Bring summer indoors

Come late winter and early spring, most Michigander’s are ready to be outside. Bring the outside in with these ideas.

February 13, 2014 - Author: Sarah Johnson, , Rachel Kunka, dietetic intern

Temperature in Michigan may warm up soon, but being February we still have a month or so of winter – and what will likely be a muddy spring. To help brighten your mood, Michigan State University Extension recommends bringing a little summer into your home.

You can bring summer into your home by bringing some of the outdoors in. For a quick, but not necessary long lasting, burst of color, pick up your favorite flowers from a local florist, grocery store or famer’s market. If you prefer something that will last longer, purchase a house plant. You could even be more adventurous and try your hand at forcing branches to bloom indoors. Bob Bricault, with MSU Extension explains the process in his article, “Bring a bit of spring indoors during the winter.”

If flowers and plants are too much, maybe a fresh fruit salad will do the trick. Winter Fruit Salad may be just what you need to brighten your winter day. This recipe calls for canned fruit, but you can use fresh fruit, or a combination, if you prefer.

Winter Fruit Salad

20 ounce can pineapple chunks

1, 6 ounce can pear halves

16 ounce can sliced peaches

1, 6 ounce can apricot halves

2, 6 ounce containers of lemon or vanilla low-fat yogurt


Drain fruit well. Cut the fruit into bite size chunks. Mix in a medium size bowl. Pour yogurt over top and blend gently. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Serve lunch or dinner picnic style, this is an idea especially for kids, but can be enjoyed by all ages. A plastic table cloth will protect floors from spills and if it has a summer design, that’s even better! Keep the meal or snack simple, think finger foods. Sandwiches, like peanut butter and jelly are simple and could be something your kids can help prepare. Carrots and sliced cucumber are a good vegetable addition to a summer themed menu. For dessert, serve fresh fruit –maybe the Winter Fruit Salad above or make your own popsicles. We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition) suggests the recipe below.

Orange-Strawberry Popsicles

Make your own popsicles using an ice cube tray or small disposable cups and popsicle sticks. Fill with water and add fresh squeezed oranges and mashed strawberries. Cover with aluminum foil and poke the sticks through the foil to hold them in place. Put in your freezer. Once frozen, pop out of container and enjoy.

No matter what you do to brighten your mood this winter, remember spring is right around the corner. However, if you can’t wait for spring or summer, bring the warmth indoors. Enjoy some lovely blooms, fresh fruit or a picnic for the family.

Tags: approaches to learning, early childhood development, family, food & health, msu extension

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