What a relief that we can finally say that Spring has arrived and Summer is just right around the corner. Flowers and trees are blooming, days are getting longer and kids are getting excited for school to be over! This is a great time, to examine what we eat on a weekly basis and find new ways to add in the fresh fruits and vegetables that will be more available now that the weather is warmer.
- First of all, something that is easy and fun for the whole family is to start a little garden. This can be as simple as growing some tomatoes, peas, beans or herbs in a garden pot. It is always fun to see how quickly these little plants can grow and it is a great way to get kids involved as well. This is a great time of the year to start too so that we can have a nice long growing season.
- Attending weekly Farmer’s Markets or local CSA memberships are also a great way to obtain healthy fruits and vegetables from our local neighbors. Try to find something new and interesting and see what new recipes you can try. Ask the farmer as well to see what they use this particular food item in. They are a great resource!
- Try to prepare common fruits and vegetables in a different way then you currently use. For example, try to freeze grapes and use this in place of popsicles. Another example is using frozen bananas and blending them to make ice cream (see recipe below). Lastly try to grill different vegetables that you usually prepare in the house. Use fresh herbs for seasoning in place of salt.
- Have fun with making your own smoothie by adding in whatever you have in the house. Any frozen fruit you have in the freezer or from the farmers market, juice/milk/ice and try some Greek Yogurt as well for a good protein source. This is a great summer drink and kids love it, especially when they are involved in helping to make it.
- In addition to healthy eating during this time of the year, this is a great opportunity to get moving as well. Talking family walks or bike rides benefits everyone. Take advantage of the extra daylight and have fun outside. Look at local Recreational Departments to see what they have available for kids of all ages to spend some quality time outside. We also have the great opportunity to live close to Governor Dodge Park which has many activities available throughout the Spring and Summer months.
Take the lead during these upcoming warmer months and be a good example to your kids, neighbors, friends and family to eat healthier and get active!