“Spinach makes ya strong” has been the popular saying of Popeye and it is no joke! Spinach is a rich source of iron, which forms hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the red blood cell. Hemoglobin – and therefore iron – gives us our strength and the look of good health. Spinach is also rich in fibre, Vitamin A, and the minerals, potassium, magnesium and calcium. It’s important to note that raw spinach also contains oxalic acid which binds to calcium and other minerals reducing the body’s absorption of them. You can prevent this from happening by lightly cooking or steaming the spinach. Raw spinach is still highly nutritious and is great as a salad or in smoothies, but to absorb the most nutrients, lightly cooked is optimal. Spinach, along with all the other leafy greens, are probably the richest in nutrients of any foods in the vegetable kingdom; this makes them important vegetables to introduce to your breakfast program students. Because spinach has a very mild flavor, it’s perfect to add to eggs, smoothies, soups, stews, pasta dishes and even muffins! If you have picky eaters, start by adding spinach to smoothies. When using dark berries, the spinach will easily be disguised. “I’m strong to the finich, ‘cause I eats me spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man!”. Thanks Popeye!