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Local Fruits & Vegetables

Blueberries and other berries at a farmers market

It’s summertime and locavore living is easy. Just like in years past, an abundance of locally grown and produced food can be found at Farmer’s Markets, food co-ops, or through membership in a CSA. What’s new is that traditional supermarkets are sourcing an increasing amount of local fruits and vegetables and proudly installing farm stands in their produce departments. This appeals to shoppers who want to shop local, but value convenience most. Shoppers, farmers, and supermarkets all benefit from this budding relationship.  

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Have Fun with Agritourism!

Cow face

Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky to visit several small family farms. I’ve chatted with farmers, learned about their craft, and spent time sharing their passion. There is often a story that brings them to this challenging and highly rewarding work. There is a common theme that runs through them all, which is their devotion to their work, their deep love for their animals, their connection to their soil, and the pride they share in being able to nourish their community. I’ve always walked away from a farm tour with a sense of awe as to how they do it, and of course, a deep appreciation that they do. 

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Season’s Eatings

Turnips at a farmer's market

Whether you’re taking advantage of seasonal produce sales at your local grocery store or participating in a local farm’s CSA program, eating in-season produce can save you money. Taking this focus can also help introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet, which is great for nutrition. Why doesn’t everyone eat this way?

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Kids Don’t Have to Hate Veggies!

Child smiling and holding vegetables

It probably comes as no surprise that children don’t even come close to eating the recommended amounts of vegetables (actually, neither do the vast majority of adults, but that’s a post for another time). Maybe you have an anti-veggie kid living with you right now and know first-hand that getting vegetables off the plate and into the child can be a daunting task. But take heart, parents! With your help, your child can learn to enjoy at least a few different vegetables—do not give up! 

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Play With Your Bars

Chocolate Date Snack Bars

Snack bars can run the gamut of snack foods. Easy to make and highly flexible, they’re a great option to experiment with if you have kids. Though often designed to be eaten at room temperature, they can include warm and tender variations fresh from the oven or chewy, frozen varieties perfect for summer. How you might play with bar-shaped snacks depends a lot on whether or not they require cooking.

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Time to Eat? Strategies for Summer Eating Schedules

girl eating corn at the pool

Ahhhh summertime eating…there seems to be a level of food freedom that accompanies the summer months, and lots of us welcome that newfound meal flexibility. The longer daylight hours are one reason that mealtimes may shift in the summer. (Why yes, I’d love a late dinner on the deck!) Another reason for the varying summer meal times is the lack of a strict schedule—something that we may find ourselves experiencing more than ever these days—for a variety of reasons. Loosey-goosey meal times are not automatically problematic. There are, however, a few things to consider if you notice that your general meal and snack schedule is has gone out the window.

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Play With Your Energy Bites

Lemon Cookie Balls

When I was a kid, my absolute favorite recipe to make was called “Peanut Butter Bumps.” It had three ingredients: peanut butter, butter, and oatmeal. All you did was mash everything together and roll it into sticky little fat bombs, and I LOVED them. Those little bumps have too much saturated fat, salt, and added sugars to earn Guiding Stars, but working on the Guiding Stars recipe database, I have discovered something: snack balls can be delicious and nutritious.

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Why do some potato chips earn Guiding Stars?

Baked Seasoned Potato Chips

Potato chips are among America’s most popular “snack foods” and sales spike during the summer months. There’s no wonder why, unless you’ve never tasted a potato chip. They are the classic high-fat, salty snack designed to make it hard to stop eating once you’ve started. Most Americans recognize that potato chips are a food that should be eaten in moderation. At the same time, due to shopper demands, there are an increasing amount of better-for-you chip options to choose from at the supermarket. For this month’s Surprising Stars, I’m going to explain why some potato chips earn Guiding Stars. 

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