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Put Fresh Veggies in Your Shopping Cart

Want to start shopping for a variety of veggies? Well, you’re in luck: You can enjoy fresh vegetables year-round because supermarkets offer fresh produce for every season. And when you buy vegetables in season, they are more likely to cost less and provide peak flavor.

What’s in Season?

Many fresh vegetables are available year-round, such as carrots and celery. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) list of seasonal produce shows that fall offers the most vegetables in season, with summer coming in second. Here is a sample of the seasonal list:

  • Brussels sprouts: fall and winter

  • Bell peppers: summer and fall

  • Cabbage: fall, winter, and spring

  • Mushrooms: spring and fall

  • Peas: fall and spring

  • Potatoes: fall and winter

  • Spinach: spring and fall

How to Pick Vegetables

Signs of freshness in vegetables include bright color and crispness. Other tips for selecting veggies include:

  • Avoid vegetables that are bruised or punctured, or show signs of decay.

  • Only buy precut items, such as mushrooms or bagged lettuce, if displayed in a refrigerated area.

  • Keep vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood, when packing them to take home.

Buy only what you need and can use within a few days to avoid waste.

Store vegetables in a separate compartment in your refrigerator from raw meat or seafood to avoid cross-contamination.

Here are a few examples of what to look for when shopping for veggies:

  • Asparagus: dry, compact tips with odorless stalks; avoid limp or wilted stalks

  • Broccoli: firm, compact cluster of small flower buds that are bluish-green throughout

  • Celery: straight stalks that feel solid and rigid, with leaves that are not wilted

  • Peppers: bright color, heavy weight, and firm flesh

  • Winter squash: hard, tough rind; heavy for size

Getting Your Family to Eat Vegetables

Finding ways to make vegetables seem exciting to your family can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to make them more appealing:

  • Give your children their choice of vegetable or salad contents.

  • Make salads more colorful with a variety of veggies.

  • Cut up vegetables for snacks and serve with low-fat or fat-free dip or salad dressing.

  • Plan an entire meal around vegetables.

  • Allow family members the chance to get creative and come up with new ideas to make vegetables a fun and delicious part of daily meals.


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