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Family Menu Makeovers: Lighten Your Favorite Foods

Try these healthier versions of family favorites

Easy French Bread Pizza

This is a quick alternative to frozen pizza. They're easy for kids to assemble; then Mom or Dad can broil them.

2 French-bread sandwich rolls, split in half
Olive oil or canola cooking spray
1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
1/2 cup bottled pizza sauce or marinara sauce
3/4 cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese
Assorted vegetable toppings:
Chopped green onions
Tomato slices
Zucchini slices
Mushroom slices
Artichoke hearts
Sliced olives

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Spray the tops of the French-bread roll halves with canola or olive oil cooking spray, then sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the top of each.
  • Broil bread halves until lightly brown on top. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
  • Spread 1/8 cup pizza sauce over each half, then sprinkle 1/4 of the cheddar cheese and 1/4 of the mozzarella over each half.
  • Arrange any vegetables you choose on top of the cheese.
  • Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly (about 2 minutes).

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving (without the vegetable toppings): 189 calories, 12 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fat, 4.3 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 430 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

Source: Andrea Messina, lifestyle director for Parenting magazine

Kids' Favorite Banana Bread

This is a mild-flavored banana bread without nuts, to please the younger palates in the family. It's great toasted, too!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup no-trans-fat margarine (choose one with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon)
1/4 vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup Splenda baking sweetener or sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup egg substitute or 2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups mashed overripe bananas (about four bananas)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with canola cooking spray and lightly dust with flour.
  • In a large bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt. In large mixing bowl, cream together margarine, yogurt, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and Splenda.
  • On low speed, beat in egg, egg substitute, and mashed bananas until well blended. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and blend just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Yield: One 9x5-inch loaf (12 servings).

Per serving: 198 calories, 5 g protein, 36.5 g carbohydrate, 4.3 g fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 232 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 29%.

Source: Syd Carter, an editor with AllRecipes.com

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