52 New Foods: Week 13, Kale Chips

Posted by Jennifer Lee on April 03, 2012 0 Comments

Snack attack! We all have them (kids and adults included). The trick is to make the snacks you grab healthy. Here’s how!

It’s that dreaded no man’s land between the end of school and the start of dinner. My kids barrel through the front door after a fun and active day – and they’re hungry! A freight train drives into the kitchen and throws open the refrigerator door. “What’s for snack, Mom?”     

Feature Recipe: Kale Chips, A Fast and Healthy Snack Idea

Fast, healthy snack ideas: Kale ChipsOn the food love spectrum for my kids, potato chips are like a “high-school crush” and kale is more like a “first and last date." When I discovered kale chips I paused and pondered, “Could this relationship change?” Crunchy, colorful and deliciously satisfying, it was a match made in heaven. Kale chips are the answer to our daily snack dilemma!

 

Crunch a Color’s Kale Chips

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: about 18 to 20 minutes
Makes about 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 bunch lacinto ("dino") kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 250°F.

2) Wash kale. Peel or cut leaves from center stalk. Chop into medium size pieces. Pat dry.

3) Toss in 1Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

4) Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

5) Bake about 18 to 20 minutes, or until crisp. Cool then serve.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Crunch!

What we liked: Kale chips are a colorful, healthy snack food that my kids love (their nutty flavor is akin to seaweed). They are easy enough for a 5 year old to prepare, which wins them more points in my book. This is the kind of snack food I can get into.       

What is your favorite healthy snack? Do tell!

Next up: Spaghetti with Meatballs

Having grown up in an Italian family, it’s impossible to imagine a week without spaghetti and meatballs! Next up, a deliciously healthy Italian dinner that will have you singing, “That’s amore!”

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Asparagus with Ginger-Soy Glaze.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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How to Make Cupcake Toppers - Free Printable!

Posted by Jennifer Lee on March 31, 2012 0 Comments

Simple flourishes can bring a smile. Here's how to make cupcake toppers to spruce up everything from a cup of fresh fruit to healthy snacks like our no bake, nut-free cookie. No cupcakes needed for these healthy treat toppers! Get creative and use them to make your own napkin rings, place cards and lunchbox notes. The possibilities are endless! Our free printable cupcake toppers will get you started: 

cupcake toppersHow to Make Cupcake Toppers


Step 1: Download our free printable cupcake toppers.

Step 2: Print on heavy white paper.

Step 3: Cut columns then punch with a 1.5” or 2” circle punch.

Step 4: Glue a toothpick between two circles.

Voila! These easy to make cupcake toppers are a fun addition to any healthy snack. We’d love to see your crafty creations so be sure to share your ideas on our Facebook page!

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On Canada AM: How to Get Kids to Eat Healthy

Posted by Jennifer Lee on March 22, 2012 2 Comments

It’s the one thing most families have in common: the desire to make mealtime healthy and stress-free. For me, it all boils down to one simple idea: Have fun enjoying colorful meals together. I had a great time with the morning crew at Canada AM, sharing my simple tips for getting your whole family eating healthy. Here’s the scoop: 

Jennifer Tyler LeeTips for Fun and Healthy Eating with Kids

1)   Focus on colors. Nutritionists and healthy eating experts are talking a lot about "plant-based diets." An easy way to make that change simple and fun for kids is to focus on eating colors. Green broccoli, red tomatoes, purple cauliflower -- the more colors on your plate the better! This works for kids because as one Crunch a Color™ fan raved, "It speaks their language!"

2)   Make it fun. This simple idea is at the core of why Crunch a Color™ works. The key to getting kids (and adults) to stick with any healthy program is to make it fun! Racking up points by eating colorful meals, and doubling your points by trying new foods, is a great way to make healthy eating fun and engaging for the whole family. Try playing Crunch a Color™ and you’ll see how this very simple change makes an immediate and positive impact at your family table.

3)   Enjoy meals together. Cooking and eating together is an important part of getting your whole family eating healthy. Children who eat dinner regularly with their families are 40% less likely to be obese, according to a study in Pediatrics. With busy schedules, taking time out for dinners together can be tough. Instead, dedicate at least one weeknight to “New Food Night.” As a family, we come together to set the menu, cook the meal, and enjoy eating together. Each week we include at least one food that we haven’t tried. It’s a wonderful family tradition. To make it easy and fun, focus on simple, colorful recipes you can enjoy cooking with your kids. Be sure to check out our 52 New Foods series for a fantastic lineup of kid-approved, healthy recipes your whole family will love.

No Bake Cookies: Bitty Bites

no bake cookiesPaired with a sweet touch of honey and wholesome oats, these healthy no bake cookies are the new lunchbox regulars at our house. Quick and easy to make, these tasty no bake bites use sunflower butter instead of peanut butter to create a healthy, nut-free, no bake cookie that's great for dessert or a lunchtime snack. Inspired by www.thescramble.com.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Makes about 12 cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup oats
¼ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sunflower butter
¼ cup honey
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

Directions:

1)   In a small bowl, combine the oats, flour, sunflower butter and honey.

2)   Mix well.

3)   Use a tablespoon to portion a small amount of dough into your hands. Roll into a ball the size of a large marble.

4)   Roll the balls in the powdered sugar.

5)   Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Add dried cranberries or raisins for a little pop of color.

