There’s no denying it’s been a long, cold winter. We’ve had several snowstorms and 4 Nor’easters in March alone. Between the bitter cold, the blistery winds and all those snow days is enough for us for one year.
Now that spring is finally here and the sun is shining strong, the weather is warming up and the flowers are finally blooming, there’s also a wealth of healthy, antioxidant-rich and brightly colored foods available to feed your kids.
Put away the take-out menus and set aside all the comfort food and try these 10 spring superfoods your kids will love.
If you can’t get your kids to eat green leafy vegetables like broccoli and bock choy, you may have more luck introducing asparagus.
Asparagus is one of the best spring superfoods for kids, especially because it’s an excellent source of folate, or vitamin B9.
Folate is important during pregnancy because it helps to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida, but a deficiency in folate has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and depression. Although these health problems aren’t on your radar now, if your kids grow to like asparagus when they’re young, they’ll be more likely to eat it throughout their lives which can help them stay healthy. Folate is also vital for brain development and function.
Asparagus is low in calories, a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc.
Serve it alone, add it to a stir-fry, a pasta dish or fold it into eggs for breakfast.
With their bright orange color and sweet flesh, apricots are one of the best spring superfoods for kids. They’re an excellent source of vitamins A and C and potassium and a good source of fiber.
They also make for a delicious addition to school lunches or an easy snack for road trips.
Spinach can be a hard sell for kids but it’s a spring superfood that’s packed with nutrition so the more often you offer it, the more likely your kids will at least try it.
Spinach is high in iron which kids need for energy and it’s also a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins A,C,E, B6, folate, magnesium and calcium.
Make a green smoothie or green juice, sauté it with garlic or add it soups, stews and rice dishes.
Artichokes are the quintessential healthy spring vegetable.
One medium artichoke has nearly 7 grams of fiber and more than 10 grams of protein. Artichokes are also a good source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium and iron and an excellent source of magnesium.
Magnesium, the “calming mineral,” is also a cofactor that’s responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium helps the body produce protein and energy, supports the immune system, heart health and bone strength, maintains normal nerve and muscle function and regulates blood glucose levels.
Sweet and satisfying, strawberries are high in antioxidants, especially vitamin C as well as fiber.
Serve strawberries with sunflower seeds as an after school snack, add them to oatmeal, baked goods and salads.
Peas pack a powerful punch of nutrition. A 1/2 cup has 8 grams of fiber , 8 grams of protein and they’re a good source of vitamin A, C, B6, and K, magnesium and folate.
Add peas to soups, stews, pasta and rice dishes or serve alone.
My family eats broccoli all year long but spring is the season when it’s the freshest.
Green leafy vegetables should be a part of a child’s diet because they’re chock full of nutrition. Broccoli, in particular, is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins A,C, B6 and E, and calcium, iron, magnesium, folate and potassium.
Like strawberries, these little gems are high in antioxidants like vitamins C and K and they may give your kids a boost in school.
In fact, an October 2017 study in the journal Food & Function suggests kids who eat blueberries have a better attention span perform faster and more accurately on executive function tasks—tasks like packing a backpack, planning a school project or organizing homework.
Since blueberries are easy for little fingers to grasp, they also make a good first food for babies.
Add blueberries to oatmeal, plain yogurt, chia seed pudding or serve as a snack.
I’m not a fan of radishes so I didn’t buy them until last year when my daughter asked for them because one of her friends brought them to school as a snack.
Radishes are a good source of vitamin B6 and C, as well as calcium, magnesium, fiber, folate and potassium.
Add sliced raw radishes to salads, sandwiches or avocado toast or roast them for a delicious side dish for dinner.
High in fiber, vitamin C and potassium, cherries are one of the healthiest spring fruits you can feed your kids.
If your kids are two small to eat around the pits, simple cut small pieces off the flesh. Cherries are delicious alone or add them to salads or meat dishes.
What are your favorite spring foods to feed your kids? Leave me a comment!