Tips and Recipes

Healthy Eating: Week 4, Spinach (#52NewFoods) January 29 2012, 0 Comments

spinachPlanted firmly toe to toe, it was a piercing stare down contest of epic proportions. Two unrelenting, iron wills: Spinach vs. my picky eater. What’s a mom to do?


Healthy Eating: Week 3, Mandarin Oranges (#52NewFoods) January 23 2012, 2 Comments

healthy eating mandarin orangesGung Hay Fat Choy! Many mouth-watering foods are part of the Chinese New Year celebration, but Mandarin Oranges always top our list of favorites. Ambassadors of prosperity and good luck, Mandarin Oranges are the perfect food to ring in a New Year filled with healthy eating adventures!


Healthy Eating: Week 2, Brussels Sprouts (#52newfoods) January 16 2012, 0 Comments

cooking brussels sproutsSizzle, sizzle, pop! A comforting aroma filled our kitchen as we fried the pancetta for our new food of the week: Brussels Sprouts. If I plan to advocate for my kids to try new foods, I figured I had better set a good example by trying something new myself! 


Healthy Eating: Week 1, Onions (#52NewFoods) January 10 2012, 0 Comments

The allure of bonus points for trying a new food wasn’t even enough to get my picky eater to try onions. She would pick them out of her dishes with the precision of a well-trained surgeon. For our healthy eating adventure, I decided to start with a real challenge: get my daughter to try onions!
 


Healthy Eating: 52 weeks, 52 new foods (#52NewFoods) January 06 2012, 0 Comments

Healthy Eating will top countless New Year’s resolution lists this year. The Crunch a Color kids decided to take on this challenge in a new way: 52 weeks, 52 new foods (#52NewFoods). I hope you and your picky eaters will join us on this yearlong adventure of eating healthy and trying new, kid-friendly, easy recipes. Jamie Oliver will feature our culinary journey -- it’s a New Year’s food revolution! 


The votes are in: Parents and kids love Crunch a Color December 28 2011, 2 Comments

Crunch a Color™ was featured this week on CTV's Morning Live. Parent Tested, Parent Approved's Sharon Vinderine featured a lineup of products that parents (and kids!) have put to the test and voted top on their list. Picky eaters, you've met your match! 

 




Gifts that Give Back November 27 2011, 0 Comments

Spread joy and love this season by giving gifts that give back to support a good cause. Give knowing that your gift is helping others, which is the best gift of all.



Can Every Day Be Thanksgiving? November 18 2011, 3 Comments

Why should Thanksgiving be the only memorable meal of the year? There are many aspects of Thanksgiving that we can incorporate into everyday meals. 


Crunch a Color™ on CBS November 14 2011, 0 Comments

The Crunch a Color™ kids talking healthy eating with the morning crew at CBS' Good Day Sacramento! Watch how these picky eaters turned into healthy eating fans playing Crunch a Color™ -- the award-winning nutrition game that makes healthy eating fun and gives back to fight obesity.

 


Picky eaters to healthy eaters November 12 2011, 1 Comment

 Hear how my kids went from picky eaters to healthy eaters by making mealtime fun!



On ABC, Moms Dish About Healthy Eating November 04 2011, 0 Comments

ABC's 7Live interviews Jennifer Tyler Lee and shares the secret to getting your kids to eat their veggies -- make it fun!

 


Crunch a Color on CanadaAM November 04 2011, 0 Comments

Jennifer Tyler Lee, mom and creator of Crunch a Color, shares her story with Seamus O'Regan of Canada's #1 morning show, CTV's CanadaAM. Who knew eating veggies could be so much fun!

 


Healthy Holidays October 07 2011, 1 Comment

ThanksgivingI love the holidays. My children are giddy with the sounds, sights, and smells of the season. Like many parents, I enjoy spending time with my kids and sharing treasured holiday traditions through cooking, baking and eating! But a full calendar of holiday celebrations can quickly add up to a less than healthy holiday menu. A few tips for how to keep the holidays healthy and happy this year!

Pace yourself – Back to back parties can run parents and kids ragged. Space out parties! Plan for a rest day in-between big events to allow little bodies to recover.

Play each day – Schedule time each day to get out and play! On mild days, ride bikes to the park. On rainy days, a game of hoops at the gym can be a fun afternoon activity for the whole family. If time is working against you, crank up the tunes and have a dance party. Just get moving!

Include a healthy option with each meal – Offer a couple of healthy options at each holiday meal. Steamed veggies, like green beans or broccoli, are beautiful on their own and make a colorful compliment to a holiday table.

Lighten up – If you’re heading off to a big family dinner, plan for lighter fare earlier in the day. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on yogurt parfaits to infuse a little holiday flavor into your breakfast. Homemade, hearty chicken noodle soup can make for a veggie packed, lighter lunch option.

H2O is the way to go – Put out a pitcher of water on your kitchen table so kids can easily help themselves throughout the day. Remind kids (and yourself) to fill ‘er up.


