People underestimate the power of produce and their potential. Fruits and vegetables nourish our bodies, help us heal and grow. It is so important to have a diet rooted in plants, and even more important that we show and teach our children this at a young age. Parents often look for ways to “hide” or “sneak” healthy foods into our children’s diets, instead of encouraging them to embrace and enjoy these healthy foods for what they are. Talk about what these super foods do for our bodies, show them how our food grows, allow them into the kitchen with you + involve them in the food preparation, take them to the farmer’s market or grocery store with you and let them choose new produce they’d like to try. Eating should be exciting, cooking should be fun, and so much love can be shared through food.
As far as making eating exciting goes, eat the rainbow, try new ingredients + cuisines, and play around with textural contrast! To make cooking more fun, try fun kitchen gadgets like spiralizers + cookie cutters to make food into fun shapes, get kid-safe knives + a stepstool and allow your little into the action. And if you really wanna sneak some veggies in, you can try grating them into baked goods + pasta sauces, blending them into sauces, soups + smoothies, or making them into veggie-based dips to serve with a colorful assortment of even more veggies!
Now in season in September are all of our fall favorites and some summer favorites still around too! Apples, basil, berries, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, grapes, kale, melons, mint, peaches, peppers, rosemary + thyme, just to name a few! Eating seasonally has many health benefits and is beneficial for our wallets too! Seasonal produce are less expensive, they’re fresher, have more nutrients + flavor, and even provide your body with the additional nutrients needed for the change of seasons. Winter + Spring foods are especially high in Vitamin C which is needed for our immune systems that time of year, as well as heartier vegetables well-suited for soul-warming stews and casseroles; whereas, Summer foods are loaded with nutrients that protect us from sun damage, and they’re lighter, juicier, often sweeter foods providing us with the refreshing cool energy we need in the heat.
Some yummy ways of getting more seasonal fruits + veggies into our lives right now are: cucumber mint infused water (still or sparkling if you prefer), carrot pineapple muffins, sweet potato apple donuts, hummus + veggies, and this spiralized rainbow noodle salad!
This raw spiralized salad is so light + delicious that it can be enjoyed as a side or a main dish!
- red cabbage
Toss in a refreshing + bright mango-pepper salsa:
- bell pepper
- mint and/or basil
- fresh grated ginger
- lime zest + juice
Serve with optional garnishes:
- raw pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- hemp seeds
- crushed almonds
- fresh herbs and/or sprouts