*Cooking tip: Lightly grease a measuring cup before adding the honey. It'll make it easy for the honey to slip right off into the mixing bowl.

Kale Chips

kale chipsA favorite snack for my kids is kale chips. They are an easy, healthy version of chips that your kids are sure to enjoy (their nutty flavor is akin to seaweed).

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: about 20 minutes
Makes about 4 servings


Ingredients:
1 bunch lacinto ("dino") kale
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 250°F

2) Wash kale. Peel or cut leaves from center stalk. Chop into medium size pieces. Pat dry.

3) Toss in 1Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.

4) Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

5) Bake about 18 to 20 minutes, or until crisp. Cool then serve.

Decorating Tricks

snack topperSimple flourishes can bring a smile. Use these fun Crunch a Color™ circles to make the healthy treat toppers featured on Canada AM. Or get creative and make your own napkin rings, place cards and lunchbox notes. Be sure to share your ideas on our Facebook page

Click here to download.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

 

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52 New Foods: Week 12, Asparagus with Ginger-Soy Glaze

Posted by Jennifer Lee on March 27, 2012 3 Comments

Celebrate spring with the perennial harbinger of buds and butterflies: asparagus. With bushels of bright green spears crowding our local markets, we decided to welcome asparagus to our family table.

A perfect spring meal at our house always includes asparagus. Beautiful and easy to prepare, asparagus is a welcome guest at our table for the few weeks that it is in season. Asparagus recipes abound, but this deliciously simple recipe is one that my family loves.     

Feature Recipe: Asparagus with Ginger-Soy Glaze

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Its delicate flavor always reminds me of playful spring brunches with my family and simple summer outdoor meals. Grilled or broiled and tossed with a touch of olive oil and salt, it epitomizes wholesome, simple cooking. It’s also a fun way to start the conversation with your kids about colorful, seasonal vegetables. Can you name a few?

Asparagus with Ginger-Soy Glaze

asparagus with ginger-soy glazePrep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Ingredients:
2lbs thin asparagus
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced ginger
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
Juice from one lime
Salt to taste

Directions:

1) Set oven to broil.

2) Snap off ends of asparagus.

3) Toss with olive oil and salt. Lay on a baking sheet.

4) Broil for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through.

5) Whisk soy sauce, ginger, honey and lime juice together in a small bowl.

6) Arrange asparagus on a platter. Drizzle lightly with ginger-soy glaze.

A special thanks to Aida Mollenkamp for the beautiful pictures of this family-friendly dish. Check out her take on our Asparagus with Ginger-Soy Glaze, along with her other wonderful recipes, at aidamollenkamp.com.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Let’s celebrate!

What we liked: This recipe is delicious, colorful and easy enough for kids to prepare. Make it more than a meal! Stop by your neighborhood farmers’ market, scout out locally grown asparagus, and enjoy swapping recipes with the people who grow the food we eat.       

What is your favorite colorful springtime recipe? Share your comments.

Next up: Kale

kale chipsMy kids love potato chips but they haven’t been willing to try kale. Could a healthy, colorful twist be the answer? Tune in next week for the latest in our new food adventure: kale chips.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Whole wheat banana pancakes.

 

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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52 New Foods: Week 11, Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Posted by Jennifer Lee on March 21, 2012 6 Comments

Health up your hot cakes! Banana pancakes get a whole lot healthier with the addition of whole-wheat flour. Thanks to Jamie Oliver, they’re deliciously tasty too!

Brunch. Like Ramona Quimby, the sound of the word makes me smile. The perfect combination of half breakfast and half lunch, it’s my most favorite meal. Brunch brings together family, friends, delicious comfort foods, and great conversation. Banana pancakes are a must on my brunch menu, but could I make them healthier?   

Feature Recipe: Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes from Jamie Oliver

whole wheat banana pancakesTurned up noses are typical when I introduce whole-wheat versions of our favorite dishes. But the simple blend of flours in Jamie Oliver’s All-American Pancakes, combined with bananas and walnuts, made this recipe a brunch time winner at our house. Here’s how I made them.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup fat-free milk
1 egg, beaten
1 TBSP butter
1 banana, sliced
1 handful of walnuts (optional)


Directions:

1)   Whisk flours, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.

2)   Add the milk, egg, and butter. Stir until just blended (a few lumps are okay).

3)   Heat a non-stick griddle or large frying pan. Lightly grease with butter.

4)   Pour ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle for each pancake. Place a few slices of banana on each pancake as it is cooking.

5)   Cook until large bubbles begin to appear. Flip and cook until golden brown on the second side.

6)   Serve immediately with warm maple syrup, a sprinkle of walnuts, and seasonal fresh fruit.

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: Pass the pancakes, please!

What we liked: This recipe is easy, tasty and the perfect weekend brunch companion. Let your kids play with the flour blend and toppings to find the right mix for your family.    

What is your favorite brunch recipe? Share your comments.

Next up: Asparagus

asparagusA perennial springtime favorite, bushels of asparagus are crowding the tables at our local farmers’ markets. Next week, a simple recipe that will make these splendid green spears a welcome addition to your family table.

Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Gluten-Free Fruit and Berry Crisp.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning game that makes healthy eating fun. Like most parents, she struggled to get her kids to eat healthy, balanced meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support non-profit children’s nutrition programs including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and FoodCorps. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor on Facebook and Twitter to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.

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