Healthy Halloween: Tricks not Treats! September 29 2011, 2 Comments


Top tips for kid-friendly, healthy meals September 01 2011, 0 Comments


Picky Picky: How to eat healthy with picky eaters September 01 2011, 2 Comments

how to eat healthy with picky eatersI know this kid. When she was a toddler she ate everything. Then she turned three and her expansive palette narrowed like a construction zone on El Camino. If you declare one more time, “You must eat your broccoli before you can have dessert!” you might explode. How do you get back on track? Here are my tips for how to eat healthy with picky eaters!

1. Keep it fun!

I yell, “Get your shoes on, we’re going to be late!” -- nothing happens. My husband exclaims, “Kids team against Daddy, race ya!” and my kids are ready before I can put my coffee cup in the dishwasher. A game is engaging and kids want to have fun. At the table, count colors, share jokes, play “kids team” against parents. Bonus points for good manners and trying new foods! Crunch a Color is a great tool for keeping it fun.

2. Let the kids choose.

Young children do not get to control much, but they can control what they eat. Set them up for success by serving up a balanced, colorful meal and then, in a fun and playful way, let them choose. Think protein + 3 colors + healthy grains. This little formula gives kids an easy to understand goal, then puts them in the driver’s seat. Be a role model by making healthy choices for your own plate as well.

3. Be flexible.

What works for one child might not for the other. Always be aiming for a colorful, balanced meal, but be flexible in how you get there. Think about nutrition over the course of a week as opposed to just one meal. Take what they already like and find new ways to prepare it. If they like roast chicken, try a chicken with veggies stir fry. Mostly, be patient, positive, and flexible

This article appears in the October 2011 issue of Jen's column, Healthy Eating, that is featured in the Burlingame Mothers' Club newsletter each month. The BMC is a local mothers group in the Bay Area with over 1,700 members in Burlingame, Hillsborough and San Mateo. Jen is an active member and former President of the club. 


A Colorful, Asian-Inspired Lunch Menu! August 18 2011, 0 Comments

This is an easy and colorful lunch. Most of the food can be prepared with your kids the night before, including the rice and the Tamago, making morning time assembly a breeze.


Power Lunch August 09 2011, 0 Comments

Back to school means a whole new schedule in our house and a well-planned strategy for making easy and nutritious lunches that the kids will eat. Here are a few of my tips for a successful lunch box!

1)     Follow a simple formula:  protein + 3 colors + healthy grains.

A colorful, well-balanced meal is a healthy meal. When you pack lunches, follow my simple formula:  protein + 3 colors + healthy grains. Keep a list of favorite foods by color for inspiration. Aim for two of the colors to be veggies. Steer clear of dried fruits to avoid cavities and the sugar high.

2)     Get your kids involved!

Brainstorm foods that the kids would like to eat and let them choose the menu. Take them shopping with you to pick their foods and when you can, let the kids prepare their lunches. Anything on a stick is usually a winner (consider using straws for little ones) and cookie or sandwich cutters (like the Lunch Punch) make sandwich-building fun for everyone.

3)     Gear up.

The right gear can make all of the difference. Here are my faves:

Built Neoprene Lunch Tote – washes easily which means no fear when fruit gets mushed in the bag. 

LunchBots – compact, easy to wash, and separates food nicely.

Camelbak Kids – they don’t spill, enough said.

Thermos Lava Food Jar – to keep the hot things hot.

Wax Paper Bags – to save the sea turtles. (at Mollie Stone’s and Whole Foods)

Lunch Lines – for a giggle.

This article appears in the September 2011 issue of Jen's column, Healthy Eating, that is featured in the Burlingame Mothers' Club newsletter each month. The BMC is a local mothers group in the Bay Area with over 1,700 members in Burlingame, Hillsborough and San Mateo. Jen is an active member and former President of the club.


It's a Wrap! August 06 2011, 0 Comments

Wraps are a huge hit in our house. PB&J wraps, chicken with avocado, eggs and cheese. The possibilities are endless. Let the kids choose the ingredients and make the rolls themselves -- it's fun and super easy. Choose whole wheat tortillas if you can. http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/kid-friendly_wraps/ 


The Un-Cobb Salad July 27 2011, 1 Comment

Un-Cobb Salad from Simply RecipesMy daughter selected Romaine lettuce this week as the new food she'd like to try to 2x her points! We'll give Simply Recipe's un-Cobb salad a try...lots of things to like in this one! 


Asparagus Frittata July 26 2011, 0 Comments

Asparagus Frittata from Simply RecipesThis recipe brings back fond memories for me. My gram used to make it with Ricotta cheese instead of Gruyere. Equally yummy. Thanks Simply Recipes for another tasty, healthy, kid-friendly recipe: Asparagus Frittata!


Beef Kebabs from Simply Recipes July 22 2011, 0 Comments

Beef Kebabs from Simply RecipesKebabs are a fun and easy way to mix it up for the kids. You can also get all 5 colors on one stick :) Thanks to Simply Recipes for this tasty recipe: Beef Kebabs.


Mark Bittman's Simplest and Best Shrimp July 22 2011, 0 Comments

This easy and tasty recipe is one your kids can make! Mark Bittman's Simplest Shrimp


Watermelon Gazpacho July 20 2011, 0 Comments

Watermelon is a summer favorite at our house. This is a great opportunity for the kids to 2x their points by trying something new! From NYTimes Recipes for Health: Watermelon Gazpacho.