Teach Your Kids to Love Fruits and Veggies: Buy In Season

Along with several other tips and tricks, there are two vitally important ingredients when it comes to teaching your kiddos to love fruits and veggies. Today we’ll talk about the first one.

*Only Offer Food That Tastes GOOD!*

Far too often I see parents who buy the exact same produce year round and then complain that their kids don’t love it. Of course they don’t! Apples and oranges just don’t taste good all year long. There are very few fruits and veggies that taste good all year, because they simply aren’t “in season” 100% of the time. Travel, storage time and harvesting before proper ripeness can also take their toll on the flavor and texture of produce. Bananas, cooking onions, dried garlic and potatoes are a pretty good bet all year, but most other fruits and veggies should only be eaten for a season.

I know I have readers all over the world, but below are the proper seasons for buying really delicious produce here in the States. It does vary some according to the weather each year and the part of the country you live in, so be flexible about when you buy. You may find the best flavor a month earlier or later than what is listed. For example, if oranges aren’t good until mid-spring (like I’ve found this year), hold off until they *taste* good! The oranges we were getting were terrible up until the end of March, so I waited until then to buy them. Now my girls jump up and down when I start peeling an orange!

If I’ve left things off the list, feel free to add them in the comments, along with when they are in season. By the way, I do know that corn is a grain, that mushrooms are fungi and that cucumbers, tomatoes, squash and peppers are *technically* fruits. I’m putting them in their traditional categories to make things easier when shopping. 😉

*Get a pretty, *FREE* printable of this list by subscribing to my e-mails! Keep it on the fridge or in your purse for quick reference. Just check at the bottom of any new e-mails from me for the link.*

January

  • Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, kale, turnips, cabbage, parsnips and brussels sprouts.
  • Fruits: Citrus (Oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruits) and papayas.

February

  • Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, turnips, cabbage, parsnips and brussels sprouts.
  • Fruits: Citrus (Oranges, lemons, tangerines and grapefruits) and papayas.

March

  • Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, leeks, artichokes, green onions, turnips, radishes, parsnips, mushrooms, swiss chard and brussels sprouts.
  • Fruit: Pineapples and mangoes.

April

  • Veggies: Asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, green onions, kale, leeks, lettuce, spring peas, mushrooms, rhubarb, radishes, swiss chard, spinach and sweet onions (Vidalia).
  • Fruit: Pineapples and mangoes.

May

  • Veggies: Asparagus, artichokes, cauliflower, garlic (“fresh”/”wet”), lettuce, okra, spring peas, swiss chard, rhubarb, radishes, zucchini and sweet onions (Vidalia).
  • Fruit: Apricots, cherries, strawberries and pineapple.

June

  • Veggies: Corn, asparagus, lettuces, swiss chard, broccoli, carrots, peas, green onions, zucchini, early beets, garlic (“fresh”/”wet”), new/baby potatoes, young turnips and sweet onions (Vidalia and Walla Walla).
  • Fruit: Stone fruit (from the south, there may be apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and early plums), berries (strawberries and blueberries), kiwi, mangoes, watermelon and cantaloupe.

July

  • Veggies: Corn, cucumbers, green beans, peas, beets, broccoli, carrots, summer squash, tomatoes, lettuces, okra, swiss chard, spinach, zucchini, shallots, new/baby potatoes and sweet onions (Walla Walla).
  • Fruits: Stone fruit (apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums), berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries), melons (watermelon and cantaloupe) and kiwi.

August

  • Veggies: Corn, cucumbers, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, lettuces, carrots, summer squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, eggplant, okra, peppers, swiss chard, zucchini, shallots, green onions, sweet onions (Walla Walla), new/baby potatoes and some celery.
  • Fruit: Stone fruit (apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums), berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries), melons (watermelon and cantaloupe), kiwi, figs and some apples.

September

  • Veggies: Acorn and butternut squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, lettuces, carrots, eggplant, beets, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, okra, peppers, spinach, peas, sweet potatoes, leeks, swiss chard and some celery.
  • Fruit: Grapes, pomegranates, pears, figs, cantaloupes, blackberries, cranberries, plums, mangoes, apples and persimmons.

October

  • Veggies: Sweet potatoes, winter squash (pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash, spaghetti squash, etc.), beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, brussels sprouts, spinach, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, parsnips, swiss chard, celery and turnips.
  • Fruit: Apples, grapes, cranberries, pears, raspberries, pomegranates and persimmons.

November

  • Veggies: Sweet potatoes, winter squash (pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash, spaghetti squash, etc.), beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, parsnips, swiss chard, celery and turnips.
  • Fruit: Pears, cranberries, apples, pomegranates, persimmons, some citrus (oranges and tangerines from some areas).

December

  • Veggies: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, leeks, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery and turnips.
  • Fruit: Pears, papayas, pomegranates, citrus (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, etc.).

Now that you have an idea of the best time of year to buy these fruits and veggies, you can start making some simple changes the next time you go shopping. Find a few things that are in season that you don’t normally buy and let your kiddos help pick some out to try! I’ll be posting all throughout the summer with fun ways to get your kiddos to fall in love with fresh produce and I’ll be sharing our favorite (easy!!) recipes. Here are a couple to get you started…

  • Simple Steamed Broccoli: Use fresh or frozen- it’s quick, easy and so delicious!
  • Fruit Salad Dressing: Light, delicious and quick to make. It makes any fruit taste gourmet!
  • Baked Apples: Try this in the fall when apples are sweet and the weather is cool.
  • Homemade Applesauce: This is another one to try this fall. Store-bought is so bland compared with homemade applesauce!

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8 thoughts on “Teach Your Kids to Love Fruits and Veggies: Buy In Season

  1. This is a great list! I never thought of them tasting better to the kiddos when eaten seasonally. I have trouble getting the daily recommended doses into my toddler, so I will give this a shot and see if this improves her eating habits any.

    Thanks for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

    • Thanks so much! I’m also going to be implementing some fun presentations to make the less popular veggies more appealing. That post will be coming in a few weeks. 🙂

  2. This is a really good list of seasonal veggies and fruits. I don’t have that many problems getting my son to eat fruits and veggies. Meat on the other hand is another ball game. He will only eat chicken preferably in the nugget form. Ughh. Thanks for linking up at the Tuesday baby link up. I hope to see you back this week.

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