Springtime is here, making light and healthy eating even more welcome as the weather warms up and everyone’s more active. Many parents are used to allowing the kids to eat fries, onion rings, and mac and cheese as side dishes, and although those foods are delicious, they aren’t the healthiest of options.
Here are some springtime side dish ideas the kids (and you) will enjoy and they won’t miss the usual fried and fattening fare. Getting kids used to eating healthfully and mindfully will set them up for a future full of good health and happiness. Let’s get started with eating well this spring!
Green Beans and Slivered Almonds in a Light Vinaigrette
Steam 4 servings of green beans in boiling water until tender and throw into ice cold water to cease further cooking. Towel dry and place in a bowl. Add a ½ cup of slivered almonds (you can buy them at the grocer this way) and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and 3 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ cup red wine vinegar. Toss together lightly and serve as a cold side dish. This will pair well with chicken, fish, or even pasta dishes.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Slice 2 large sweet potatoes or yams into the shape of long fries and set out on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with sea salt and seasonings of your choice and heat in a pre-heated oven set at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Serve with mustard or ketchup or on their own as a yummy and healthy alternative to regular French fries. These pair well with turkey burgers, sandwiches, and as a side with a bowl of tomato or vegetable soup. Kids will love these more than fast food fries.
Chick Pea and Cucumber Salad
Combine a large can of chick peas (garbanzo beans) with diced cucumber in a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup low-fat sour cream and 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar and stir until coated evenly. Sprinkle with parsley and top with dried onions. Serve with falafel, pita, and veggies with dip. Kids love the round shape of the peas and the crunch of the cucumber. Enjoy!
Do you have any favorite side dishes that are just perfect for springtime? We’d love to share your ideas with AMC readers.
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By: Melissa A. Kay