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Mommy Makeovers: Lighten Kids' Favorite Foods

Try these healthier versions of family favorites
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Do as I Say, Not as I Did continued...

Here are some other interesting tidbits from this study:

  • 62% of the women in the survey were put on their first diet before age 14.
  • 40% were put on a diet by their parents.
  • 83% of the women with BMIs of 55 or higher had dieted more than 11 times.

Other studies have found consistently that youths' attempts at weight control tend to do exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to do. In fact, the higher the level of dietary restraint, concern about weight, and body dissatisfaction among young girls at risk of being overweight, the more weight they gained between ages 5 to 9, according to a recent study.

Focusing your family on eating and exercising for the health of it is a healthier way to go, both mentally and physically.

Transforming Kids Favorite Foods

What do macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and pizza have in common? They're "kid foods," of course. I don't know how it happens, but somewhere between making them their first peanut-butter-and jelly sandwich and taking them to their first play date where they're introduced to macaroni and cheese (from the box), we find ourselves fixing "kid foods" for the family meals at least some of the time.

To get your family started on the road to healthy eating, I did a few "mommy makeovers" to lighten dishes that moms go out of their way to make because our kids love them. By making a few ingredient adjustments, you can transform them into healthier options for kids and grownups alike.

I had my suspicions about what these foods were, but I wanted some professional advice. So I asked a few editors of food or parenting publications what they thought. Then I did a "mommy makeover" on one dish/recipe from each editor's list. (I noted these with an *; see the recipes below.)

Andrea Messina, lifestyle director for Parenting magazine, is convinced that kids like things buttery, cheesy, or fried. She puts pizza*, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and French fries at the top of the popularity chart.

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