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Originally written by Kimberly Cripps , former SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, with contributions by Megan Erickson, former SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist, and Hope Kleine, former SDSU Extension Health Education Field Specialist.

Pick it!

  • Should have fresh, green leaves; not limp, damaged or spotted.
  • Leave should be dull green on top and bright green on the underside.
  • Available all year round.
  • Select green, crisp leaves with fresh fragrance. Avoid limp, damaged or spotted leaves.
  • Dry and pack fresh spinach loosely in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator crisper; last 3-4 days.

Try it!

  • Use cooked or raw in salads and sandwiches.
  • Can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, sautéed, or stir fried.
  • Tear off the stem and separate the leaves. Place in a large bowl of water; let sand drift to the bottom of the water and remove leaves by lifting out. Repeat until leaves are clean.

Like it! Chicken Florentine


  • 10 oz package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp. white flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
  • 2 lemons, to yield 2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel


  1. Put spinach in large skillet, cover, cook over medium heat until heated through.
  2. Remove and drain well.
  3. Heat thyme, oil, garlic and onion until onion is transparent.
  4. Add broth. Heat until thick. Add spinach.
  5. Put chicken in baking dish add spinach sauce and lemon peel.
  6. Place in 300 degrees F oven for 10 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Facts per Serving: Calories 220; Fat 7g; Cholesterol 75mg; Sodium 150mg; Carbs 8g

Source: University of Illinois Extension

Program Materials

Colorful fact sheets, recipe cards and educational videos provide educators and families with fun, engaging tools to enhance any dietary curriculum in a variety of settings.

Quick resources are available in the fact sheets below. Download the zipped folder to use the lesson plan, sampling instructions, recipes and display materials in your educational program.