52 New Foods: Our Journey to Happy, Healthy Eating February 10 2013, 4 Comments

52 weeks, 52 new foods. How our family discovered the secret to happy, healthy eating.

It all boils down to pasta and peas. That’s why I started this journey. Determined to find a better way, I was on a mission to end mealtime battles over broccoli. I resolved to make the family table a place that we all wanted to be. I did it by making it fun and focusing on one simple goal: 52 weeks, 52 new foods.

It’s been a year of ups and downs. One of the highlights was when my daughter created her very own recipe for Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunch Challenge, Friendship Garden Soup. There were lows, too, like when she chose Cheetos for her lunch during an interview about how to get kids to eat healthy. But when you put all of the good with the bad, the tough days with the terrific days, it was worth every minute.

During a frantic visit to the grocery store, in the days leading up to Christmas, it all came together for me. Standing with my son in the frozen food section, feeling dizzy about how I was going to host 12 guests for three non-stop days of holiday meals, I suggested we pick up a few prepared foods to have “as backup.” I reached into the freezer and his sweet little hand grabbed my arm. I paused. With a look of complete bewilderment he stated with a kindergartener’s conviction, “But Mommy, we don’t eat anything from a box!”   

I’m honored to have shared our story with The Huffington Post, Jamie Oliver, Edible Silicon Valley and Canada AM. Thank you to the hundreds of thousands of families who have cheered us on and joined our journey to healthy eating. The support I’ve found through this community is one of the many wonderful (and unexpected) gifts I discovered this year. 

If you’re just tuning into 52 New Foods, welcome to the table! I’m so glad that you’re here. Together with your family, check out our best healthy recipes list to get inspired and then join us each week as we sample and savor foods from around the world. Share your ideas, recipes and questions with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or simply on this blog. I hope 52 New Foods will help you plant the seeds of change at your family table like it did for me.

About the author: Jennifer Tyler Lee is a mom of two children and the creator of Crunch a Color® -- award-winning nutrition games that make 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 kids’ nutrition programs. Winner of the Dr. Toy and Parent Tested, Parent Approved awards, Crunch a Color® has been featured by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Rachael Ray's Yum-O!, Laurie David’s Family Dinner, Kiwi Magazine, Dr. Greene, and Yum Food & Fun For Kids, among many others, as a simple, fun and playful way to get kids to eat healthy and try new foods. Jennifer’s passion is making mealtime fun and healthy for busy families. Her easy recipes, quick tips, and new food adventures are regularly featured at Pottery Barn Kids, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, The Huffington Post, and on her weekly recipe blog at crunchacolor.com.