Did you know that June is National Fruit & Vegetables Month? I didn’t until recently, and I think June is the perfect time to celebrate fruits and vegetables. Summer yields a delicious variety of fresh produce. Here are some of the fruits and vegetables that are in season now:
Fruit: Peaches, Plums, nectarines, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, tomatoes, passion fruit, melon, and apricots.
Vegetables: Radishes, beets, cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, corn, garlic, and rhubarb.
What a wonderful assortment of fruits and veggies! And with school out, now is the perfect time to get in the kitchen with your kids and cook up some fresh recipes with some of these gems. Some of our favorite cold vegetable dishes that are perfect for summer feature these ingredients. Roasted zucchini and corn salad tossed with a few peppers, olive oil, salt and pepper makes a perfect side dish for any barbecue. And my daughter and I love to chop avocado, tomatoes and cucumber and mix them together with a little salt and pepper for a refreshing lunch side dish.
Do you have trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies? I can relate. My daughter is open to a wider variety of vegetables than my son, but my son is more adventurous with fruit. One of the ways we have gotten our kids to branch out and explore is by planting a garden. I can’t take credit for that – my husband is the gardener here, but I like to help choose the produce that we grow and I have encouraged the kids to try things from the garden that they wouldn’t normally eat. Of course we have strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes, but we also have four different types of squash, eggplant, broccoli, and cauliflower. And they can’t wait to try cauliflower fried rice with a head of fresh cauliflower from our garden. If you aren’t sure how to get started with a garden, or if you want your kids to be able to understand the process of gardening, Gardening for Beginners by Usborne Books is a wonderful resource to have on hand. If you want to teach younger children about gardens, vegetables, and fruit, the books Secrets of the Apple Tree and Secrets of the Vegetable Garden are really smart, fun books for story time that teach little ones all about what’s going on underground and behind the scenes. Click on the images below to learn more about the books.
I wanted to gauge my kids’ interest in cooking before I took on the huge task of getting them in the kitchen. No sense in battling about how to hold a knife if they have zero interest in preparing food, right? So we started watching MasterChef Junior. I was amazed how into it they were. They were so excited to watch the kids cook, and I was surprised to see how they took an interest in the ingredients and talked about how they would prepare their own dishes certain ways.
I am not a chef. I’m not even that great of a cook. But I can get meals prepared that people will eat, so I guess I’ve got a little bit of skill in there somewhere. My other big dilemma is that I don’t really know how to teach my kids kitchen skills. To address that issue, I decided that we are going to get a subscription to Raddish. It’s a subscription box program featuring cooking curriculum. Each box comes with several recipes and focuses on specific skills. They also send a new cooking tool, a patch for adding to your apron after you complete the box, and each recipe card has additional information that can be used to turn your cooking class into a complete lesson. This is an awesome feature for everyone, and as a homeschool mom, I love that extra educational element. I reviewed Raddish before here on Dandelion Moms, so I know I love the program. Read more about it here.
So we’ll be in the kitchen this summer working on adding some new fruits and veggies to our menus and developing some new recipes of our own. Make the most of the rest of National Fruit and Vegetable month and extend it through the summer to help get your kids eating fresh, healthy produce.
What is your favorite summer fruit or vegetable?