spring-nutrition500

 

It’s hard to believe the long winter is finally behind us, and spring is here. For many adults, the new season means spring cleaning and getting into better shape in time for summer. The latter does not have to be limited to an individual effort; exploring healthier behaviors is a good thing for the entire family. Spring is the perfect time to shed old habits that no longer work for you, and begin new, healthier ones.

Better eating is a major element in striving to be healthier, and there is no better time to start a nutritious routine than now – and it can be something that’s fun for everyone in your family. Fresh produce abounds this time of year, and it’s great to take advantage of this as you begin any new, improved-eating routine.

A good way to start is by adding seasonal staples to your family’s meals. This could include artichokes, arugula, asparagus, spinach, strawberries, apricots, or cherries – really something for each and every meal. Buying seasonal fruits and vegetables has the bonus of ensuring they’re at their peak, when they’re packing the most nutrients they can. Consider a family trip to a local farmers’ market, so you know exactly how what you’re buying and consuming has been grown.

Drinking a lot of water is always important, and adding a pinch of fresh fruits such as lemon or lime will make it that much more refreshing on a warm spring day!

The weather is also good enough to dust off that grill outside, and start cooking up lean cuts of meat and fish. If you’re just craving beef, avoid the drive-through and make it at home instead. Choose cuts with the least amount of visible marbling (fat). The leanest cuts are top sirloin steak, top and bottom roast or steak, eye of round roast or steak, and sirloin tip side steak. And remember, veggies are also tasty when roasted on the grill.

One other idea to consider this time of year is planting your own garden, or simply growing a pot of tomatoes in your home. Gardening is not only the best way to guarantee you have the freshest produce, it’s a great learning experience for children. It’s easy and fun to plant items such as green beans, carrots, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, and broccoli.

If you have an especially nice weekend day, even consider a family picnic – go to a local park, or just enjoy one in your own backyard, possibly savoring those fresh items you made on the grill or grew in your own garden! You will appreciate the benefits of healthier eating, plus the added advantage of productive and positive family time.