Jennifer McQuillan, DTR
With fall in full swing and Thanksgiving just around the corner, take some time to enjoy the season with friends and family. Delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables, a visit to the farm or orchard, Thanksgiving celebrations, and community outreach opportunities, bring nutrition, family and friends together all month long.
Throughout the year, my children and I visit our local farm; we pay close attention to what is being harvested. It’s amazing to see how interested they are as seeds grow into plentiful crops that they can pick, eat and use in baked goods. Our favorite time is around Thanksgiving; the aroma of warm apple cider donuts baking fills the air as we shop for our favorite fruits and veggies. It’s a wonderful reminder that all foods can fit!
Explore these ideas to maximize the season.
Visit Farms & Orchards For many, November marks the end of local farmer’s market season, but farms and orchards offer activities as well as fruits and veggies to enjoy! Take advantage of apple picking and scoop up the last of the crazy- shaped gourds and pumpkins for baking. Then race your way out of the corn maze before the cold hits. Shop produce at indoor markets for favorites like sweet potatoes, kale, spaghetti squash, parsnips, pears, apples and cranberries. Many fall fruits and veggies are perfect to display as decoration and then delicious to eat as you wish. This colorful collection of produce provides fiber, flavor, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. It’s a perfect time to boost your intake of antioxidant-rich foods.
Explore Nature & Create Take the crew on a nature scavenger hunt, visit Discover the Forest to find a park or forest near you. The treasures you find can bring color and life to your table without added cost. The kids can design centerpieces, place settings or wreaths for friends and family using acorns, pinecones, leaves and more! What a fun way to celebrate new traditions and stay active.
A Family Affair Here are just a few ways to create memorable moments while nourishing your family:
- Children can be involved in meal planning from start to finish by helping you create a shopping list, prepare and serve their own dishes.
- Pumpkins are not just for decoration! Small, round pumpkins (typically found in the produce aisle this time of year) are perfect pie/baking pumpkins. They have a thicker, sweeter pulp. Remember to also keep the seeds- roast them for a crunchy, nutritious snack!
- Create your own harvest trail mix – combine Pepperidge Farm® Cheddar Made with Whole Grain Goldfish®, some dark chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
Recipes – Traditional with a Twist
Have each family member pick a new recipe to try, or tweak a traditional favorite in preparation for Thanksgiving day. Why not puree parsnips in with your sweet potatoes? Try one or two recipes a week and vote on which makes the cut for the Thanksgiving feast.
A few of our favorite apps and sides:
Chipotle Chicken Bean DipPear, Gorgonzola & Honey Cups
Sweet Potato & Parsnip Puree Lighter Green Bean Casserole
Roasted Orange Cranberry SauceParmesan Garlic Cauliflower Mash
Not much of a cook? Let Campbell do the work for you. Pour Campbell’s® Organic Creamy Butternut Squash soup in the slow cooker and your first course is ready to go! Have little ones eager to help in the kitchen? Check out fantastic tips for cooking with kids.
Nourish Neighbors At Campbell we are committed to outreach programs, such as Campbell Healthy Communities. As we enjoy the gifts of fall, let’s keep giving back to our community in mind. Local food drives and soup kitchens are a great way for families and friends to come together and help those in need. Sign up to volunteer through church, school and sport group events that are posted in your community, or even start your own. What a rewarding way to help nourish our neighbors!Warm Fall Wishes, Jen
Jennifer McQuillan, DTR
Jennifer works as Associate Nutrition Analyst within the Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition team at Campbell Soup Company, where she has worked since 2012. She provides nutrition support and collaborates with sales and marketing partners within Foodservice business units. Her responsibilities include establishing product nutrition facts panels, calculating school meal contributions, and recipe analysis. Jennifer has experience in a variety of nutrition-related jobs, including hospital menu management implementation, product nutrition database development and customer service. She received her Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition from Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, NJ. Jennifer is a Registered Dietetic Technician.
- http://www.discovertheforest.org/?m=1&_sm_au_=iVVq6tT10BdfMWnQ Discover the Forest
- Cooking with Kids http://www.campbellskitchen.com/Articles/Cooking%20With%20Kids
- http://www.campbellcsr.com/Opportunities/HealthyCommunities.html?_sm_au_=iVVq6tT10BdfMWnQ Campbell Healthy Communities