Eat the seasons

Something I have done since  my eldest daughter was a baby is eat by season. My time working at Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming is probably where I first started. All the recipes on this blog use fruit and/or veg that’s in season.

There are lots of reasons for eating seasonal fruit and veg: reducing your carbon emissions, it’s cheaper, it tastes better, we need to support British farmers and it’s likely to have higher levels of vitamins, like Vitamin C compared to produce shipped/flown in from overseas. Have a look at the www.eatseasonably.co.uk for more info.

It’s not about abstinence but enjoying fruit and veg at its best.  It’s about connecting you with the seasons and where your food comes from. This time of year is a bit hard – I miss my salads and tomatoes, my eldest daughter misses strawberries and blueberries.* I know though as soon as those seasons come in we’ll be making the most of the produce they bring. 

With fruit this time of year, you don’t have to stick to apples and rhubarb. Buying fruit from Southern Europe, gives you more choice and buying kiwi fruit from Italy rather than Australia or South America is better for the environment. Bananas are a must have all year round too – always go for fairtrade.

I promise you, if you haven’t already tried eating seasonally,  I’m sure you and your family will grow to love it – give it a year and see. For information on what’s in season right now go to eattheseasons.co.uk  and like their Facebook page for recipe ideas and inspiration.

Navel oranges are in season at the moment …I cut some easy-to-handle slices for the babster but she went for the whole half an orange and tucked in, getting very messy.

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She’s just over a year now, and one of the ways I help her to feel independent and in control is by giving her choices, so I’ll put two types of fruit in front of her and ask which she wants to eat. Toddlers from around 18 months are learning to be in control and independent and they often do this by refusing food. One of the ways I get round this (hopefully – it worked with the eldest) is by giving choice.

I’m also buying organic kiwi fruit from Italy at the moment, I peel most of it and leave the bottom with the skin on to make it easy for my daughter to hold.

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Pomegranates are next on the list… highly nutritious and fiddly as anything – they should keep her busy for a bit …

*When blueberries, and other berries are in season, freeze some for Winter months as a treat, or you can buy frozen blueberries – they’re softer so easier for little ones to eat whole. For younger babies it’s a good idea to squish them rather than give them whole. If you live near Wimborne in Dorset (or are on holiday down that way) you can always go to Trehane Nursery and buy frozen blueberries or pick your own in July/August and freeze some. Or even better buy some blueberry plants from there, like I did.

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