How To Care For Your Fruits & Vegetables
You picked up your fresh Austin WIC produce from the store, but before you cook and prepare your favorite recipes it’s important to take a few steps to prepare your WIC fruit and vegetables.
You should wash all of your produce under running water and dry with a clean paper towel as soon as you bring it home. Also, cut away any damaged or bruised areas before you eat or prepare, according to guidelines from the CDC.
The CDC also recommends: “Keeping fruits and vegetables separate from raw foods that come from animals, such as meat, poultry, and seafood and refrigerating fruits and vegetables within 2 hours after you cut, peel, or cook them (or 1 hour if the outside temperature is 90° or warmer). Chill them at 40°F or colder in a clean container.”
If you don’t think you will eat your fresh produce before it goes bad, you can always freeze it. Frozen bananas are great in smoothies. For best results, blanch vegetables like broccoli before freezing. Place cut broccoli in boiling water for about 3 three minutes, derailed, cooled and placed in freezer bags and then freeze.
Blanching times for vegetables vary, but there are a lots of guides, like this one, from the Texas Agricultural Extension Office.
AUSTIN WIC PRODUCE CLASSES
Texas WIC currently offers two Click & Learn classes on their website that offers great information about preparing and eating fruits and vegetables. To sign up for the free classes, visit the following website and follow the instructions for taking the classes.
The first WIC class, Food Safety at Home teaches about:
- Food safety practices
- Importance of washing hands and surfaces
- Ways to prevent bacteria from spreading
- How to cook at a safe temperature
The second WIC online class, Follow the Rainbow with Fruits & Vegetables, covers the following topics:
- Health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables
- Daily fruit and vegetable recommendations
- Tips for increasing fruits and vegetables
Texas WIC is a free nutritional education program that provides nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support and free food packages to qualifying mothers and their children up to age five. To apply for the program, apply online.
Texas WIC is offering extended fruit and vegetable benefits through September. Individuals are receiving $35 in fruit and vegetable benefits instead of the normal $11 per person benefit. Learn more online at Texas WIC.
Lone Star Family Market is a primarily WIC grocery store chain in Austin, Round Rock and San Marcos that caters to WIC clients by providing an easy, hassle-free shopping experience for WIC clients. Find a location near you at LoneStarFamilyMarket.com/locations.