Families are being challenged these days in many ways. On virtually every level, we are being affected in ways that require creative solutions. For example, I think of buying groceries sometimes as a treasure hunt or an investment…some of the once inexpensive staples, such as shortening or powdered milk, have become expensive.
Returning home to NC in the summer thrills me, in part, because I can find fresh vegetables and fruits earlier than where we live…and at good prices! Near my mother’s home is a garden/pick-your-own strawberries business. It was great getting to pick beautiful fruit to freeze now and eat in the cold of December! We also pick blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries at a farm near our home here in Virginia. Finding ways to gather and put up food for later in the year, reminds me of how people used to prepare for winter by harvesting, preserving, and storing foods. This website talks about How to get the most bang for your buck at a pick-your-own farm.
Many of us live where large home gardens and growing our own food is no longer possible. Finding local sources is not always easy or affordable but good quality food is important to the health of our families. Shopping the weekly specials and comparing prices at several stores helps me lower the overall cost of food. Weekly farmer’s markets are available in many towns and cities. Many local communities also share resources with people through programs such as community gardens, food banks, and churches. An example of this type of program can be seen at http://feedingamerica.org/.
On-line recipes and information about food, nutrition, and health inspire me. At no time before have we had such instant access to information, including educational material on nutritious foods to help guide our food choices. For example, the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for health and nutrition can be found at http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/news/News/new-dietary-guidelinesfocus-on-balance-better-food-choices. The Mayo Clinic posts these guidelines to consider for healthy eating at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dietary-guidelines/MY01594.
Finding different ways of gathering and preparing food requires extra time that may create an additional challenge to an already hectic family schedule. But, I believe using creative solutions to obtain food for myself and my family to eat well is worth the investment of my time and one way to meet life’s challenges…
*Do you have any favorite creative solutions for families to share?!?* [I’d love for you to leave a comment!]
Image Credit: Foods via Wikipedia, Public Domain, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture.] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vegetarian_diet.jpg
- Watermelon and Sweet Iced Tea… (jonibeach.com)
- How to get the most bang for your buck at a pick-your-own farm (mint.com)
- Food Bank in America at http://feedingamerica.org/