Purchasing Local Foods for Thanksgiving Celebrations

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s time to start planning! A great way to celebrate with your program is by serving Thanksgiving-themed meals and snacks. Most of the traditional Thanksgiving staples can be made with fresh fruits and vegetables that can be sourced from your local farmers! We will share some ideas for foods to purchase at your local farmers market as you prepare for this month’s festivities. 


Mashed potatoes are one of the most popular dishes in a Thanksgiving meal. Make your mashed potatoes even more special by using potatoes from Alabama farmers! Potatoes in Alabama can most commonly be found in areas of North and South Alabama but are available all over the state.

Sweet potatoes can also be found at many local farmer’s markets, making your favorite sweet potato dish even tastier! In the classroom, you could even host a taste test with different types of potatoes and talk about the differences between each. 

Onions and Garlic 

From stuffing to turkey, onions and garlic play a big role in providing flavor! Onions and garlic are included in most Thanksgiving recipes. You can find onions and garlic at almost all farmer’s markets, and your local grocery store might even sell onions grown in Alabama!  

Butternut Squash 

Looking to make a yummy casserole for your Thanksgiving lunch? Butternut squash is a great option! Butternut squash can also be made into a soft mash similar to mashed potatoes, which is great for your littlest eaters. Squash can be found at almost every farmer’s market and is popular during this time of the year! 

Apples and Pecans 

Apples and pecans are used in a variety of Thanksgiving dishes – when purchasing these foods, look for ones produced in Alabama! Locally produced pecans can be found at most grocery stores in Alabama, making it an easy way to incorporate Alabama-grown foods into your Thanksgiving menu. Apples and pecans can be used for desserts, salads, or side dishes! 

Sharing Local Foods with Families 

As you share your Thanksgiving activities with the families you serve, share about local foods, especially if you use local foods in your program! Sharing local foods can encourage families to purchase locally for their meals, which helps support the farmers producing foods in Alabama. 

Give thanks to farmers this season by purchasing local foods. Want to find local foods near you?