Forget about all those little umbrella drinks and ice-cream sandwiches that you devoured poolside this summer. It’s officially Autumn and time to turn over a new leaf! The best part about this time of year is that it’s right in the middle of the harvest, which means grocery stores and farmers markets are packed with lots of delicious heart-healthy fruits and veggies that are perfect for getting your nutrition goals back on track.

I love visiting a farmers market in the fall. It’s the perfect place to pick up some dinner time inspiration. My family loves to walk through the aisles and aisles of fresh produce straight from the local farms and gardens. We ooh and aah over the crisp apples, make bets on who can find the largest pumpkin, and take turns picking through the peppers. It’s a great way to get everyone involved in the dinner planning and turn up the veggie enthusiasm. I’ve noticed that even small children get excited when their parents purchase the bag of Brussels sprouts they’ve selected! Getting everyone involved in the process is a great way to make sure plates are cleaned and stomachs are full of good nutrition this season.

One of the things that I love (and hate) about the autumn months are the holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving are wonderful for catching up with family and joining in with the community, but they have a tendency to throw my diet off track. However, a good way to avoid packing on the seasonal pounds this year is to keep eating fall’s fresh fruits and veggies! Good nutrition through the season will help stave off those cravings for Halloween sweets and keep your waistline in check when you hit the Thanksgiving buffets.

Eating seasonally is also a great way to save a little cash! While grocery stores will carry an assortment of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, buying seasonal produce can give your wallet a break. When foods are in season locally they are usually more abundant and affordable, which is always a plus!

For more on the season’s fresh fruits and veggies check out the American Heart Association’s Seasonal Produce page.

What are your tips for eating seasonally this fall? Do you have a favorite fruit or veggie that’s in season? Tell us about it! We’d love to hear from you!