Spring is a great time to hit the reset button and reintroduce some fresh foods into your kids' day after a long winter. Get into the swing of spring produce with these four seasonal favorites.
One cup of cooked spinach is packed with vitamins A and K, which are essential for eye and bone health. This amount of spinach also delivers a high amount of folate and iron, which help prevent certain types of anemia. And its magnesium and potassium are important for muscle development and growth, while its vitamin C supports immune function.
If your kids are on board with green stuff, serve spinach salads or try it sautéed with meat, fish and tofu. For kids who don't like veggies, the mild flavor of spinach is easily masked. Just puree and mix it into sauces, smoothies, soups and meatballs. Your family will love this recipe for Creamy Parmesan Spinach Squares!
A cup of beets is an excellent source of folate and a good source of dietary fiber and potassium. Did you know beet greens also are edible? A one-cup serving of cooked beet greens is an excellent source of vitamins A and K, potassium and magnesium, and a good source of calcium.
Challenge the stereotype of beets being one of the most-hated vegetables by preparing these nutritious roots in tasty ways. Roast beets and serve hot or cold for a touch of sweetness and a pop of color. Blend cooked beets into soups and sauces or shred raw beets as a crunchy topping for salads, tacos and more. Make a beautiful dip your kids will love by pureeing cooked beets into hummus!
Another seasonal superstar are fresh strawberries. Just one cup of sliced strawberries provides more than a day's worth of vitamin C, plus a hearty dose of manganese, which is important for bone development. A cup of strawberries also packs three grams of dietary fiber.
Try them alone, in a fruit salad, in a green salad, over cereal, with yogurt or even blend frozen strawberries in a smoothie for a thicker consistency. And don't toss those strawberry tops that you washed and cut off! Add them to still or sparkling water for a refreshing, fruity infused beverage.
One cup of cooked asparagus is an excellent source of bone-building vitamin K as well as folate. It also provides vitamin A and iron. Available in green, purple and white varieties, asparagus spears are fun to eat and go with all kinds of foods.
Asparagus is super tasty when roasted in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as a side with dinner or cut into pieces to add to pasta, stir-fries, salads and more.
Remember to include kids in grocery shopping and food preparation. This helps them learn about a variety of foods and age-appropriate cooking tasks, which makes it more likely they will enjoy a variety of foods.