Fall is in the air.  The leaves are turning colors, the air is getting crisp and the days are getting shorter. Every new season brings the opportunity to try new activities, start new traditions and to experience new foods with your family. One of the best ways to try new foods is to eat according to what is in season.  Eating seasonally and locally (buying foods at your local farmer’s markets) will not only save you money (seasonal fruits and veggies are less expensive) but will also give you the most nutritional value because once a fruit or vegetable is harvested their nutritional value begins to decrease.

To find out what is in season in your area and for your local farmer’s markets log onto sustainabletable.org.  Here is a sampling of what is in season during the months of October and November:











Passion fruit






Winter squash


In Season: Apples   

A medium unpeeled apple contains approximately 4 grams of fiber.  Some of which is soluble fiber that plays a role in lowering cholesterol while the rest is insoluble fiber, which helps with digestion and weight control.  This month try a new apple recipe or take your child apple picking; this way your child gets involved and knows where the food is coming from.   Go to www.pickyourown.org to find a place in your neighborhood to go apple picking.

Apple Cheddar Quesadillas

-Apples (sweet and crunchy works best: Fuji, Braeburn, Granny smith)

-Regular or whole-wheat tortillas

-Shredded cheddar cheese

Cut apple into thin slices.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over one half of the tortilla.  Place 4-5 apple slices on top of the cheese.  Then sprinkle 2 more tablespoons of cheese on top of the apple slices and fold in half.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat (use cooking spray, if desired) and cook until the cheese is melted and quesadillas are golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

In Season: Pumpkins

Teach your child that pumpkins are not just for carving, but for eating too.  The best type of baking pumpkin is a Sugar or Pie pumpkin.  A pumpkin is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with fiber, calcium, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene that may prevent heart disease and certain types of cancer.  The good news is that fresh and canned pumpkin is equally nutritious.  So if you do not have the time to cut up a pumpkin and bake it, one cup of canned pumpkin contains 310% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin A.


But don’t just stop at pumpkins though.  There are a wide variety of other winter squashes just waiting to be tried such as butternut, carnival, and acorn squash.

How to enjoy a winter squash:

Cut in half, scoop the seeds out, drizzle with olive oil (and brown sugar if you like), sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20- 25 minutes.

Remember if you want your family to try new things you need to provide the food and model the behavior.  Just because your child does not like it the first time does not mean he will never like it.  It may take up to seven tries before a child will accept a new food!

Happy Eating and Happy Fall!


Katie Valdes MS RD CSSD





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