The arrival of fall always means cooler temperatures and heartier meals. It also means different varieties of fruits and vegetables will be fresher at the grocery store and making their way into your local farmers markets.
Nothing beats nutritious, in-season foods for your kids’ snacks and meals. Here are some of the fall fruits and vegetables to grab on your next grocery run, plus suggestions of how to serve them.
Cranberries get a lot of attention at Thanksgiving, and that’s about it. But these little red berries pack more antioxidants than almost any other fruit or vegetable, which also means they help boost brain power and immune function.
Mix cranberries into their morning oatmeal, toss them into a smoothie or make fresh cranberry sauce to accompany dinner.
Of course apples can be found year-round, but they are the quintessential fall fruit. Apples are rich in fiber and vitamin C, plus make a quick and easy afternoon snack.
Serve apple slices with almond butter to add some protein, or bake them with a little sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar for a healthier dessert.
3. Winter Squash
Nothing says fall like pumpkin, acorn squash and butternut squash. They are a great source of vitamins A and C, and contain polysaccharides which help regulate blood sugar levels.
Acorn squash has a sweeter flavor when roasted, and butternut squash is great for spiralizing into veggie noodles. You can also venture out to some of the lesser-known winter squashes, like delicata, hubbard and sweet dumpling.
Fall marks the start of beet harvesting season. They are great for iron, potassium and folate, and may also benefit digestive health.
Beets are not always a crowd favorite, but they pair well with goat cheese, or can be disguised in a smoothie. You can also make a healthier ketchup using beets as a base.
This fibrous green vegetable is best in the fall and is an excellent source of antioxidants, plus a ton of vitamins and minerals.
Celery is another easy and healthy snack, goes great with hummus, and makes the perfect addition to any soup.
Tomatillos are perfect for adding to salsas and soups, or you can roast them for a side dish with a little acidic kick. Plus, they are high in potassium and have lots of good nutrients for supporting eye health.
Like apples, eggplants are packed with fiber, so they are great for digestion and lowering cholesterol. They are also great for getting more iron and calcium into your kid’s diet.
Eggplant is another vegetable that may not be everyone’s favorite. But with the right recipes, it can be a great dinner time addition. Give eggplant parmesan or a classic ratatouille a try.
Establishing healthy eating habits early is important. Plus, a family trip to the local farmer’s market to pick out produce can be a fun way to get your children more involved. So this year, add a few of these fall fruits and vegetables into your meal planning.