Your Nutrition Guide to the Harvest Season
We love Ontario harvest season! The leaves are changing and produce is at its prime. Food for Tots fall and winter menu is always packed with nutrition for energetic growing bodies, including lots of local harvest fruits and veggies that are full of goodness.
To make the most of the harvest season, take a look at all the nutritional benefits our local produce has to offer:
Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, a protective antioxidant which gives them their bright orange color. This nutrient is converted into vitamin A in the body and plays a role in eye and skin health.
2. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash provides a source of fibre, which supports gut health and keeps children ‘regular’ and feeling great. It contains different B vitamins, which work together to make red blood cells and keep the nervous system healthy.
Beets offer a good source of folate, a B vitamin which supports growth, and a mineral called manganese, which plays a role in building healthy bones.
Pears are one of the best fruit sources of fibre, with over 5 grams per fruit! It is recommended that children ages 1-3 consume 19 grams of dietary fibre per day.
Eggplants may not be as naturally sweet as the others in this list, but they provide small amounts of a large variety of important vitamins and minerals and they are a perfect addition to soups, stews, and sauces because they soak up flavours so easily.
Along with vitamin C, apples also provide children with antioxidants, called flavonoids, which help to protect the cells in their bodies from damage.
Find more fruits and vegetables that are in season here.
By Melissa Frankel, Registered Dietitian, Food for Tots