Kids can 'go green' on St. Patrick's Day, too

Published On: Mar 14 2014 03:09:39 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 16 2014 12:00:00 AM EDT

The adults shouldn't get to have all of the fun on St. Patrick's Day. Let the kids get involved by packing a little green on their plates, or if they aren't on Spring Break, in their lunch bags.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Dietitian Jennifer Willoughby says if you'd like your kids to 'go green', spoil them with some spinach.

"There's a lot of things you can do with spinach. It's a very versatile green. You know, you can eat it raw on a salad. You can put it on top of a sandwich instead of lettuce," she recommended.

Willoughby says spinach is not only the right color for St. Patrick's Day, but it's also packed with vitamin K, iron, calcium and fiber. 

Another idea: 'Erin Go Broccoli'! Broccoli can be steamed or eaten raw and if you cut it into quarter-sized florets, the kids can almost pass them off as mini-shamrocks.

You can cut a green pepper into the shape of a shamrock, too. Kids love dipping them into ranch dressing, which will turn a light green color if you mix in some avocado. 

And Willoughby says kale works great for a snack on St. Patrick's Day because you can make your own kale chips.

"They will stay green," said Willoughly. "You want to sauté them in a little bit of olive oil, then bake them in the oven. They get crispy, just like chips. You can throw them in the lunch."

Willoughby says brussels sprouts are another option when you're putting together your child's green lunch for St. Patrick's Day. She says they're high in fiber and great for the digestive system.


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