Healthy Lifestyle

Farmer's Market-Fresh Food Ideas

Summertime farmer’s markets give you the opportunity to choose from a larger variety of fresh fruits and vegetables grown close to home.

Farm fresh - why is this important?   

Produce is fresher at local farmer’s markets because it is picked right before the market and transported a shorter distance. You are able to purchase fruits and vegetables you enjoy and even try a few new ones.

In addition to great flavor, buying "just-picked" foods may help you improve your eating habits. These foods are naturally low in calories and eating several each day can help you maintain a healthier weight and a healthier you!

Visiting a farmer’s market also lets you speak personally with the people who grow the produce – asking about how it is grown, what fertilizers or pesticides are used, and any other questions you may have.

Farmer’s market checklist

Here are some tips to make the most of your weekly shopping trip to the market:

  • Purchase only what you will use. Fresh produce will most likely have a shorter shelf life than the bagged varieties you purchase at the grocery store. Plan to prepare what you buy within a few days after purchase to avoid spoilage and waste.
  • Shop early to get the best selection. Choose fruits and vegetables free of bruises, which may cause them to spoil more quickly. Remember, fruits and vegetables from a farmer’s market may be slightly softer since they are grown for flavor rather than for transporting a long distance.
  • Place the heavier and firmer produce at the bottom of your bag. This will help keep the softer items from getting smashed.
  • Take cash. Most vendors do not take credit/debit cards or checks. Also, don’t forget your shopping bag.
  • Try a different fruit or vegetable each time you go. You may find something new you like!
  • Bring a new or favorite recipe with you. It will help you avoid missing an important item on your list. Need a great new recipe? Try the one below.

Omaha Farmer’s Markets are going on now, and the complete schedule can be found at

To get a local, healthy boost to your diet, take in the sights, sounds and flavors of your community farmer’s markets and make it a habit you will enjoy each year.

Recipe: Tomato-basil skewers


  • 16 small fresh mozzarella balls
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Thread mozzarella, basil and tomatoes on small skewers. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information: 

46 Calories
3 g Fat
8 mg Cholesterol
1 g Carbohydrates 
3 g Protein
217 mg Sodium
34 mg Potassium 

About the Author

Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE, is passionate about healthy eating and nutrition. Her favorite part of being a registered dietitian nutritionist is seeing someone become healthier through better nutrition and adding more activity in their lives.

See more articles from Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE
Photo of Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE