Eating Green on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day FoodSt. Patrick’s Day is the perfect time to convince your kids that green veggies are cool! Here are some healthy options for your St. Paddy’s meal:

Asparagus. It’s rich in vitamin C, folate and vitamin A. It also contains almost 70% of the daily value for vitamin K, a nutrient that helps the blood clot to heal wounds.

Avocados. ?The avocado gets a bad rap among vegetables because of its high fat content, however the fat contained is healthy—it helps with both inflammation and digestion.

Basil.? Basil is rich in vitamin K, iron, calcium, vitamin A and other essential vitamins and minerals. The herb also contains anti-bacterial properties.

Broccoli. Good for your heart, this fiber-rich food can help lower cholesterol, especially when eaten cooked. Broccoli compounds are also supportive of the body’s natural detoxification system, helping to eliminate toxins and other unwanted compounds.

Celery. ?In addition to being rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, scientists have now discovered that celery has other beneficial antioxidant nutrients that protect us against unwanted damage to our cells, blood vessels and organ systems.

Cucumbers.? Cucumbers are the fourth most widely cultivated vegetable in the world, behind tomatoes, cabbage and onions. These belong to the same botanical family as melons and squashes and have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Zucchini.? Zucchini, or summer squash, is an important source of carotenoids such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene as well as antioxidants such as vitamin C.

Try some of the ingredients above in a healthy green smoothie too. Of course, kids do not live by veggies alone—and neither do adults. Here are a few fun options for St. Patrick’s Day treats.

Gold Coins

24 ritz crackers
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups butterscotch chips

Directions: Make 12 “coins” by spreading half of the crackers with peanut butter and topping with second cracker. Melt butterscotch chips in the microwave and dip sandwich cookies into melted butterscotch. ??Place each coin on waxed paper and let set.

Pot O’ Gold Snack Mix

2 cups Lucky Charms cereal
1 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch
1 cup Honey Nut Cherrios
1 cup mixed nuts or peanuts
1 cup green Skittles or M&M’s
1 cup pretzels (dipped in white almond bark, if you have the time)

Directions: Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Serve in little pots of gold.

Also, many favorite foods can become “green-friendly.” Make milkshakes with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Add a few drops of green food coloring to milk and pour over Lucky Charms cereal. Make green frosting to spread over cinnamon rolls. Or dip Cool Mint Oreos into almond bark, then sprinkle green-color sugar over them before they dry.