WIAW + Benefits to eating in Season

I’m linking up with Jenn today for What I ate Wednesday.  I’m also going to share some of L’s recent eats (she just turned 3!), and link up with Brittany.  She hosts Munchkin Meals the first Thursday of the month, so be sure to check out her site for lots of great toddler eating suggestions and links.

I’ve been craving many of the same foods lately: sweet potatoes, eggs, avocados, greens and stews are staples.  And chocolate, of course.

[Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, topped with avocado; Snack: Pear and clementine; Lunch: Greens with leftover veggie burger, roasted sweet potatoes, oil and vinegar; Snack: Roasted butternut squash seeds and kale chips; Dinner: Black bean chili, cookie dough balls and unpictured banana with cashew butter]

I noticed lately that I crave seasonal foods… I want kale and sweet potatoes right now, and warming foods like chili.  We do our best to eat locally and seasonally, when possible.

Most of us have heard the many benefits of local, seasonal foods:

  • more nutritious
  • more flavorful
  • fresher and longer lasting
  • better for the environment
  • more economical
  • less pesticides
  • better for the local farmers/economy

In a recent lecture at the nutrition school, I heard something I hadn’t thought about before:  the foods that grow around us right now are the ones our bodies need most.  They provide nutrients that fit the demands of our body in that particular season.

Lighter, cooling salads and fresh fruit in the summer… warmer, grounding root vegetables and more energy-dense foods in the winter.

The traditional people of any part of the world eat local diets that give them exactly what they need to thrive in that environment.

Of course, now we can mix and match foods from all around the world at any time of year.  It’s not that we cannot have tropical foods in colder seasons, but it may be helpful to recognize the energy that food brings and what it offers the body…   I enjoyed reflecting on that this week.

Okay, on to L and her eats these days.  Yesterday, she also had scrambled eggs for breakfast, and then it was her day to go to “school” for a few hours. I packed her lunch with a sandwich (one piece Ezekial bread with almond butter-shredded carrot-apple spread)< — yep, still a staple! — two clementines, and halved cherry tomatoes.

Almond butter-shredded carrots-shredded apples spread

For snack she had a yogurt from the generous folks at Chobani who sent us Raspberry-dark chocolate and Coffee-dark chocolate samples.  She’s still happy with plain (organic, full-fat) yogurt mixed with blueberries, so these are a special treat!

The Coffee-Dark Chocolate ones were for the adults. She asked that we save one for her when she’s old enough to have it. :)

At dinner, she had a few bites of avocado, 1/2 banana and some cheese.  She is not interested in soups/stews these days where all the ingredients are mixed together.

One of her favorite snacks lately makes me think of my friend Laura and her #strangebutgood concoctions:

Doesn’t appeal to me at all!

L loves canned pumpkin straight from the can (which I will never understand!) and one day insisted that we mix it with unsweetened applesauce and sunflower seed butter for her snack. I need to pick up more pumpkin for her- this is one of her favorite veggies lately!

Do you make an effort to eat locally or seasonally?  Any strange but good combinations in your house?

48 thoughts on “WIAW + Benefits to eating in Season

  1. I need to stop being lazy and save my squash seeds. I used to do that and roast them all the time – wonderful on top of a soup. I honestly don’t pay enough attention to seasonal vs not. I know I should I really know this. I guess I’m really lazy and also tend to stick to the veggies I know, the ones I know I like and how to use.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..New Spin Workout and Way to Go WednesdayMy Profile

  2. First, I need to have you in my home to coach my eating and food, second, I’m not a jealous person, but that the fact that your baby girl is such a good eater makes me a wee bit envious (I think I have caved into junk too many time with my kids) and last but not least, you are amazing at putting it all together. The farmers market is tomorrow and you have completely inspired me to go…. Enjoy the rest of your week. xoxo
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Book Review: Think Like ZuckMy Profile

    • It’s harder here than Ithaca– we used to have a CSA and farmer’s market that we loved. There are some okay options, but it’s not the same.
      As for the toddler food, I almost posted a disclaimer that we both tend to eat better than average on the wiaw days! We certainly have our moments with junk and she has days when no veggies get in her belly.
      Laura recently posted..WIAW + Benefits to eating in SeasonMy Profile

  3. When I studied abroad in Italy during college, we took a cooking class as part of our program, and the cooking teacher told us that eating in season provides the nutrients our bodies need at that time of the year. That was the first time I’d ever heard that and it really stuck with me. I really like the idea that the earth provides us with the nutrients we need with each changing season. I don’t exclusively in-season but I try to as much as possible!
    Gabby @ Marathons and Macarons recently posted..Spirit of the MarathonMy Profile

  4. For me, it’s a bit easier to eat locally in the summer, when the Farmer’s Market is in town once a week. I do try and eat seasonally, but I know I could do better. Problem is, I get so tempted by the produce at the grocery store, that I go ahead and buy whatever–even though I know it must have come from far away because there’s no way that it’s in season. Something to work on!
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad and M²T³ EventMy Profile

  5. That is so great that L loves to eat veggies and clean! I know it can be so hard to have kids eat properly. My niece is a horribly picky eater and just wants to graze on junk food (pop tarts, gummies, chips)

    I love to eat local, it is much cheaper to visit one of the local farmers markets and get the bulk of veggies – and of course whatever is in season. I live in Strawberry/Tomato capital of the world so I usually have easy access to these all times of the year!
    beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Weekly Workouts Roundup + Another injuryMy Profile

  6. You know you’re right! I was listening to a chef talk about true italian cuisine and how simple it is. They ONLY use the ingredients that are readily available around them. That means the meals are fresher, cheaper to make and just better for you!

