Overwhelmed by options at the local Farmer’s Market? Listen up, ‘cause these tips and trick will make your local Farmer’s Market a ‘must’ in your nutrition toolbox.
Your local Farmer’s Market is a great way to support local farmers & businesses while loading up your pantry with nutritious and delicious fresh fruits, vegetables and homemade foods. However, much like a discount department store (we all love shopping right?) these market can easily take you out of your comfort zone… there are no labels, no nutritional information, and most markets have a variety of vendors — not to mention the endless supply of decadent homemade goodies (see tip #5).
Without further delay, here are my top 5 hacks for a successful trip to the market.
1. Make a Plan. Check out the list of vendors before you go and scope out your pantry and fridge to make a rough list of needs. No one wants to bring home a beautiful watermelon only to find a whole one already in the fridge.
2. ASK QUESTIONS!! These vendors know their products. The meat department at your local grocery store has beef labeled by fat content. These nutritional labels are usually not the case at the market, but just ASK. Ask about fat content, recipe ideas, etc. You will learn valuable information and may find a new favorite recipe.
3. ‘Window’ Shop for a Lap. Walk a lap around the market to see what each vendor is offering for the week. I always find unexpected surprises from some of my favorite vendors when they have a new product. If bell peppers are on your list – see which vendor has the best price and product. As an added bonus, you will get some extra steps in your day!
4. Take a Freezer Bag. Markets are most popular in the summer months when it’s nice and toasty outside. Take a freezer bag so you can keep your perishable items fresh until you return home.
5. Avoid or Enjoy Temptation. In addition to locally raised meat, vine-ripened veggies, free-range eggs, and fresh fruits, most Farmer’s Markets have a plethora of yummy treats… Cupcakes, pies, bread, oh my!! If you’ve just had a full meal but can’t avoid a cupcake once you’ve caught a glimpse or a sniff – then avoid the cupcake stand. Or if a cupcake fits into your nutritional plan – then enjoy ONE. If they only offer large quantities and you don’t want 11 cupcakes lying around the house – ask them if they could sell you just ONE.
The Farmer’s Market can be a fun family trip to look forward to each week. Make the most out of your trip this week!!