Managing Food with an Expiration Date

Fresh fruits and vegetables are so good for you! Eating them helps you be healthy and strong so you can have energy to play outside with your friends.  Fruits and veggies are meant to be grown, harvested, and eaten in a short amount of time. There are some other food items, like milk, that has an expiration date. An expiration date is printed on a container and tells you what day that food goes bad. Make sure you have enough time to eat the food before the expiration date. 

When you’re picking out a fruit, vegetable, or other food item at the grocery store, first look at their color and size. Do they have dark spots or bruises? Is it wrinkly, or really soft? That may mean the fruit or vegetable will not be good to eat for very long. It’s important to remember to eat them before they start to grow old and rot. If the item is in a package, look for the expiration date. 

Your body can best use the nutrients, or the good-for-you ingredients in veggies and fruit, if they stay fresh. There are a few ways to organize and store the food correctly so that it stays fresh for longer. 

Keep them in the fridge. Fruits should almost always be in the fridge: this helps them last longer and keeps them from turning brown. Bananas do the best on the counter compared to other fruits, so if you run out of room in the fridge, keep them on the countertop! Veggies should be contained in a cool space, but avoid freezing them if you can.

Store them in different drawers. Putting veggies and fruit in separate drawers and bags will help keep them fresh. They will also taste better for longer!

Pay close attention to the expiration date. That includes dairy, which is anything that contains cow’s milk. Cow’s milk stays fresh for a short amount of time, so be sure to keep these foods cool in the fridge. Always keep the lid of your yogurt or milk jug closed when you’re not eating or drinking it.  Be sure to only open one dairy item at a time and finish it before opening a new one. Follow that same rule for snacks like crackers, chips, cookies, or certain granola bars. 

Remember: always check the expiration date, make sure fruits and veggies are fresh before you eat them, and be sure to enjoy these yummy treats responsibly!

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