Simply Fresh Meals



Using local markets to plan healthy summer meals

Use local markets to plan healthy summer meals


Shopping at farmers markets may not be as convenient as the supermarket, but it’s a wonderful way to introduce healthy foods to your family, and help kids understand our food systems. We asked Cathy Vogt, a certified health counselor and professional chef who uses fresh Hudson Valley ingredients in her meals to share her market shopping secrets and her tips on how to create summer meals for busy families. Find more of her recipes on her blog.

 

Choose foods in season


Focus your meal planning around these foods. You can find what’s fresh using the calendar on New York Harvest Calendar on PickYourOwn.org. Include your children in the shopping experience by having them pick out a new vegetable or fruit.

 

Bring cash. Or food stamps.

 

It’ll be faster and easier for everyone. Unlike what is available at the supermarket, fresh, local food is not subsidized and can sometimes cost more. Many farmers markets in the United States participate in the WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program. WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women. If your family qualifies, you can receive coupons good at farmer’s markets that help supplement your meals. Find more information on the Food and Nutrition Service website.

 

Another money saving alternative is participating in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSAs provide a partnership between a farm and a community of supporters. Common Ground Farm in Beacon is part of the CSA movement and offers a traveling farm stand called “Common Greens” that sets up in Beacon. This year Common Greens is turning into a Free Farm Stand - where all of the vegetables will be given out free of cost. The idea is to get vegetables to community members within walking distance of the Beacon Recreation Center who are facing financial hardship due to the pandemic or otherwise. The Free Farm Stand will be held at the Recreation Center (23 West Center Street) beginning on July 8th and be held every Wednesday from 10- 11am. 


 

Shop early in the day

 

You'll find the best selection and the freshest produce at this time. Go late if you are looking for deals and are not picky. Vendors will be happy not to haul anything back with them and will want to get rid of leftovers.

 

Be social

 

Ask the farmers about their growing practices, how the food is raised, and if they have any cooking suggestions. Many markets offer free recipes and samples, and have cooking demonstrations to inspire you to try new foods. This is a great time to get your kids to experiment, too.

 

Keep your meals simple

 

Focus on one or two main farm market ingredients and build a meal around those. A recent trip Vogt took to her local market resulted in the following menu when she purchased a large head of crispy cabbage: quick summer slaw with cabbage, carrots, summer herbs, apples and toasted sunflower seeds, served with locally raised organic turkey burgers on toasted olive bread.

Vogt lives in the Hudson Valley and loves planning meals from farm market finds. 




Other articles by HVP monthly articles


  • Exercise together for fun and good health

    Make it seem like play and your kids will jump on board

    The family that exercises together stays healthier together. However, in order to successfully engage the whole family, it helps to make exercise fun by incorporating other activities into your routine. read more »
  • Mom takes breastfeeding challenge head-on

    Entrepreneur and business coach Tu-Hien Le founds a company to help new moms

    Through tears of frustration grew the inspiration to find a solution now helping more than 30,000 moms worldwide. An impactful story to highlight for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27 can inspire both women and entrepreneurs everywhere. read more »
  • The art of setting consequences

    An indispensable tool for parents-if it’s used properly

    We can usually get our kids to behave by giving logical consequences for misbehavior. This article suggests three important steps to take to make it word. read more »
  • Visit Washington’s Headquarters

    Enjoy the views while kids get to run and play

    Seasonal changes also bring about changes at Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. The last day of extended hours for 2020, Wednesdays through Sundays, will be Saturday, October 31st. Beginning Friday, November 6th, the site’s Fall/Winter hours will be in effect, Fridays and Saturdays, 11am until 3pm by reservation. read more »
  • 17-year-old activist makes a difference

    Greta Thunberg is praised by the NEA for being a‘Rabble Rouser’

    “We deserve a safe future. And we demand a safe future,” Greta Thunberg said at the Global Climate Strike in New York last year. “Is that really too much to ask?” NEA recognized this young activist as a leader. read more »
  • Honor diversity; celebrate tolerance

    Show your kids how accepting others benefits everyone

    Ways to embrace differences in recognition of black history month read more »
  • Hey kids, play with your food!

    Show kids how fun veggies can be

    According to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, ninety percent of kids don’t eat the recommended amount of vegetables each day. To help get more kids on board with healthy eating, it’s important to show them how fun veggies can be. read more »
  • Homework Survival Guide

    Start the school year ready for success

    Helping your child with homework can be a fun learning experience or a minefield. Having a plan up front can help minimize stress and tears for your child and wear and tear on you! read more »
  • Cooking with kids with help from the Hudson Valley's CIA

    Easy instructions for decorating cupcakes

    Chef Kate Cavotti, an instructor at The Culinary Institute of America, has some great ideas about how you can utilize things you already have around the house to make personalized decorations out of basic fondant. read more »
  • Doctors say babies and toddlers should learn from play, not TV

    American Academy of Pediatrics recommends shorter TV and screen time

    The temptation to rely on media screens to entertain babies and toddlers is more appealing than ever, with screens surrounding families at home, in the car, and even at the grocery store. Learn why it's not a good idea. read more »