    All that looks amazing!
    Katie @momslrb recently posted..Blog Reading is DangerousMy Profile

  7. We really don’t go the farmers market because the only decent one is over 50 miles away. My veggies twnd to be what is on sale. My shopping method is to look at what’s on sale in the veggie isle and make it work. Not exactly planning but right now the budget is the most important.
    Carli recently posted..Vegan "Oreo" Cookies #WIAWMy Profile

  8. I try to eat as seasonally as I can, too. And I have definitely been on the hearty soups/stews kick all winter!

    Great book you might want to read sometime by Barbara Kingsolver on how her family lived (in Va!) for one full year ONLY on local foods. It’s called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and includes some really great recipes, too.
    misszippy recently posted..What I’m loving right nowMy Profile

  9. I think it’s awesome that you crave things in season. I need to be better and learn how to crave things like kale and sweet potatoes. That is so amazing that your daughter has the taste for the things you’ve shared in this post. I love that she requests canned pumpkin and apple sauce. It’s so cool that she already understands what she likes and can think about how to mix them together to make them even better.

  10. Mmm. Definitely craving chocolate year round!!

    Eating seasonally is a challenge here, since it’s an hour to a real grocery store/farmer’s market. I have to freeze a lot of stuff, and can it or it goes bad in a week. One thing that keeps well is fresh romaine, but i like to freeze chard and use it later on.
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  11. Sounds like your daughter is going to be a good eater, willing to experiment. I was very insistent on that with my daughter. We always stick to “in-season” here and since we’re in farm country, we get a lot of goodies from my inlaws. We always grow our own tomato plants as well and I usually have 3 full months each year of our own yield. Those little tomatoes you have were similar to what I grew last year and beloved by my daughter as well. Yay for great eaters! I will say, my girl is probably different than most kids in her class. She’s willing now to try all kinds of things, like you, starting early with good habits was key. Her favorite right now is sardines (seriously!) with rice and spinach. Good omegas and I always get spinach in the girl :) Happy eating!!!
    Christina recently posted..Why hiring a running coach is a good ideaMy Profile

  12. I’ with L – sometimes you just want what you want!

    I love your eats, and I love what you’ve got to say about eating seasonally and giving our bodies what they need for the environment they’re in. Has that changed somewhat because we spend so much time indoors – we’ve changed the environment?
    Kate recently posted..Running and Social MediaMy Profile

  13. that is a great point and reminder about eating in season. Thanks for sharing! Love that you posted the little one’s eats!! that last combo I think my 2 year old would love!

  14. Your cookie dough balls look amazing. I am not talented enough to do stuff like that so I just order my Healthy Bites.
    I do love to shop at the farmers’ market when I can (it tends to fall on long run days) and prefer local restaurants to chains, but other than that I need to do a better job about eating locally.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted..5 by the 5th – Race 2 RecapMy Profile

  15. It’s funny because I too have noticed that my body has been craving kale and sweet potatoes and winter squash. And green smoothies. haha. We’re lucky that we have year-round farmers markets near us and we try to eat seasonally/locally but it’s also hard. I too am in awe of L’s eating! My kids will eat the same 5 lunches/dinners every week!!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Decisions. Decisions.My Profile

  16. Thank you so much for sharing! We used to buy most of our produce (and bread and other things) from the farmers market in the summer, which was amazingly fresh and delicious. Now that we’re moving away from rainy Vancouver and down south to sunny San Diego, I am MORE than excited to check out farmers markets there and possibly joining a CSA, if we can find one.
    Susan recently posted..Munchkin Meals & What I Ate WednesdayMy Profile

  17. I love what you had to say about eating with the seasons. It does make a lot of sense. L and I have both been eating sweet potato fries almost every day and I know that more than anything else, when summer gets here, I get such a craving for all of the seasonal fruits! Since I am pregnant, of course I want them now, especially purple grapes! Can’t wait! Also, I am so jealous of those Chobani Bites. I saw them a few weeks ago and they were $2.50 a piece! That is crazy expensive!
    Kelly @ Runmarun recently posted..Munchkin Meals: Full Day EditionMy Profile

  18. What you said about eating local, seasonable foods makes so much sense! I’ve heard so many times that you should eat local and always thought it was from more of an environmental standpoint – to lesson the greenhouse gases needed to transport. The way you explained it is much more logical and impacting. My body definitely craves those warming, starchy, winter foods right now!

  19. Yumm…..

    I try eating what is in season. Sadly, this is not always the case since my veggies comes from Whole Foods/Publix supermarket and I pick up what I see/plan to use.
    I am going to try to eat seasonal. Thanks for inspiring me to make a change.

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