Kids & Company Blog

Spinach

Spinach has often had a bad reputation with kids. Give a kid a raw piece of spinach and they find it too plain, dry and tasteless. Sneak it into their favourite meals and it becomes their new favourite vegetable! The secret to getting your kids to try new foods or eat foods they think they don’t like is to pair it with things they do like! Most importantly, if you’re testing out something new, be sure to roast, sauté or steam the vegetable and add spices or flavourings to really appeal to your kiddies.

There are so many ways to incorporate spinach into your meals. They can be added to basically any dish from casseroles, pastas, omelettes, quiches and especially sandwiches!

There are various health benefits we get from spinach. Fresh 100 grams of spinach contains about 25% of daily intake of iron, which is one of the richest among green leafy vegetables. It is also a rich source of anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and beta-carotene. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K, with a 100-gram serving providing 402% of the daily vitamin k requirements, which plays an essential role in strengthening bone mass. The cooking process does break down some of the vital nutrients of the vegetable, however even after cooking you still obtain an excellent source of the nutrients and it is still beneficial to be incorporated into your kiddies’ diets, cooked or uncooked!

When you buy fresh spinach at your grocery store, look for leaves that are dark-green in colour and crisp. Avoid those with dull/sunken leaves, yellow discoloration and spots. Once at home, wash them thoroughly in clean running water and they should be rinsed and soaked for about 30 minutes in order to remove dirt or any other residues. The soaking process also helps to rehydrate the spinach leaves.  Although it can be stored inside the refrigerator for up to a week, fresh leaves should be eaten at the earliest in order to get maximum nutrition benefits.

If you’re looking to incorporate spinach in your family’s diet, try our Kidco Kitchen Wheat Berry & Strawberry Salad. It’s sweet, savoury and full of essential nutrients!

Kidco Kitchen Wheat Berry & Strawberry Salad
* Makes 6 portions

What you need:  

Wheat Berries

  • 3 Cups Soft White Wheat Berries, rinsed and drained
  • 6 Cups Veggie Broth
  • 6 Cups Water

Dressing

  • Cup fresh Orange Juice
  • Cup Olive Oil
  • 10 Medium Strawberries, hulled and chopped into ¼ inch pieces
  • 3 Cups Baby Spinach

What to do:

For Wheat Berries

  1. Make sure to wash your hands before you begin.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the wheat berries, broth, and 6 cups of water.
  3. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat so the liquid simmers, cover pan, and cook until the wheat berries are tender 60 to 70 minutes.
  4. Drain the wheat berries in a strainer and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

For Dressing

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice and olive oil until smooth.
  2. Pour dressing over wheat berries and add the strawberries & spinach. Toss until all ingredients are coated.

Additional Tip: Add fresh mint and goat cheese to the salad for some extra taste sensation!!


Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @kidcochildcare and on Instagram @cheflisaruscica!

Cheers,

Chef Lisa Ruscica
Chief Food Ambassador

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