Seasonal foods for back to school
Fruits and vegetables are nutritious additions to your child's meal year-round, but during the summer and fall, certain types can be extra tasty. Here are some seasonal foods that will excite your kids' taste buds as school begins.
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Now is the time for some of the highest quality grapes of the entire year, says Debbie Vest, group director of produce procurement for Safeway. "The color of the grape will help to determine the sweetness and ripeness," she says. "Fully ripened grapes will offer the most antioxidants."
Vest recommends looking for the grapes that are plump and are intact. The stem should be healthy-looking, flexible and moist, and have a beige or brown color. The grapes should also be firmly attached to the stem.
Never look at a box of raisins again with this homemade raisin recipe.
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Carrots are typically a cool-season crop, which means they can weather frost and light freezes better than other plants. They are delicious as after-school snacks dipped in hummus, and can even be served as fries — that's right, fries.
Kids will love this snack that uses sweet potatoes and carrots, which are packed full of vitamins and minerals.
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Depending on where you live in the U.S., strawberries are ripe and ready for picking in late summer. When purchasing strawberries, avoid stained boxes, as they may indicate that some of the berries in it are overripe, according to the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
This healthy and delicious recipe for Greek yogurt dipped berries will be loved by both children and parents.
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Typical harvest season of watermelons is July through September — when kids are heading back to school. Find a watermelon with a nice, round shape to it, and no matter the size, it should feel heavy and dense for its size, Vest says.
"Tap the watermelon with your hand and listen carefully — a ripe watermelon will have a distinct ping sound," she says.
Perfect for an after-school snack, this easy watermelon and strawberry lemonade recipe uses in-season watermelon and strawberries.
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Avocados are perfect around the time of year when school starts. When selecting them, gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe fruit will be firm, but will yield to gentle pressure, according to the California Avocado Commission.
Not quite ready? To speed up the process, place the avocado in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature until it's ready to eat — usually two to five days. If you can't wait, try including an apple or banana in the bag, which will accelerate the process.
Get the kids off to a good start in the morning with this avocado and egg breakfast pizza.