Eat In Season and Save Money!

By: Ashley Statter ’16, University Health Center Nutrition Peer Educator

Oranges

As a nutrition coach, one of the most common excuses I hear from students for not eating enough fruits and vegetables is that they are expensive. As a college student, I completely understand how frustrating it can be to balance your budget while buying fresh and nutritious foods. But it is possible! And one of the best ways to do this is to buy seasonal produce.

Believe it or not, there is actually quite a lot of produce that is in season in the winter. While it is always important to eat lots of fruits and veggies, it is especially important during the winter months to boost your immune system during cold and flu season.

Next time you go to the grocery store try some of these fruits and veggies that thrive in the winter months:

  • Antioxidant packed pomegranates and cranberries, which reduce inflammation
  • Vitamin C rich citrus fruits, such oranges, clementine, lemons, and grapefruits, to support immune function.
  • Vitamin A rich root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, onions, and butternut squash, to promote good eyesight, healthy skin, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation.
  • Fiber-full and nutrient rich Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage to keep your digestive system healthy and prevent constipation.
  • Potassium rich pumpkin to turn carbohydrates into energy and build protein to fuel your muscles

You can incorporate these foods into your diet by:

  • Packing citrus fruits as a snack to eat between classes. Their tough outer skin keeps them safe in your backpack!
  • Enjoying carrots sticks with hummus or guacamole
  • Making a colorful salad with kale, onion, and pomegranates
Winter Salad

Winter salad with kale and pomegranate, courtesy of Well Plated by Erin

Butternut Squash Soup, courtesy of Epicurious

  • Roasting sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts in the oven for a tasty side dish
  • Baking french fries from root vegetables for a fun and nutritious spin off of a popular comfort food
  • Whipping up a pumpkin pie because there is always room in a healthy diet to treat yourself!

Not only is seasonal produce cheaper, it can often be better quality compared to produce that is not in season. In addition, buying in season can help add variety to your diet. It is easy to get in a rut and keep eating the same foods over and over again. By varying food choices with the seasons, you can add diversity to your diet and engage your palate in new and exciting flavors. Make sure to check out the Farmer’s Market on the UMD campus located outside of Cole Fieldhouse starting April 5th!

To learn more about seasonal eating through the remainder of winter and beyond, and how to create healthy eating habits, reserve your session with a University Health Center Nutrition Coach today by calling 301.314.5664 or emailing NutritionCoach@umd.edu.

 

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4 Responses to Eat In Season and Save Money!

  1. Rebecca Heming says:

    Thanks for the great list! Butternut squash soup is one of my favorite winter soups to make. Pomegranates & clementines make for great seasonal snacks!

  2. Avital says:

    I LOVE the plentiful food suggestions in here! I feel like I can use this as my shopping list for the next month; and I really want to try to make that salad–yum!

  3. What a great way to add variety to one’s diet – “eat in season”! The recipes you offer are perfect for students who have little time to get in important nutrients. Thanks Ashley for the great ideas!

  4. Thea B says:

    Who doesnt love saving money? Thanks so much for this article. Ill have to head over to the farmers market in April to find some in-season goodies. I like how you gave some ides of foods that are rich in certain vitamins and minerals. It will help me when looking at different recipes to make, like that pumpkin pie! Yum!

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