Now that autumn is officially upon us, there are countless opportunities to celebrate the season with meals and snacks full of unique flavors.
Choosing locally grown foods will not only taste delicious, but can help save money and support the local economy. Purchasing dairy, fruits, vegetables and other locally produced foods can amp up your nutrition and support nearby farmers.
Local foods are often more fresh, flavorful and affordable. The cost-savings is a result of eliminating the transportation expenses, along with additional markups found on foods coming from other states, or even other countries.
Purchasing local foods helps not only support local farmers, but also helps to protect jobs on the farm. In fact, when you choose dairy, you are supporting the 78,000 jobs in Illinois and 111,000 jobs in Missouri created by the dairy industry.
By eating milk, cheese and yogurt, you are getting nutrients necessary for good health and directly helping the local economy thrive.
This season, choose fall flavors that pair well with dairy foods to help meet the required three servings a day of milk, cheese and yogurt. Apple slices with cheddar cheese, raw vegetables, such as broccoli, with yogurt dip and pumpkin spice smoothies are snacks that place the spotlight on seasonal foods while providing much needed nutrients.
The dairy case has endless options for combining the nine essential nutrients of dairy foods with apple, pumpkin, salted caramel and other flavors to remind your taste buds that we have indeed made it to fall.
Monica Nyman is a senior nutrition educator for the St. Louis District Dairy Council. Get dairy-rich recipes or additional information about the council at www.stldairycouncil.org.