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

Gung 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 mandarin orangesDon’t you find that the best things in life are the simplest things? Mandarin Oranges rank in the top quartile for simple pleasures in my book. Perfectly sized for little hands and packed with happiness (and vitamin C), they are easy lunchbox companions, super snacks, and delectable for dessert. For playful food artists like my daughter, Mandarin Oranges always make an easy and beautiful feature food.  Though lovable on their own, we decided to venture out and try a new twist on one of our all-time favorite foods.

Feature Recipe: Avocado and Orange Salad with Hazelnuts

healthy eating avocado and orange saladI love salads – when someone else makes them for me. My salads are predictably boring, so I adore when someone brings a spirited salad to share and I’m always on the lookout for interesting, easy salad recipes. Natalie Perry's Avocado and Orange Salad with Hazelnuts fits the bill. True to Natalie’s warning, my food adventurers were not fond of the dressing, so I let them whip up a healthy concoction that would be pleasing to their palates. They used a base of olive oil, added a splash of orange and lemon juices, and a touch of honey. Delicious!

Crunch a Color’s Citrus Dressing
¼c olive oil
2 Tbsps orange juice
Juice from one lemon
1 Tbsp of honey
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a jar. Shake. Pour. Enjoy! (Tip: heat the honey for a few seconds in the microwave to make it mix more easily)

Crunch a Color Kids Vote: 2 Thumbs Up! We’ll definitely try this again.

healthy eating hazelnutsWhat we liked: The toasted hazelnuts were the surprise contender in this new food contest. Their wonderful aroma and nutty flavor were incredibly inviting. Instead of chopping the nuts, I placed them in a Ziplock bag and let my daughter hammer them with a rolling pin. Less stressful for me and great fun for her! Despite my best effort, though, my kids didn’t try the salad greens. Instead, I made a taster plate of the individual elements -- avocados, Mandarin Orange slices, and hazelnuts – and let the kids dip the fixings into their homemade dressing. They enjoyed savoring their citrus creation alongside some of their familiar favorites. I call that a success!

Healthy Eating: Week 4, Spinach

healthy eating spinachIf my kids aren’t fond of salad greens, how am I going to get them to try spinach? With Martian Muffins, that’s how! This week we’re taking on the Big Daddy of healthy greens: Spinach! Thanks to Spinach Cake Muffins from weelicious (aka Martian Muffins), my picky eaters may have met their match.


Craving more new recipes to try? Catch up on last week’s recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pancetta.

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 meals, so she decided to make it into a healthy eating game and she’s giving back to support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, FoodCorps, and Alice Water’s Edible Schoolyard. Watch her picky eaters tell the story of how they turned into healthy eaters playing the game. Follow @crunchacolor and #52NewFoods to tune into Crunch a Color's healthy eating adventure and Jennifer’s tips and kid-friendly, easy recipes.