Looking for ways to brighten your meals? Stock up on goods from your local Farmers’ Market! Or try out your green thumb by growing your own food.
Gardening and agriculture go hand in hand with MyPlate. When planning a garden, start by thinking about foods that adapt well to the cool, fall season. Many vegetables that are planted in the summer produce their best flavor when harvested in the fall such as broccoli and carrots. This way you can focus on ingredients that are both flavorful and easy on your budget.
Browse the stands at year-round, local farmers’ market and pickup seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as local dairy, grain, meat, poultry, and eggs. (You can shop all 5 food groups at the Farmers’ Market!) Talk with the farmers and vendors to learn more about the choices available. You may find valuable ideas for selecting and preparing new ingredients such as turnip greens or spaghetti squash. Get to know your food, and your farmer, by asking questions when you visit.
After your trip to the farmers’ market, browse ChooseMyPlate’s Sample Menus and Recipes for culinary inspiration. Many of the MyPlate recipes are budget friendly and kid approved. For starters, try a delicious broccoli omelet packed with veggies!
Did you know that local and regional farms are also supported by schools? Many schools participate in the USDA Farm to School Program. According to the USDA’s first Farm to School Census, during the 2011-2012 school year, participating schools supported their communities by purchasing an estimated $354,599,266 in local foods!
What local foods are they buying for their cafeterias? Fruits and vegetables top the list at 30% and 29%, respectively. Milk, herbs, wheat, beans, rice, turkey and cheese are some of the other foods noted.
Visit a local farmers’ market and build a healthier plate today!