Child Nutrition News and Information
Focus on Texas:
Texas has a wide range of terrain and climate which makes it ideal for many agricultural products to be grown right here. Your monthly menus will focus on Texas products.
Spinach is a Texas grown product which is thought to have originated in ancient Persia in today’s Iran. It made its way to China in the 7th century. Mentions of spinach in writing was recorded in Europe as early as the mid-13th century and colonists brought spinach seed with them to the New World.
Texas is number three in the United States in spinach production and provides about 30% of all spinach in the United States. Spinach is grown in several regions in Texas including the Winter Garden region (Southwest of San Antonio), the Lower Rio Grande Valley (McAllen-Harlingen) and the Pan Handle (Lubbock). Spinach is a very hardy crop and thrives in cool, moist conditions. Although spinach is readily available through-out the year, its primary growing season is March through May and September through October.
Spinach is a "super-food" with nearly twice as much protein, calcium, iron, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B and B2, niacin and Vitamin C as most other leafy greens. Spinach is also very high in Vitamin K which is important for bone health. Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach provide more nutrients than many other foods.