Parents all over Queensland are rejoicing as the kids returned to school this week. The task of preparing kids’ lunch boxes may not be quite as joyful, however, the Brisbane Produce Market has you covered with a huge supply of snackable fruit and vegetables are perfect for busy kids.

Lunch box-friendly lady finger bananas an obvious choice. Their small size makes them ideal for lunchboxes, and as they don’t go brown when cut, they work well in fruit salads as an after-school treat.  Blueberries are in short supply with prices at a premium but strawberries from Stanthorpe are good eating and in good supply.

Other fruit ideas are apricots, peaches, pears and apples, all good eating and in good supply this week. Blood plums from Swan Hill and late-season cherries from Tasmania are other good lunchbox choices. For something a little more indulgent enjoy a cherry black forest cake for dessert to make the most of the cherry season. Pick of the week is the nectarine, with good quality summer fruit from Granite plentiful. Nectarines are a good source of vitamins A and C and also contain some vitamin B3, potassium and dietary fibre. Try poached nectarines for a delicious dessert served with a white wine syrup and whipped cream.

Supplies of late summer tropical fruit continue to be plentiful with pineapples, watermelon, pawpaws and mangoes all good eating. Try the late-season Keitt variety of mango from Northern Queensland. You’ll need to touch them to see if they are ripe as the colour can be misleading. The skin should give slightly to the touch, and even then the mangoes could rest for a few more days.

For something a little exotic try figs from Grantham and dragon fruit, both the red and white variety from the Sunshine Coast. Navel and Cara Cara oranges are in good supply, as are lemons from Mareeba and limes.

Try some Lebanese cucumbers for a great lunchbox snack, or sliced red, green or yellow capsicums. Broccoli and mushrooms are in short supply, as is cauliflower but the quality is good. Beans are affected due to the weather as are snow peas and sugar snaps.

Ditch the plain old sandwich and opt for a healthier (and yummier) alternative. Fill a pita pocket with cherry tomatoes, grated carrot, lettuce, or spinach and whatever else you’d like and you’ve got yourself a great lunchtime meal! Try adding some grated purple carrots for something a little different. They contain powerful antioxidants which fight against heart disease and mental decline.

Rosemary is the pick of the bunch this week for herbs. Stir-fry some purple cabbage and add ginger which is in good supply. Beetroot is good eating this week as is good quality corn from Victoria. Potatoes, also from Victoria are good quality and zucchini is in season.

You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest ‘Your Local Fruit Shop’. Locate your closest store at www.abetterchoice.com.au/store-locator/ Check out the Your Local Fruit Shop Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at https://www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop.

For further information, please contact Angela Hird, Business Innovation Manager, Brismark on 07 3915 4226 or via email [email protected]

About Your Local Fruit Shop / A Better Choice

Your Local Fruit Shop owners are hardworking, local family business people, who are passionate about providing fresh quality fruit and vegetables, excellent customer service and are experts in their field. ‘The A Better Choice’ program is a national initiative supporting over 500 independent retailers, wholesalers across the country who supply more than half of Australia’s fresh produce each year. Buying local is giving back – lending a hand to the young family who runs your local fruit store or supporting a third-generation farmer to get back on their feet.

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