Providing an early veggie variety is key to raising adventurous, healthy eaters.
This month, we’re highlighting SPINACH as a great powerhouse option! The leafy green is rich in fiber and a good source of multiple vitamins and minerals. It can be consumed raw or cooked, giving you many options for using it in meals and recipes. Through exposure, kids can learn to love all kinds of vegetables. We hope you will join the Veggies Early & Often campaign at home by being a role model for children through cooking and eating a balanced, plant-forward diet.
Spinach can be purchased fresh, frozen, or canned. Fresh provides a few additional nutritional benefits, but canned and frozen are both still excellent choices. Because canned and frozen spinach is pre-cooked, you’ll want to look for no-sodium or low-sodium options. Once drained, rinsed, and squeezed out, canned spinach can be added to scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, and casseroles to boost your nutritional intake. Select plain frozen spinach rather than in a sauce to ensure you’re getting all the benefits without added ingredients. When prepping frozen spinach, you’ll need to defrost it on a plate or run it under cold water. Once thawed, squeeze the excess water out. It can be added to smoothies, scrambled eggs, casseroles, pasta, etc.
When purchasing fresh spinach, look for dark green leaves, a crisp texture, and a fresh aroma. Avoid spinach that is wilted, spotted, or slimy. Baby spinach has especially tender leaves. It’s delicious in a salad or in one of our recipes below!
1 tsp. olive oil
5 oz. fresh baby spinach
7 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 green onion
1 Roma tomato
2 large whole-grain tortillas
½ cup salsa
Recipe adapted from Love & Good Stuff.
1 lb. raw baby spinach
¼ cup pine nuts
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
*This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 3/3/23.
1 Tbsp. ginger, grated
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. curry powder (mild or hot)
1 tsp. cumin
1 lb. frozen chopped spinach
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas
½ cup water
1 can (13 oz.) coconut milk (light)
Recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.
This recipe is veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 3/3/23.