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The TOPS 10 Things to Do at a Farmers Market jupitorimages/brand x pictures/Thinkstock By shopping at your local farmers market, you support farm families in your area—and you'll find produce in season that's fresher than what's in a grocery store. 1 in your exercise and scope out the Get best produce and prices by walking all the way around the farmers market and looking at each booth before returning to make your purchases. 2 on the lookout for fresh-cut or potted Be herbs and spices that you can use as lowcal seasoning alternatives to butter, sour cream, dressings and mayonnaise. 3 up on greens and legumes, as Load well as vegetables like carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini that are great raw and easy to cut up for a quick snack or lunch. 4 Steer clear of stands with homemade goodies, such as pies, pastries and cookies, as well as vendors selling ice cream or anything fried. 5 sure to check labels on homemade Be jams, jellies, preserves or chutneys, as they could be high in sugar or salt. Ask the sellers about their ingredients. 6 72 to limit buying produce that counts Try as a starch in the Exchange System. This includes all types of potatoes, corn and pumpkin and some types of squash and peas. HEALTHY & ACTIVE 2014 7 an eye out for new foods to try. Keep Don't be afraid to ask about an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable. Most vendors are happy to explain what it is and how you can prepare it at home. 8 to vendors about which produce Talk will keep for a long time or is good for canning or freezing. Apples, potatoes, squash and garlic will keep for many weeks or months when stored properly. Tomatoes and berries are great for canning. You can make your own salsas, sauces and jam, while controlling the amount of sugar, salt and additives you're eating. 9 Looking to reward yourself? Pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers or a bar of homemade soap at the farmers market instead of reaching for a sugary treat. 10 M ake the trip a TOPS outing! Encourage each other as you enjoy the festive atmosphere, fresh air and healthy foods! n

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