, look for the Crittenton Hospital table for fun activities, health information and more.