Celebrate Spring!

Crocus Flowers

Article written by Natalie Sehi (nsehi2@unl.edu), Nebraska Extension SNAP-Ed/EFNEP Educator

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With March comes St. Patrick's Day and the first hints of spring, which means a lot of green, and maybe even a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This spring, challenge yourself and your family to increase your activity and fruit and vegetable consumption.

Challenge 1 - Get Moving: Warmer temperatures, longer days, and a touch of spring fever can be good incentive to increase your activity level by going outside to explore your neighborhood, a local park, a new walking path, or your own backyard. Adults need 2 1⁄2 hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day. To tie in St. Patrick's Day check out the 10 Easy Ways to add Green to your Day list below.

Challenge 2 - Add Color: To fuel outdoor adventures, add more color to your plate. Be a good role model and serve/encourage your family to see how many different colored fruits and vegetables they can eat at a meal. Try the Power Smoothie below. It includes fruits and veggies from at least four colors of the rainbow, or visit Fruits and Veggies More Matters and try one new way to enjoy spinach.

10 Easy Ways to add Green to Your Day

  • Wear green socks during a morning walk.Girl with a Green Ball
  • Play catch with a green ball.
  • Explore the outdoors.
  • Look for newly sprouting flowers and tree buds.
  • Draw a picture with green chalk.
  • Play on a green piece of equipment at the park.
  • Choose a new green fruit or vegetable at the grocery store for your family to try.
  • Add peanut butter to celery sticks.
  • Dip green apple slices in yogurt.
  • Add zucchini to your oatmeal. Try this recipe for Zoats!
  • Serve broccoli with cheese as a side dish.
  • Add spinach to scrambled eggs

Power Smoothie

Power Smoothie with SpinachIngredients (4 Servings)

  • 1 to 1½ cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups pineapple, mixed berry, or other 100% juice
  • 1½ cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1 (6 oz.) container low-fat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup ice

Directions

  1. Place spinach in blender with juice. Blend thoroughly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 150, Total Fat 1 g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0 g (0% DV), Cholesterol 3 mg (1% DV), Sodium 40 mg (2% DV), Total Carbohydrate 34 g (26% DV), Dietary Fiber 3 g (12% DV), Sugars 23 g, Protein 4 g, Vitamin A 6%, Vitamin C 125%, Calcium 12%, Iron 7%.

Sources:

    1. Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Spinach, Fruits and Veggies More Matters
    2. Food.unl.edu, Nebraska Extension
    3. ChooseMyplate.gov, United States Department of Agriculture

This article has been peer-reviewed.