With springtime among us, warmer temperatures are quickly approaching along with a new bounty of produce. Now is the time to improve our nutritional patterns and try something new if you find yourself in a food rut. We compiled simple tips to put a spring in your meal-prep step!
With COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the country and the joy of hotter weather, this combination may result in many Americans dining out more and enjoying social gatherings. Consider being mindful about how often you’re eating out, where you’re dining and what choices you’re making to help stay on track with your health goals.
By dining at home, you’re in control of all the ingredients which can lead to nutrient-dense dishes. Flavor things up with fresh herbs to give classics an instant makeover. When hosting a gathering aim to include some fiber-filled dishes while still enjoying your BBQ favorites. Try this strawberry chicken salad, it has a sweet and tangy glaze that will be a hit at your next party!
2. Enjoy spring produce
Purchasing in-season fruits and vegetables is a great way to expand your diet by offering your body a variety of nutrients and allows for vibrant flavors in your dishes. Choosing fresh produce can also help with budgeting, as prices will be lower than in the “off season.” Here are some mood-boosting options that are now in season to add to your next meal:
Artichokes time to shine is in the spring when the thistles are largest, fans can rejoice as they do have a second crop in the fall. Enjoy artichokes fresh, steamed, baked or stuffed. Check out this recipe for a tasty new way to enjoy them.
Some of our favorite ways to enjoy apricots include adding it to salads or even turning them into preserves! Try your hand at creating an apricot preserve to spread on your favorite breakfast bread, add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for a real treat
This fuzzy fruit is sweet and 100 percent edible! You read that right, you can even eat the skin. Many choose to forgo eating the skin, but that’s where many nutrients are hidden. A kiwi’s skin contains a high concentration of fiber, folate and vitamin E. Kiwis can be a pleasant burst of flavor in a tropical salsa that is delicious placed atop a salmon fillet.
This root vegetable is a sustainable option to keep in the house as you can use all parts of it from the base to the turnip greens. Half a cup of turnips proves 25 percent of your daily vitamin C and some fiber to keep your digestive track healthy. Serve these vitamin-rich roasted turnip fries as your next appetizer or side dish for a simple and tasty addition to any meal.
While working from home has its perks, many forget to get up to move and re-hydrate. Water helps with many bodily functions including digestion, weight management, regulating body temperature and normalizing blood pressure. Not a fan of plain water? Add some pizazz to it by adding a squirt of lemon or lime. For those who enjoy carbonation, try this seltzer water to keep your thirst at bay throughout the day. Set a realistic and measurable goal if you’re looking to boost your fluid intake. Use a clear water bottle to keep track and remind you to fill back up!
4. Prepare nutrient-dense snacks
When your 3 p.m. hunger hits, have a plan to ensure you’re making fueling choices to keep you going through the end of the day! Aim to pair 2 out of the 5 food groups when choosing a snack to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Check out these options and add some of the ingredients to your grocery list.
- Mini charcuterie board
This creative idea is going to put the “cute” in charcuterie. Try using a muffin tin for easy assortment and a swift clean up. To boost up on fiber and vibrant colors, fill one row with vegetable options and add some fruit in there too! Then choose a protein source like semi-soft cheese, low-sodium nuts, or even a hardboiled egg. Add a row of crunchy options like kale chips, freeze dried fruit or parmesan crisps.
- Grain-Free Granola
This snack also doubles as a great topping to a classic yogurt parfait, it can be combined with your favorite milk or milk-alternative or can be munched on its own. Enjoy this snack mindfully and savor the experience when eating it—assess all the flavors and textures you’re tasting to make this snack last longer.
Following these simple tips can help as you look to switch up your routines with the seasonal change! Keep in mind, all foods can fit into a healthy diet. Just making a few small changes in your everyday lifestyle can yield big results over time!