February 12, 2014
Family Friendly Healthy Meals

Dinners with the family can mean many different tastes and food preferences coming together. So how do you manage to feed picky eaters, and yourself - especially when you are on a specific nutrition plan? One of my favorite ways is by having a-la-carte style meals. Here are 5 ideas to try. Feel free to use what works well for you and your family: 

1. Taco Bar

   - "Shells": leaf lettuce or cabbage, whole-grain tortillas and/ or corn tortillas

   - Meats: diced chicken, flank steak or cod, grilled shrimp, or ground lean beef, chicken or turkey

   - Toppings: reduced-fat shredded cheese, diced veggies (tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, peppers,) low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, avocado or olives, salsa, light guacamole such as Trader Joe's brand

2. Potato Bar

   - Potatoes: russet or sweet

   - Toppings: steamed cauliflower & broccoli- chopped, low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese- shredded or spread

3. Pasta Bar

   - "Pasta's": whole-grain, and spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles

   - Sauces: marinara, olive oil/balsamic mix, light alfredo

   - Meats: chicken or turkey meatballs, veggie ground crumbles, grilled chicken, shrimp or salmon

4. Pizza Bar

   - Crusts: spaghetti or cauliflower crust, whole-grain pre-made crusts (refrigerated, frozen or pre-cooked) or Flat Out brand wraps

   - Sauces: marinara (such as Muir Glen brand,) olive oil, hot sauce

   - Meats: crumbled pre-cooked meats (turkey, chicken, vegetarian or beef,) diced grilled chicken or shrimp

   - Toppings: veggies (peppers, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, etc.) low-fat cheese, olives

5. Wrap Bar

   - Shells: whole-grain tortillas, corn tortillas, whole-grain Flat Out brand wraps or cabbage leaves

   - Meats: reduced-sodium turkey and ham or tofu, or veggie turkey

   - Toppings: low-fat shredded cheese, sliced tomatoes and onions, leaf lettuce, pickle spears, dijon mustard or low-fat mayo


You can see that meals with healthy, but easily customizable, components make great family-friendly meals. What is your favorite way to feed a variety of tastes?

Written by Erika Brown

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