Family Photoshoot + Seasonal Produce Guide
January 20, 2013
This particular photoshoot embodies a number of things we adore here at SMP at Home: a big cozy bed, a loving family, and brand new teeny tiny babies. As the author of New England Markets, Christine has become a bit of a go-to for us in terms of learning about local, delicious produce and all-things-farmers markets. Basically: she has the most darling family and she's a food-lovers dream; for that we're thrilled to have her here today. Not only is she sharing a beautifully intimate moment captured by White Loft Studio, she's also divulging a simple recipe + a printable illustrated seasonal produce guide that we can't wait to test out ourselves.  PS - the rest of the gallery is filled with way more baby goodness!
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Photography: White Loft Studio

From Christine... In our family, we place great importance on eating locally. This becomes a bit tricky in the winter months, when fresh produce options are rather slim here in New England. Thankfully, we have a wonderful wintertime farmers market in our town, and thanks to the ingenuity of New England farmers, there are just enough offerings to keep us well fed. Root vegetables are a staple of locally-focused winter diets, and lucky for us, sweet potatoes are an ideal first food for infants. These nutritional superstars, chock full of fiber, potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin C, are creamy, flavorful and easy-to-digest. With a bit of creativity, this multitasking veggie can feed the whole family! I am so busy juggling the needs of a baby and toddler, that I really appreciate healthy meals that can be adapted to feed every member of our family.

Eating with the seasons has a myriad of both health and environmental benefits. But the most compelling reason to adhere to nature's calendar is that produce simply tastes better when it's enjoyed at the height of its growing season. We have become so accustomed to seeing every type of produce available year-round at the grocery store, that it can be hard to keep track of what really is in-season. Let this simple, beautifully illustrated guide remind you of the natural seasons for most fruits and vegetables (keep in mind there will be slight variations from region to region, depending on the climate). Click here to download the guide for yourself. Print it out on full-sized letter paper and keep it on your fridge as a constant reminder!

And in case you're wondering what to feed your family during the cold winter months, Christine has lovingly prepared a quick and easy recipe that will be sure to satisfy each member in your household!

 Sweet Potatoes, Three Ways


4 whole sweet potatoes
Liquid for pureeing (breast milk, water, or broth)
Variety of condiments such as black beans, salsa, shredded cheese, hummus, avocado, chickpeas


For Baby:
1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Wash each sweet potato and, using a fork, poke several holes in the skin.

3. Place the potato directlyon the oven rack, and bake for 30-60 minutes, until soft.

4. Once the potato is cooked, slice it end to end, and scoop out the insides.

5. Using a blender, and liquid of your choice (breast milk, water, or broth), puree until it reaches the consistency that your baby prefers.

For Toddler:
1. Bake sweet potato same as above, and when cooked, cut it into bit sized cubes (don't overcook, you want a bit of firmness so cubes hold their shape).

2. Serve with a multitude of dipping sauces (hummus, salsa, mashed avocado) for a fun, healthy, interactive lunch or dinner!

For Mom & Dad:
1. Bake sweet potato same as above, and when cooked, slice from end to end.

2. Serve with a host of different toppings, for a make-your-own stuffed potato bar. I like mine with diced avocado, salsa, black beans, and shredded cheese for a Southwest-style treat. I also like crispy shallots, garlicky-sauteed kale and chickpeas for a healthy option. You can also choose to try sweet toppings as opposed to savory- a bit of butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and toasted pecans is divine!