Fruits are fun and with summer right around the corner we will have some amazing fruits coming from our gardens, the farmer’s market, and the local produce stands. With this upcoming bounty, it is a great opportunity to introduce more fruit into our diets and get our kids snacking on the good stuff!
According to Choose My Plate, any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed. So many different ways to get our daily recommended servings of fruit! Recommended serving sizes range from 1-1 ½ cups for kids 2-13 and 2 cups for your older kids and yourselves. In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup from the Fruit Group.
To get the daily recommendations and to spread your budget further it is a good method to buy fruit that is in season and be smart with what and when you buy your fruit.
* Bananas are always in season and cheap, plus most kids like them! Grocery stores usually carry greener bananas, so grab a bunch of ripe ones and a bunch for later that week.
* Most berries are coming into season and strawberries have been in the ads for about $2.00. When buying strawberries, keep in mind that they do not store well and should be used up quick. There are a lot of recipes, including the yummy Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble that incorporates fruits into something special for the family to share. You can even dip some strawberries in chocolate or yogurt for a quick snack!
* Melons are on their way too! Watermelons, cantaloupe, and honey dew are starting to make their way into the valley. These tend to last longer so buy your in season berries for the first of your week and save your melons for later.
Here are a few more tips to keep your family eating the good stuff:
· * Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
· * Refrigerate cut-up fruit to store for later
* Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand. Try making your own fruit leather! Here is a recipe to try. Enjoy!
Click on the recipe card for a printable version.