The next time you visit the grocery store, take the time to stop by the produce section.  Instead of searching the snack cake aisle for your children’s snacks, try an apple, or orange, or banana.

Fruits and vegetables are a great place to start.  There are so many choices in the filed of fruits and vegetables, that being picky isn’t even a consideration here. It does not matter where your location, the time of the year, or the method of preparation, there are fruits and vegetables to suit the most discriminating taste

The choices in fruits and vegetables run the gamut in color preference, leafy versus compact, fresh and raw, or freshly picked and cooked.  There are fruits and vegetables high in flavonoids, anti-oxidants, or just plain high in flavor.

What about as a snack?  Do fruits and vegetables meet the snack requirement for taste?  We already know that they’re good for us, but if we’re going to snack, we want something that tastes really good.

There are fruits and vegetables that fill the bill, quite successfully.  What about celery?  Celery with pimento or peanut butter is quite delicious.  Or, you have the broccoli and cauliflower combination with ranch dip.  That’s a healthy alternative that any other snack would be hard pressed to surpass.  In the fruit section, you have so many snack choices it would require you to spend hours debating which one is best.  Apples, oranges, mangos, bananas, peaches and pears, and this just begins the list.

Exotic vegetables from Asian countries, tried and true vegetables from the backyard, or the latest from the Farmer’s market, the choices can seem at times overwhelming.  We should never run out of new recipes to try, new dishes to put before our families and friends, or just simply to fix and eat for our own enjoyment.

Summertime brings a rich bounty of vegetable choices, so many in fact, that most people preserve some in canning, freezing, and pickling.  As a child growing up in the south, summertime meant fresh vegetables straight from the garden.  Fresh peas, corn, and tomatoes on the dinner table with cornbread is a feast fit for a king!  I will have to admit here, that cornbread would not be the healthiest choice in bread, but it’s unbeatable in the taste department.

What about wintertime?  Thanks to greenhouse growers, and improved methods for winter crops, we now have many choices for fruit and vegetable consumption even during the winter months.  Soups and stews that abound during the colder weather are filled with wonderful vegetables to add just the right flavor and texture to a snowy, cold afternoon.

Generally, if you mention having a healthy alternative to that sugary snack, or calorie laden burger for a meal, the looks you receive would be enough to wither.  But healthy alternatives can be really good.  They can provide wonderful taste as well as healthy appeal

So, you see, healthy alternative doesn’t equate to a lack of taste, or zestful appeal.  Healthy alternative just means that while we’re enjoying the wonderful Cobb salad, we can also delight in the fact that we did a double whammy, good and good for you!