Getting kids to clear their plates is no easy task. Tonight, vow to make dinner fun, colorful, and enticing for the little ones. These healthy dinner recipes overhaul some family favorites to add extra vitamins and reduce unnecessary calories — keeping kids fit and full.
If pasta is a staple in your home, give it a makeover. Instead of plain, white flour-based spaghetti noodles try a whole grain substitute. Choose pasta made from protein-rich quinoa or vitamin-packed cauliflower. Then boost the nutrient value of the pasta sauce with the help of a blender. Add the jar of sauce to the carafe, then add a few handfuls of fresh spinach leaves. Blend until the green veggies are no longer visible. Warm and serve.
When dinner is needed in a flash, make tortilla roll-ups. Start by choosing a whole wheat tortilla or a multigrain flatbread. Spread the surface with low fat softened cream cheese to help the toppings stay put. Now layer on thin, deli-shaved turkey or chicken. Then sneak in a few slices of tomato or a leaf of romaine lettuce. Roll, slice, and serve the bite-size roll-ups.
Kids love pizza. Tonight make individual pizzas that they can build themselves. Start with a sliced whole grain English muffin or bagel. Next, pile on pureed tomatoes seasoned with oregano and garlic. Tell the kids to pick a few colors of the rainbow to add to the pizza. Try chopped red bell peppers, yellow pieces of pineapple, green olives, or red slices of tomato. Finish with a sprinkle of low fat mozzarella cheese and toast in the oven. Delicious!
These healthy dinner recipes are much more nutritious than fried chicken nuggets or a fast food burger, so give them a try! United Way is an advocate for healthy living and proper nutrition for children. Read more about United Way's health goals and strategies here.