Summer has come and is almost gone. Along with the season, garden-fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn are just a few summer favorites that we also have to say goodbye to over the coming weeks. Not to fret, though — autumn’s harvest provides treats of its own.
Consider these produce superstars for your shopping cart this fall…
Apples, of course, are a fall favorite. With their sweet, crunchy and convenient packaging, they’re also a top choice among kids. With more varieties than there are days in the year, apples can be eaten everyday without getting bored.
Best in the fall and bursting with either dark purple or golden hues, beets have a nutritional quality you can feel confident about. Since kids have discriminating taste buds, try roasting the beets for most likely kid edibility.
With vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, sweet potatoes are a star of autumn vegetables. They’re also well-known for promoting healthy eyesight. Naturally gluten-free, sweet potatoes are a super accompaniment to any meal.
Not historically favored by little ones, brussels sprouts have made a full-scale comeback, and this fall is your chance to get them on the dinner plate. A little bit of olive oil and sea salt is all you need. Like beets, roast Brussels sprouts to increase their likeability.
For a great, family-friendly recipe with Brussels sprouts, see this episode of Kids + the Kitchen.
A widely accepted fall fruit, pears are a great way to boost fiber content in your kids’ diets. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner, pears fit pretty much anywhere.
Easy to prepare and delicious with a sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon, acorn squash is rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin A. Dressed up or eaten plain, acorn squash is a versatile fall food.
Pumpkins are often overlooked for anything more than decoration. But you might consider roasting more of their seeds for the omega-3 fatty acid benefits. Toasted and eaten by the handful, or mixed into salads and side dishes, pumpkin seeds lend a seasonal crunch to recipes and snacks.
Fall is the perfect time to expand upon your supermarket-bought baby carrot repertoire. If your kids haven’t tried a carrot fresh from the ground, this fall is the time to try! Good for the peepers, fresh carrots make a perfect snack, side dish, and salad addition.
Another unassuming root vegetable, turnips don’t get the credit they deserve. If you try one new food this fall, make it turnips – and perhaps throw them in a roasting pan with beets, carrots and sweet potatoes. Save and eat the green tops for the calcium boost.
Break out of the habit of cranberries in juice and dried forms. This year, incorporate fresh cranberries into at least one seasonal recipe. You’ll be sure to form a new cranberry habit.
Anne Marie Kuchera, one of our Kids Plus Nutrition Consultants, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Dietitian.