BLOG: The end of summer always comes too quickly and the thought settling into an old work routine often comes as a disappointment. But don’t move too fast, because summer still has one final celebration: Labor Day! It’s a day to rest, relax, and enjoy all that is granted through our hard work.
It is also a time to pay tribute to the local farmers who have labored all summer to supply our families with fresh and delicious foods. It is no surprise that most traditional Labor Day recipes contain fresh ingredients available at local farmers’ markets and roadside stands.
Once you have stocked up on meat, corn, and other vegetables from local farms, don’t forget to stop into your year-long farmer’s market: Stewart’s Shops! Stewart’s milk comes fresh from farms near their plant, and Stewart’s eggs are all sourced locally from Thomas’ Poultry Farm. Without the additional processing of most other store brands, the local products at Stewart’s Shops provide more vitamins and minerals per serving and also offer the opportunity to support small and local farmers.
And because farm fresh food is often more nutritious than products that have been shipped and stored, using local ingredients allows you to provide a more nutritious Labor Day meal for your family. Here are a few tips on how to make a healthy picnic from the ingredients in your own community.
-Make sure to include a variety of seasonal vegetables. Look for corn, zucchini, tomatoes, and squash to add color to your plate!
-Fill up on protein foods, such as local meats, dairy products, and baked beans, and avoid eating too many refined grains that lack nutritional value.
-Try marinating chicken in Stewart’s buttermilk before grilling. Despite its name and creamy texture, buttermilk is actually a low-fat, healthy option.
-Use Stewart’s low-fat cheese in place of other brands with that contain more fat and calories.
-Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in traditional potato salad or coleslaw recipes.
-Make dessert healthy! Grill your favorite fruits, such as peaches, apples and bananas, and top them with a half a cup of Stewart’s Low-Fat Vanilla Ice Cream. This is an easy way to control portions and avoid calorie-dense sweets.
And don’t forget: Summer may be ending quickly, but Stewart’s is your year-round source of fresh and local foods!
-Christine Sloat MS, RD, CDN
About Christine: Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition from The Sage Colleges in Troy. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC.