Swap for: Delivery Pizza It’s hard to resists a piping hot pizza smothered in gooey, bubbling cheese laid atop a thick, satisfying crust. However, this carb-laden favorite is notorious for packing on the pounds. For a classic Italian entrée that you can feel better about serving your kids, try this Cauliflower Crust Pizza, which substitutes a cauliflower crust in place of traditional dough. Thanks to the namesake blogger over at Linda Wagner, pizza gets a deceptively healthy makeover that boasts added nutritional value yet retains its sinfully delicious taste. Go ahead—take a second (or third) slice, guilt-free.
Swap for: Traditional Ground Beef Chili Fitness model Dre has the right idea about dinnertime. Her pumpkin-turkey chili, featured on Delicious by Dre, is a bold chili revamp brimming with ultra satisfying lean ground turkey and an entire can of immune-boosting pumpkin puree. This hearty, protein-packed alternative that contains a surprise hint of pumpkin will take your chili game to a whole new level. Whether you serve up this comforting dish come game day or make it a weeknight family favorite, this healthified adaption is sure to win praise from kids and adults alike.
Swap for: Fettuccine Alfredo Restaurant Entrée Thick, creamy, and indulgent, Alfredo sauce is an eternal crowd-pleaser—and with good reason! Conventional recipes call for pats of butter, heavy whipping cream, and liberal amounts of oil, which increase palatability. However, these high-fat ingredients also considerably increase caloric value. Thankfully, there’s no need to forgo this beloved entrée altogether. Rather, trade the saturated fats in favorites like Olive Garden’s 1220-calorie fettuccine alfredo for this lightened up skinny fettuccine alfredo, featured on Gimme Some Oven. Ali shows you how to halve the calories but retain the thick, creamy goodness in her health-conscious adaption. We guarantee your kids will be begging for more, and this time you can say yes to seconds.
Swap for: Frozen Fish Sticks To put it gently, frozen fish sticks can be limp, tasteless, and…mysterious. Ditch the unidentifiable filling in these high-sodium snacks and trade them for a more nutritious and appetizing version from How Sweet It Is that makes use of fresh tilapia filets. Dipped in a delightfully crunchy crust of panko and Parmesan, these tasty eats filled with flaky white fish are finger food you can actually get behind. Your kids are bound to adore this surprisingly nutrient-packed dinner—especially when served with ketchup.
Swap for: Classic Meatloaf For most of us, meatloaf is synonymous with childhood dinners. However, kids these days tend to hate this classic, hearty fare. Thankfully, Beth’s gluten-free and vegan lentil loaf courtesy of Tasty Yummies provides a much needed renovation to standard, boring meatloaf. Start a new traditional of meatless Mondays in your home, or serve up this satisfying, wholesome entrée brimming with lentils, oats, and veggies any night of the week. Either way, you’re bound to win with a dinner that is certified healthy and completely kid-approved.
Swap for: Boxed Mac n’ Cheese Can you keep a secret? The mystery ingredient in this decadent mac n’ cheese is butternut squash, which lends a rich, creamy flavor to this timeless dinnertime staple. Mac n’ cheese lovers rejoice; a healthified version finally exists that tastes totally normal but sneaks in added nutritional benefits sans unwelcome verdant veggies, thanks to Maria and Josh at Two Peas & Their Pod. Your kids will never guess that this gooey, flavorful dish topped with crunchy whole wheat bread crumbs hides a powerhouse of healthy goodness—but you’ll feel great knowing that it does.
Swap for: Fast Food Chicken Nuggets Deep-fried fast food chicken nuggets are not a healthy meal by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, ditch the greasy buckets of KFC and try your hand at making your own baked popcorn chicken nuggets. These addictive-free, bite-sized treats are baked, not fried, and trade bleached white flour for flaky panko crumbs. Using Kristin’s straightforward recipe from Iowa Girl Eats filled with fresh, good-for-you ingredients, you’ll have your whole family floored by these delightfully healthy copycats.
Swap for: Chinese Takeout Fried Rice Hold on to your chopsticks. There’s no need for MSG-laden takeout when you can serve up this Asian-inspired quinoa fried rice from the comfort of your kitchen. Utilizing the oh-so-trendy grain quinoa, this healthy fried ‘rice,’ courtesy of Cooking for Keeps, provides a boost of satiating protein that will easily tide kids over until their next meal. In addition, this delightfully flavorsome entrée provides a substantial serving of veggies, chopped up into small enough pieces that they’re actually palatable to your little ones. Thanks to Nicole’s exceptionally scrumptious recipe, you can say ‘sayonara’ to greasy, salty Chinese takeout—for good.
Swap for: Traditional Spaghetti & Meatballs Spaghetti with meatballs is a notoriously kid-friendly dish. However, traditional pasta is loaded with simple carbohydrates, making it a poor choice for a wholesome, nutritious diet. Enter Gillian’s spaghetti squash and meatballs, featured on The Haas Machine, which trades boxed, processed pasta noodles for the miraculous winter vegetable spaghetti squash. Because spaghetti squash produces pasta-like strands after baking, this healthy swap is absurdly simple to assemble. In fact, feel free to stick with your signature homemade sauce or your mama’s famous meatballs—no matter what you top it with, this dish is teeming with nutrition.
Swap for: Microwaveable Taquitos Skip the preservative-filled freezer aisle, and whip up a batch of infinitely better tasting and better-for-you homemade baked chicken and cheese taquitos from Just a Taste. Kelly’s recipe calls for simple ingredients you already have on-hand like cumin, paprika and lime. However, these bright, tangy flavors dress up basic taquitos like you wouldn’t believe, lending this dish an authentic Mexican essence. Even better, these tasty handheld treats are great for kids of all ages—and even spare you from doing dishes since they forgo the need for silverware.
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