This summer, pick healthy fun

 
By • Published: June 30th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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For many households across the nation, summertime means a house full of kids excited to be out of school and ready for adventure.

Wondering what to do with your little ones this summer? Why not try an activity that’s healthful for your family in more ways than one? Try picking your own fruits and vegetables. Farms across American offer colorful crops of summertime produce that customers can pick for themselves. From cucumbers and tomatoes to watermelon and apples, there’s plenty of variety.

Why would you want to harvest your own produce? Well, for one thing, it’s cheaper than buying fruits and vegetables at a supermarket. For a fraction of grocery store prices, you can tote home locally grown produce that hasn’t been bumped around in a freight truck across the entire continent. These freshly picked beauties will likely have better flavor and nutrient content than the far-traveling kind, too.

You and the kids will get a good workout, fresh country air and a big dose of sunshine while you select the best specimens you can find. And, chances are your little rascals will be more inclined to eat their green beans if they were involved in the harvesting.

Increase your kids’ interest in fresh fruits and veggies even more by letting them select and help make recipes to serve up the bounty you take home.

Not excited to eat blueberries or okra for weeks? Share the goods with friends, or consider time-tested home preservation methods for your produce, such as canning and pickling. Make jams, jellies, sauces and spreads from your hand-picked goods, then can them so they’ll last for months … maybe longer. Check out the website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation for instructions on safe food preserving. Then you can enjoy the succulent sweetness of strawberries long past the end of summer break.