We all know about them, and some of us actually make a weekly trek to them, but have you ever taken the time to think about the benefits of shopping at farmers markets in your community? In the last couple of years these family-driven produce and craft pop-up markets have become a mainstay for many families.
To kick off our Pick of the Week nutritional wellness series this summer, we partnered with Niki Strealy, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Providence Sports Medicine. Niki gives her take on the benefits of hunting and gathering at farmers markets.
Here's more from Niki:
Here are her top tips:
- Freshness: On any given day you can meander on down to your local farmers market and be sure that you are getting the freshest of the fresh fruits and veggies. While maybe not straight from the vine, most of the produce you’ll find at farmers markets are at their peak flavor and nutritional value.
- Experimentation: If you’re a parent, you know sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get the littles to experiment with new fruits and vegetables. Whether it’s the familiar broccoli or peaches, inevitably there’s some level of push-back. Eggplant…forget it! However, if you make the trip an experience and talk to your kiddos about how buying from local farmers supports the community and the environment, perhaps they’ll be more receptive.
- Q&A: Local farmers love to talk about their goods and the processes around how they use to ensure they are bringing to market the best of the best produce. Turn your visit to the farmers market into an educational opportunity. Who knows, you and your family may learn something new!
- Sustainability: One of the key benefits of buying from local farmers is sustainability. Produce that doesn’t have to be boxed up in freezers and shipped across the country has obvious environmental benefits. Again, this could be a good narrative to try with your skeptical kiddos when visiting the farmers market.
Whether you are fueling your family or simply cruising through, farmers markets have a lot of positive benefits to the community…not to mention the positive benefits to your health by eating fresh produce.
Our team of nutritional experts are here to help you understand the benefits of eating more fresh produce. Search for a doctor in our regional directory or find a location near you:
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