June 2017 Newsletter

Harvest of The Month
Healthy Serving Ideas:
• Slice strawberries into salads, they taste great with balsamic vinegar.
• Make fruit quesadillas using whole wheat tortillas, strawber¬ries, spinach, green onions and a mild cheese.
• Try making a strawberry salsa with cinnamon pita chips using local berries!
• Make strawberry & yogurt popsicles.
• After washing the berries and removing the green caps, use them to infuse water for a refreshing, healthy drink!
Fun Facts:
• Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
• There is an entire museum in Belgium dedicated to strawberries.
• In medieval times, strawberries were served at important functions to bring peace & prosperity
Strawberry Pointers:
• Look for plump berries with a rich color, bright green caps, and a sweet smell.
•Store unwashed berries in the fridge in a perforated container for up to 3 days, but it is best to eat them as soon as possible!
•Gently wash berries with cool water with the caps still intact.

The summer months are approaching, which means we will be out and about enjoying the glorious weather. So many fruits and vegetables in our area are coming into season, like berries, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and scallions that keep us healthy. So be sure to stock up at farmer markets or your local grocery store.

Summer also brings vacations and lots of barbeques which can be not so healthy depending on what foods we tend to go for. Our first instinct might be to go for a nice big waffle cone with a few scoops of our favorite ice-cream or a bag of chips and cola at a barbeque. This is fine as a special treat, but if we eat this way consistently throughout the summer, we could lose out on many important nutrients that do keep us healthy and energized for the summer months. Try going for naturally sweet and refreshing items like fruits. Even making your own fruit popsicles is a great alternative to ice cream. Add a scoop of low fat yogurt to berries for protein and calcium. Instead of chips, opt for whole wheat crackers and hummus. Instead of drinking cola, go for water, seltzer water or even fruit-infused water, this will keep you hydrated the right way.

Summer allows for more free time, which makes it much more likely children will be able to snack throughout the entire day, often eating excessive calories. Offering meals at the same time each day as well as snacks help add structure to the summer days and also helps kids listen to their hunger cues. Keep lots of fruits, veggies and whole grain snacks and less high sugar/high fat snacks on hand and remember to avoid meals at the computer or TV!

I hope you all have a great summer!!

Many vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and green beans grow best in warm temperatures, so we usually enjoy them fresh during the summer. Vegetables that are in season are more affordable and have better flavor and nutritional value than vegetables that are not currently being grown locally. Eating fruits and vegetables in-season (and locally grown) also cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions since less energy has to be put into growing, storing, and transporting the food. Though we may see most of these vegetables in the store year-round, you’ll notice their quality, cost, and availability will be better during the summer. If you’re not sure what’s in season at other times of the year, visit the website below for a full listing:

Summer Veggie Stir-Fry:
1/2 cup onions, sliced
1-1/2 cup baby carrots
1/4 cup baby corn, canned
1/2 cup green bell peppers, strips
1/2 cup red bell peppers, strips
1-1/2 canola oil

Blanch baby carrots by boiling or steaming them until al dente and then “shocking” them in ice bath (a bowl of ice water) to stop the cooking process. Slice vegetables as uniform as possible to ensure consistent cooking times. Stovetop: Add oil to skillet or wok. Add vegetables and stir vigorously on high heat for 3-4 min. Oven: Evenly distribute vegetables on a pan sprayed baking sheet. Cook at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Veggies should be tender but crisp.
Add these veggies to your favorite stir-fry recipe or simply season with a little soy sauce for a tangy side dish.

Look at Last Month’s Food and Nutrition Events:
1-George Elementary School making reusable totes for grocery shopping.
2-Berry Berry Smoothies at Plouffe