Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables each day provides the body with important vitamins, minerals and fiber, things it needs to be healthy and function well. Because health is related to nutrition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating more fruits and vegetables than any other food group. An easy way to remember this fact is to make half of your plate fruits and vegetables at meals and when having snacks. Every form counts: fresh, frozen, canned (watch for added sugar and salt), and dried (watch for added sugar).
September is an ideal time in our area to eat more produce because it is a time when many fruits and vegetables are available from local farms. Here is a chart of the produce is available throughout the year in Maryland: http://marylandsbest.net/wp-content/uploads/Maryland-Fruit-and-Vegetable-Seasonality-Charts.pdf .
Below are some ideas from the Wellness Committee to help you and your family enjoy the produce available this month. Healthy Kids, Healthy Minds.
- ESS ES has its own fruit and vegetable garden, and butterfly gardens. Check them out the next time you are at the school and see what’s growing. In the past two weeks, the garden group has harvested over 33 pounds of cucumbers, and tomatoes are ripening.
- Koiner Farm is located on the corner of Easley and Grove in Silver Spring; take a walk and see what they are harvesting there! Read more about Koiner Farm: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-farmers-dream-in-downtown-silver-spring/2011/06/09/AGmmbLPH_story.html
Visit a Farmer’s Market: there are two very close farmer’s market:
- Takoma Park Farmer’s Market (Open Sundays, year-round from 10am-2pm on Laurel Avenue): http://takomaparkmarket.com/
- Silver Spring Fresh Market (Saturdays 10 am to 1 pm (Jan through Mar 2016, and 9 am to 1 pm April to December) on Ellsworth): http://freshfarmmarkets.org/silver-spring.html
Homegrown School Lunch Week September 19-23, 2016:
- Montgomery County Public Schools will be participating by offering locally grown fruits and vegetables. The following fruits and vegetables might be featured in the ESS ES cafeteria this week:
- Monday: grape tomatoes, peaches
- Tuesday: celery sticks, plums
- Wednesday: broccoli slaw, assorted fruit
- Thursday: corn, assorted melon
- Friday: watermelon, assorted greens
- Challenge yourself and your family to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day for 5 days…and build from there