Skip to content

    Health & Parenting

    Font Size

    Family Menu Makeovers: Lighten Your Favorite Foods

    Try these healthier versions of family favorites

    5 Quick Makeovers continued...

    4. French fries

    • Choose lower-fat frozen French fries.
    • Bake them instead of frying.
    • Complement this side dish with a fruit and a vegetable, so the family doesn't overdo the fries.

    BEFORE: 245 calories, 12 g fat, 5.6 g saturated fat, 0.8 g fiber per 3-ounce serving
    AFTER: 122 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 1 g fiber per 3-ounce serving
    SAVINGS: 23 calories, 8 g fat, 5.1 g saturated fat, plus 0.2 g fiber added

    5. Mexican dishes

    • Use reduced-fat Jack and/or cheddar cheese,
    • Work in beans every chance you get.
    • Use extra-lean meat (super-lean ground beef or ground sirloin, skinless chicken breast, lean pork trimmed of visible fat).
    • Use fat-free or light sour cream instead of regular.
    • Work in whole grains and vegetables (such as brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas, tomatoes, green peppers, etc.).

    Your family won’t even know they’re eating healthier when they’re digging into these delicious 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

    Today on WebMD

    Girl holding up card with BMI written
    Is your child at a healthy weight?
    toddler climbing
    What happens in your child’s second year.
    father and son with laundry basket
    Get your kids to help around the house.
    boy frowning at brocolli
    Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
    mother and daughter talking
    child brushing his teeth
    Sipping hot tea
    boy drinking from cereal bowl
    hand holding a cell phone
    rl with friends
    girl being bullied
    Child with adhd