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Health & Parenting

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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

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