September – apples
It’s apple picking season! Going to the orchard is a great family activity. Why not ask your family to visit an apple orchard and try out the different flavours and textures of a variety of apples. Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
October – pumpkins
Will you visit a pumpkin patch this month? Local Ontario pumpkins are available in October and November. Pumpkin flesh can be used to make soups and pureed to make muffins. If you plan to carve a pumpkin, look for ones that are large but not too heavy. And also don’t forget to roast the seeds for a healthy snack! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
November – cauliflower
Did you know that cauliflower is a cousin of broccoli and cabbage. The most common form of cauliflower is white, but it also comes in shades of green, purple and orange. That’s pretty awesome! And here’s another interesting fact… have you ever noticed brown spots on cauliflower? Don’t worry if you do, these are most likely just water marks! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
Spuds, taters, potatoes! Call them what you will, they’re all the same thing! Did you know potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space? They’re also great because they are nutritious, delicious and not costly. If you like mashed potatoes, next time try them smashed! Smashed potatoes are the same as mashed potatoes, but with the skin left on. Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
January – rutabaga
With rutabaga available year-round in Ontario, it’s a wonder we don’t eat it more often. Did you know you can bring rutabaga in your school lunch? Yes, just like carrots and celery sticks, you can eat rutabaga raw in stick form or in cubes. Don’t be scared to start a new trend at school! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
February – Valentine’s Day and Family Day
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Why not celebrate with red fruits! Try making a red fruit salad with red apples, strawberries, raspberries and watermelon. Or line these fruits on a stick to make red-coloured fruit kebabs that can be served with a yogurt dip. Can you think of any other red coloured fruits that you enjoy eating? Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
Family day is a great day to spend time in the kitchen and cook together! Cooking is a great activity that can be done as a family. Try making a fruit smoothie or a large fruit salad for a morning snack, or a large platter of your favourite vegetables with homemade dip to serve in the afternoon. You can also ask your parents to share their favourite recipe with you that you can all try to make together for supper! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
March – carrots
Did you know carrots are a root vegetable, meaning they grow underground. Most carrots are orange, but you can also find purple, red, white and yellow carrots! Ontario carrots are available all year round, making them an easy and tasty choice for your school lunch throughout the year. Crunch on carrot and celery sticks as a snack, even dip them in hummus or yogurt dip to add flavour. Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
April – kale
What leafy green has wrinkly leaves and is growing in popularity? Kale! Compared to some leafy greens, kale has a somewhat mild taste. Have you ever tried kale before? Encourage your family to add kale to your grocery list this week. Eat it in salad or blend it with other fruits to make a green smoothie. Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
May – gardening
It’s time to think about gardening! Tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are all easy to plant in your garden and will produce lots of vegetables throughout the summer. Have you ever done a vegetable garden at home? Now’s the time to get started! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
June – berries and local food week
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to think about berries! Local strawberries come first, then raspberries and blueberries. Make sure to visit a berry farm this summer to pick your own fruit and enjoy all the vibrant colours and flavours that come with fruits that are freshly picked! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!
Have you ever heard of Local Food Week? This year, local food week is happening between June 4 and 10 (it changes every year) as Ontario enters peak growing season. Did you know, every time you buy local food, you are supporting Ontario farmers and businesses. You are making a positive impact on the environment and in your community. Buying local also means your food comes from closer to home, and the closer, the fresher! Make sure to try many local produce not only this week but all year round! Paint your plate with vegetables and fruit!