Not only does buying fruits and vegetables that are in season offer you the best value for your money as well as more nutritious for you, but it also supports our local farmers, the environment, and will help boost our local economy.
From the country’s earliest days, agriculture has held a crucial place in American culture and economic prosperity. Farmers play an important role in society. They ensure a safe and reliable food supply, support job growth and economic development. Florida is the nation’s second largest producer of seasonal tropical crops like tomatoes, blueberries, peppers, cucumbers, peaches, grapefruits; and there is an abundance of them right now.
So, next time you’re at the grocery store, choose “Fresh From Florida” to support our Florida Farmers while eating locally grown food that’s fresher and better for you.
What's in season now?
- Fruits: Blueberries, Grapefruits, Peaches, Oranges, Tangerines, Mangoes, Guava, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Watermelon, Mamey, and Dragon Fruit.
- Vegetables: Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers, Peppers, Radishes, Snap Beans, Squash, Eggplant, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Sweet Corn and Tomatoes.
What is locally grown?
We are very fortunate to have our very own farmers in Miami-Dade County where we can find an assortment of produce ranging from oranges, sugarcane, dragon fruit, guava, mamey, tomatoes and more!
Why is important to eat fruits and vegetables?
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is high in antioxidants and fiber that may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fruits and vegetables are important sources of many nutrients including potassium, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin A protects the eyes and skin from infections. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption and healing. Potassium helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, and folic acid helps the body form red blood cells. They are also naturally low in calories and have no cholesterol.
What foods are in the vegetable group?
Based on their nutrient content, vegetables are grouped into five categories. The various colors also serve as indicators of the health benefits.
- Dark-green:Lutein and zeaxanthin are the most common carotenoids found in green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy, collard greens, dark green leafy lettuce, kale, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, turnip greens, and watercress. Lutein and zeaxanthin have anti-inflammatory effects and may reduce the risk of age-related diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness.
- Starchy: Corn, cassava (yuca), green peas, green lima beans, plantains, potatoes, and water chestnut. Starchy vegetables are a good source of energy.
- Red & Orange: Lycopene and beta-carotene are the carotenoids responsible for the red and orange / yellow pigments in fruits and vegetables. Lycopene is one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants in nature and protects against heart disease and certain types of cancers. Beta-carotene gives the orange pigment and offers the same health benefits but is also an important source of Vitamin A. Acorn squash, butternut squash, carrots, Hubbard squash, pumpkin, red peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and tomato juice.
- Beans & Peas: Also known as legumes may be counted as either a vegetable or a protein. These include black beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, soybeans, and white beans.
- Other Vegetables: Artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bean sprouts, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, parnips, turnips, wax beans, and zucchini.
Did you know?
- There are more than 47,000 farms in Florida.
- Florida is the only state that commercially produces guava in United States.
- Mushrooms are 90% water and one of the few naturally occurring sources of Vitamin D. Florida mushrooms are available year-round.
- Avocado is the only fruit high in monounsaturated fats - a healthy fat. Avocados can replace oils or butter in your meals and contain more potassium than bananas.
- Eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, zucchini, butternut squash and avocados are fruits but considered vegetables for nutritional and culinary purposes.
- Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature.
- Cucumbers are 96% water and when chilled they can give instant sunburn relief.
- You can get more juice out of any citrus fruit by microwaving it for 20 seconds.
- The first Haden Mango tree which fruited in Coconut Grove, is still alive today.
Get Movin' with #GiveMe5
In addition to adopting healthier eating habits, it's important to get moving! We invite you and your family to join our Healthy Kids Challenge by downloading the Walker Tracker app on your tablet or smartphone. The more steps you take, the more chances you have to win an Apple Watch or a Whole Foods gift card!
There are many benefits to eating well, from disease prevention to overall health and wellness. That’s why Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation have partnered with Kohl’s Cares on a program called #GiveMe5 to encourage children and families throughout the community to stay active and eat their five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Our partnership brings healthy eating tips and recipes to kids in local schools and to families at various community events throughout the year. For more information, please visit our #GiveMe5 page.