Let’s start by declaring our love for local, farm fresh produce. We include it in all of our blends (80% of our ingredients come from local farms within California) and, outside of our pouches, farmers markets are a great source for families to find local, organic produce! Not only are they a wonderful place for children to explore and learn about healthy eating, but choosing local produce supports small farms in your area and allows you to get food that has been picked at the peak of the season days (or sometimes even hours) before your visit!
Even picky eaters love a rainbow of color… If you show your little ones the colorful rows of neatly stacked summer produce you’ll surely entice them to try something new! Eating fresh produce is important for overall health and can help reducing the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Including a rainbow of produce every day provides many different types of vitamins, nutrients enzymes and minerals.
Tips for choosing fresh and flavorful produce:
Make sure to ask the farmers! They can give you excellent tips about ripeness, storage and even ways to prepare your fresh finds. See below for what to look for with some of our summer favorites!
Berries: Choose berries with even color that are firm to the touch. Wait to wash them until you are ready to eat them to prevent spoilage.
Asparagus: Look for closed compact tips and a smooth rich green color all the way down the stalk.
Watermelon: Choose one with darker skin for a sweet flavor. Look for a yellow spot where the watermelon sat while on the vine. If the spot is white or lighter, then it was picked before it was ripe.
Artichokes: Look for tight leaves with no visible cracks. Store unwashed in your fridge. 2
Mushrooms: Look for firm, smooth mushrooms. Avoid mushrooms with dry or wet looking spots. A closed veil uner the cap means a delicate flavor while an open veil with exposed gills means a richer flavor. 3
Garlic: Choose bulbs that are plump and compact with unbroken skin. A heavy firm bulb means the garlic is fresh and will be full of flavor. 4
Cassandra is a mother of 3 girls. She lives in San Diego with her husband, daughters, 2 cats and a dog. Cassandra works full time as co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Once Upon a Farm and as a mom. In the rare free time that she does get, she loves to do Yoga (she is a certified yoga teacher), cook healthy meals, run, travel, and spend time with friends and family.