While spring may not seem like prime produce time, increased efforts by small farmers to grow indoors and the weather breaking just enough for hardy vegetables to come in means there is seasonal produce aplenty at local markets and grocery stores.
This change in season could be the perfect chance to renew your efforts to pack your children a healthy lunch.
Rhubarb1 of 5
While often thought of as a fruit (it's a vegetable) and a sweet addition to a piecrust, rhubarb is as versatile as it is tasty. Make a rhubarb jelly and pair it with almond butter on a whole-grain flatbread for an alternative to the classic PB&J. Or, make a quick and easy applesauce with rhubarb and strawberries to swap out with the store-bought cups.
Carrots2 of 5
Baby carrots are synonymous with school lunches whether your kids pack or buy their lunches. With a new shape and fresh flavors, carrots might get a "yay" instead of a "nay." Shave the carrots using a vegetable peeler and toss with a clean Italian dressing, Parmesan cheese and any other veggies your kid likes. Toss in some leftover rotisserie chicken and it's a complete meal.
Spring Peas3 of 5
What goes better with carrots than peas? Nothing. Peas, too, are in season in spring and can be a sweet, crunchy snack for kids. Serve the peas plain in a re-useable plastic container, or make a creamy salad with Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese and a healthful deli meat.
Mangoes4 of 5
Bring the taste of the islands to a dreary day with this tropical fruit. Mango is in its prime in winter and can be a fine addition to a fruit salad or smoothie. If your kid can tolerate a bit of heat, try making a fresh mango salsa and pack it with some corn tortilla chips or in a wrap with chicken, cheese and a dab of Greek yogurt.