Using your resources
Take advantage of programs that your family qualifies for – school meals, WIC, and others. School meals are one of the best ways to keep your children healthy and ready to learn. Did you know that children who eat school breakfasts score better on tests, and have better memories and attention spans? Encourage your child to enjoy meals at school – they offer a variety of healthy foods and help children learn. They can also save you money!
National school breakfast program
Like the National School Lunch Program, the National School Breakfast Program provides free and reduced-price meals for eligible students. Breakfast is an important meal, especially for school children. Kids who start their day with breakfast pay more attention in class, get better grades, go to the school nurse less often, and are less likely to be overweight than children who don’t eat breakfast. Check with your child’s school to see if it takes part in the School Breakfast Program and to get more information on the school’s policies. Breakfast at school is a great way to give your child the breakfast and nutrition they need to do well in school.
Trying the summer food service program
Check with your local school district to see if there is a Summer Food Service Program in your area for your children. You may know this as the Summer Lunch or Summer Feeding Program. This program gives free lunches to any child aged 2-18 during the summer season. Some of these programs have activities and educational programs, too. Resources like these can be fun and stretch your food dollars, too!
Using "pick your own" produce and farmers' markets
Save money and enjoy the outdoors by going to a “Pick your own” farm. There are farms all across Massachusetts that let you pick your own strawberries, blueberries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins! Some have vegetables like salad greens or tomatoes, too. To find a” pick your own” farm, visit the Massgrown website to find a map of farms around Massachusetts. Besides saving you money, they are a great way to teach children about foods and how they grow. And if you don’t have a “pick-your-own” farm nearby, then try shopping at a local farmers’ market.
Enjoy fresh produce in season
Spring and summer are just around the corner, and so is the time to start enjoying fresh, local fruits and vegetables! Produce is often less expensive when it’s in season, and that’s also when it’s the freshest. The local farmers’ market is a great place to get produce in season. Visit Farm Fresh to see exactly when and where the closest farmers’ markets take place. The website also has a calendar to show when fruits and vegetables are in season. Follow this blog’s monthly posts to learn more about how to buy and prepare fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. The farmers at the market are often happy to help, too. Plan a trip to a farmers’ market this season and see all it has to offer!