Who would have thought that international celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day—March 17—for the patron saint, St. Patrick of Ireland, would be the best day to emphasize eating anything GREEN!
St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, reported to have been kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. Thankfully he escaped, eventually to return and convert the Irish to Christianity. His legacy was that of creating monasteries, churches, and schools, and used the shamrock as a symbol of the Trinity in Christianity. Now, March 17 is spent celebrating all things green, and feasting, partying, and probably drinking too much alcohol...!
I must admit our family has never really made special efforts to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, even when living in Chicago (where I met my husband, Dave) where the river is dyed green. I will say that of all days parents and caretakers may try to offer more “greens” in their children’s and family’s diet, this is a great day to do so with an excuse in the form of celebration!
Here are some activities you can do for this year’s celebration:
- Wear green clothes for the day.
Make green arts and crafts.
Read a St. Patrick’s Day book together, like How to Catch a Leprechaun
or There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover.
- Cook traditional Irish foods: corned beef and cabbage.
Have an entire day of eating nothing but green. (Looks like a vegetarian day, most likely.)
Go shopping and make a game of it: ask children to help pick out entire shopping cart full of green fresh foods—vegetables and fruit! Then create dishes using only green ingredients.
Green Fruits: green apples, pears, green grapes, kiwi, limes, carambola (star fruit), unripened papaya, green bananas, watermelon (don’t cut it)...
Green Veggies: asparagus, green bell pepper, lettuce, cucumbers, cilantro, broccoli, green beans, brussels sprouts, celery, zucchini, basil, green olives, arugula, spinach, kale...
- Make green eggs (green food dye) and avocado toast.
Buy a hydroponic lettuce head, use each leaf to make a lettuce cup and fill it with chopped up green veggies, drizzle with hoisin sauce, sriracha if you like spicy, even chopped peanuts if no one has a nut allergy!
- Drink something green—freshly squeezed juice or tea.
- Make smoothies: honeydew, grapes, ice, spinach, with almond or oat milk.
Play a game around the house: name everything green you have at home.
- Add green food coloring to the toilet to turn the water green.
Dye hair green (make sure it’s washable and comes off easily).
Go to a park or anywhere close to your house that has the most amount of green color/nature you can explore.
- Plan your summer vacation somewhere very green, like at a national park.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!