What to Eat in Spring?
What to eat in Spring to support the immune system?
Is it really here? You know what I mean, right? Spring of course! We have been waiting for the weather to warm up a little for so long, and its finally here. The rain, wind, puddles, and grey skies, grass is turning green again; everything seems to be fresh and clean as the trees and flowers are ready to blossom anew. Our children are so tuned and synchronized with nature and the weather. I see it with my own kids all the time. Here are some examples which you may have also noticed with your own kids – they want to sleep earlier in the Winter, because days are shorter, and later in the Summertime. Before daylight saving time, my youngest daughter had been waking up an hour earlier. I guess she sensed the sunrise even though her room is totally dark. Isn’t that amazing? I find this totally awesome!
Today I want to give you a few tips about foods that are suitable to eat during the Spring in order to adjust the external environment (weather) to our internal environment (the food we eat), which will help kids stay healthy during this season. When we take care our our bodies and adjust our eating habits according to nature and surrounding environment, we get sick less throughout the rest of the year, and that applies to children as well!
Spring is the time of blossom and rejuvenation, but it is also the time of allergies, rashes, swollen eyes, and glands, stiffness in muscles, etc.
How to keep kids healthy and prevent illnesses during Spring?
Cooking the food – During Spring try not to overcook the food, instead lightly sauté it and increase your consumption of sprouts.
This is the perfect time to use your wok for a light browning or steaming of veggies. Notice how during the Winter, we tend to overcook our food. We crave more soups and stews and in general we crave more root vegetables to get more grounding from the earth. Spring is the time of year when vegetation is awakening from a deep sleep. Trees and flowers are starting to bloom and therefore we tend to crave lighter food. The trick is to cook vegetables well enough so they stay crispy but not to the point they lose their colour.
What is the perfect food for Spring?
During Spring we should be adjusting our food and eating habits to nature... so eat more green vegetables and sprouted seeds.
In general we tend to crave less animal food and more vegetarian food such as whole grains, sprouted lentils and legumes, vegetables, light oils, and sea vegetables.
If you have family members who have allergies, stay away from dairy, eggs, wheat, fish, peanuts, seafood, corn, tropical fruit (avocado, banana, kiwi), soy, sesame seeds, and nuts (especially cashew and almonds).
Stay away from cooling foods such as yogurt, cheese, and in general anything that you are used to pop straight from the fridge.
Spring is the perfect time of year to cleanse and detox your body and rejuvenate yourself. In the same way nature prepares herself, humans should be attuned to that and act in the same manner.
You’ve probably noticed that I like to organize things in tables, so here is another one I’ve prepared for you:
|Type of Food||Examples|
|Animal Based Protein - Animal food should be consumed in small quantities as a side but not as the main dishes.||lamb, eggs|
|Whole Grains - Preferably sprouted grains (sprouting is soaking the grain and consuming the green leaves which grow. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, enzymes, and fibre).||rye, barley, oats, spelt|
|Legumes and Lentils - Preferably sprouted.||mung beans, faba beans, green peas, tempeh, organic soy, green beans|
|Preferred Vegetables - it is better to eat vegetables that grow upwards which have the same energy as Spring.||onion, leek, broccoli, artichoke, dill, parsley, coriander, celery, asparagus, fennel, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, cabbage, Shiitake mushrooms, radish, daikon radish, arugula|
|Preferred Fruit||berries, strawberries, lemon|
|Nuts, Seeds, and Oils - The best oil to use during Spring is cold-pressed olive oil.||nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, tahini from sprouted sesame seeds, almonds|
|Spices||dried dill, coriander, parsley, lemon, turmeric, anise, rosemary, apple cider vinegar, seaweed (dulse, kombu, wakame)|
Remember, when you eat according to the season, you are helping your body to get through the Spring healthy and vibrant!
Lifestyle Changes in Spring
• Detox – as discussed earlier, Spring is the time of rejuvenation and blossom. This is the perfect time to cleanse your body from accumulated waste. There are many great options for Spring cleanses but the ones that I recommend are: 7 day juice fast, green smoothie detox, and colonic cleanse.
• Enjoy the outdoors as much as you can! After the cold Winter we had, expose your kids and yourself to nature and outdoors as much as you can.
• Chinese medicine instructs us to go to bed early and wake up early in order to strengthen our body.
• Spring is the perfect time to start exercising and to work on muscle and joint flexibility.
What if you do get sick after all?
First I want you to understand that not every cold is necessary a bad thing that you have to fight against it with every measure possible. In fact, it is very healthy to train our immune system once-twice a year to fight against the external environment. It is only necessary to work on a cold or infection that lasts over a week or if the illness is recurrent more than once-twice a year. I am here to help if you are struggling with recurrent and stubborn infections, and I do that through looking at your (or kids) food and natural remedies.
Hope this helps you to get through the last months before the Summer! Can’t wait to sit in my backyard over a green smoothie and enjoy my vegetable garden!
To your and kids’ health!
About the Author: Dorit Palvanov is a registered holistic nutritionist specializing in mother-to-be, mother, and child nutrition. Her mission is to educate moms on the important topic of nutrition, holistic way of living, and the art of creating a healthy family in body, mind, and spirit. Dorit is the founder of Health Begins With Mom, a blog dedicated to moms who are passionate about raising a healthy family. If you are a mom and interested to learn about nutrition and holistic way of living, join the community and get your FREE gift, a 7-Day Cold and Flu Fighting Menu Plan for Families With Young Kids.