Something about the sunshine and budding flowers makes fresh food seem that much more appealing. Making a fresh, healthy spring meal to eat outside seems idyllic, but we don’t always have the time to make something fancy.

And that’s why this is a practical guide. Some of the meals here will feel fancy, but they won’t take much time and they’ll highlight the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Buying produce in season can help you save some money — and your meals will taste just that much more fresh.

Without further ado, here’s a practical guide to springtime healthy eating.

Spring breakfast ideas

Spring breakfasts are a good opportunity to use some produce to accentuate common breakfast foods like eggs and oatmeal.

  • An omelette with mushrooms, onions and spinach. Serve with a side of pineapple or with sliced avocado on top. A crusty piece of bread would go great with this dish as well.
  • Oatmeal with sliced banana, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Buckwheat pancakes with sliced banana and strawberries on top.
  • An egg over easy on top of a piece of fresh bread with some cooked kale. Before cooking your kale, massage it with olive oil and consider grating some flakey salt on top.
  • Oatmeal with peas, onions, mushrooms and garlic for a savory twist on a breakfast commonly served sweet.
  • Scramble a couple of eggs with broccoli, spinach and cheese.
  • Sweet potato home fries with mushrooms, collard greens and onions.
  • Coconut yogurt with lemon, honey and a sprinkle of tree nuts.
  • An egg scramble with ham, broccoli, onions and cheese.
  • Tofu scramble with mushrooms, onions and spinach. Top with some salsa.

Tips to help with meal prep:

  • Chop up vegetables at the start of the week or use frozen vegetables so you can easily cook them in the mornings.
  • Look at breakfast as an investment of your time. A protein-filled breakfast is proven to be good for weight loss and is a healthy way to start the day, per Healthline.
  • Think about seasoning your food in layers. When you make eggs, don’t immediately salt them because that changes the moisture content. Instead add your spices like pepper or garlic powder early and finish with a little bit of salt. Add multiple layers of seasoning to give the food time to be well-seasoned.

Spring salad ideas

Spring salads are a great opportunity to use vegetables like asparagus as the base, and to experiment with your salads, too. Warm salads are a great transition meal for coming out of winter and heading into spring. Here are some ideas.

  • Spinach, fresh mint, strawberries and walnut salad with either a balsamic vinaigrette or a quick dressing with crunchy mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, cracked peppercorn and garlic. You can consider adding feta cheese or goat cheese on top.
  • Chopped broccoli, red onion, sunflower seeds, fresh basil and corn (cooked and cooled off) dressed with a coleslaw dressing. You can add crispy hardwood smoked bacon.
  • Spinach, cucumbers, shredded carrots, peas, onions and fresh dill with a garlicky ranch dressing.
  • Asparagus, peas, spinach, kale and a creamy lemon dressing.
  • Warm quinoa with spinach, carrots, peas, corn, dill and onions with a honey mustard dressing.
  • Chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, spinach and cabbage with a garlicky olive oil dressing.

Spring lunch ideas

Spring lunches are a good time to experiment with cold soups and to incorporate more fruit into your meals.

  • For a lighter twist on a chicken salad sandwich, try a chickpea salad sandwich. You can serve with sliced apple on the side.
  • Risotto with peas, asparagus and a lemony olive oil sauce.
  • Deviled eggs with a quick spinach, kale and strawberry salad.
  • Ravioli with broccoli, asparagus and spinach.
  • Pea soup.
  • Garlic mashed turnip with rotisserie chicken and a side of strawberries.
  • Turkey sandwich with spinach and a side of baked carrots.
  • Couscous with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, radishes, spinach and a mix of fresh herbs dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Hummus spread on a pita stuffed with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, spinach and radishes.
  • Salmon on top of spinach.

Spring dinner ideas

  • Scallops with lemon juice and a garden salad.
  • Baked potato with broccoli, mushrooms and cheese.
  • Parmesan crusted chicken with asparagus and mashed potato.
  • Roasted broccoli, potato, carrots, turnip and Italian sausage.
  • Bowtie pasta with peas, parmesan cheese, butter and red pepper flakes.
  • Mushroom wild rice with carrots, celery, garlic and onions stuffed in a bell pepper.
  • Pesto risotto with asparagus.
  • Vegetarian lasagna with an asparagus salad.

Spring dessert ideas

  • Strawberry shortcake.
  • Rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream.
  • Apple galette.
  • Pineapple upside down cake.
  • Key lime pie.
  • Strawberry chocolate chip cookies.
  • Glazed lemon cake.

What vegetables are in season in the spring?

According to the USDA’s seasonal produce guide, here are the vegetables that are considered in season for the spring.

  • Asparagus.
  • Broccoli.
  • Cabbage.
  • Carrots.
  • Celery.
  • Collard greens.
  • Garlic.
  • Herbs.
  • Kale.
  • Lettuce.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Onions.
  • Peas.
  • Radishes.
  • Spinach.
  • Swiss chard.
  • Turnip.

What fruits are in season in the spring?

According to the USDA’s seasonal produce guide, here are the fruits that are considered in season for the spring.

  • Apples.
  • Apricots.
  • Avocados.
  • Bananas.
  • Kiwis.
  • Lemons.
  • Limes.
  • Pineapples.
  • Rhubarb.
  • Strawberries.