168348 tn?1379357075

I'm looking for some kid-friendly, healthy dinner ideas that the whole family will enjoy?

Anybody have a recipe to share that is healthy, kid-friendly and, of course, easy-to-cook?  Seems the older my kids get, the harder it is to find recipes they all will eat!  My children range in ages 9-17

They are "bored" with the same thing .. can I blame them?  So, I welcome any recipes you care to share :)

Thanks MedHelp for this great new community!   I'll be checking it daily for new ideas!

19 Responses
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172023 tn?1334672284
I made this a long time ago.  Its surprisingly good!  Perhaps not as healthy as it could be, but with lean ground beef or turkey, things could be worse!   Most children would love this.  Mr. Peek sure did. So if your child is hairy and 5'10" tall, and has a mustache, he/she will be delighted with this.

Macaroni and Cheese Lasagna  (serves 4)

1 (7.5 oz box) Macaroni and Cheese dinner (like the old standby from Kraft)
2 T margarine
1/4 cup low fat milk
1-1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup lean ground beef or turkey, cooked and drained
1 cup shredded part skim  mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Prepare Macaroni and cheese as directed on box, using the margarine and milk
Spoon half of the mac n cheese into a lightly greased 8 in square pan
Top with half of the spaghetti sauce, ground beef or turkey, and mozzarella cheese
Repeat layers once more.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  
Bake, uncovered, 20 min or until heated through.

Very easy.  It sounds like it would be odd, b/c of the boxed macaroni and cheese.  Its not very sophisticated, but its easy and could be worse for you.   Pair with a healthy salad.  

NI per 1 serving:

481 cal, 22gm fat, 1.5 gm fiber, 23 gm protein.

Helpful - 0
93532 tn?1349370450
I make homemade baked chicken tenders for the kids with a variety of coatings. Sometimes I use a bisquick/parmesan mix, sometimes I do a glaze, variety works so well with kids.

Pasta is always a hit in my house and they don't notice the difference between regular and whole wheat pasta.
Helpful - 0
203342 tn?1328737207
I like to make this when it's really hot outside. My whole family likes it! It's from Pampered Chef. If you don't have a stone you can use a cookie sheet. (I just like how things cook with the stone!) Sometimes I double the recipe depending on how many people we have or how hungry everyone is.

Cool Veggie Pizza
1 pkg (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent roll dough (I use the low-fat kind)
1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (again, I use the low-fat kind)
1 1/2 tsp mayonaise
1 Tbs dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread crescent roll dough into a 12-inch circle on 13 inch or larger stone or cookie sheet. Pinch seams together to seal. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool completely. (This is important! If you try spreading the cream cheese on when it's still warm it will make the cream cheese melt) Blend together remaining ingredients. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust.

Toppings: Choose any that sounds good to you!
Mushrooms (raw not cooked)
Green or red peppers
Green onions
Tomatoes, seeded
Cucumbers, seeded
Cherry tomatoes
Slice thinly. Sprinkle a layer of each vegetable desired over cheese layer. Refrigerate before serving. To serve, cut into wedges or squares. Can be made one day ahead.

Sometimes I will make this for dessert on the same day. The only thing that's probably not quite as healthy is the sugar cookie part but it's got lot's of fruit to make up for it! :)
Again, this is from Pampered Chef.

Fruit Dessert Pizza
1 pack Sugar cookie dough
1 pack (8-oz) cream cheese
⅓ cup Sugar
3 or 4 Types of favourite fruit- I like strawberry; banana, kiwi and peaches, sliced thinly

Cut cookie dough into rounds and place close together in a circle on a pizza stone, or cookie sheet, press them so they form one large round pizza shape, cook according to package instuctions. Cream together softened cream chesse and sugar, when "pizza" is cool, spread mix on the top, then top with fruit, slice and serve (I do not remove my whole pizza from my stone, as it breaks easily) You can also use a cookie sheet if you don't have a stone.

Try it! I think you will love them! :)
Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
Thanks!  Both are great ideas!!

I'm going to try the Mac & Cheese Lasagna tomorrow and definitely going to try the bisquick coated homemade chicken nuggets!  

I never used Bisquick and am anxious to try that as a base coating  .. does it make it crunchy even though it isn't fried?  I assume I bake it?  

Mine *may* detect the strong flavor of the cheese .. any other suggestions what works well with the Bisquick for flavoring?

Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
Our posts went through at the same time!  Thanks for your great recipes, also!  I love Pampered Chef and it's been quite awhile since I've ordered anything or seen any of their recipes.  

And the good news is that I do own a stone so all you've written out for me will work well!

I'm going to print the recipes and put them in my recipe box- I can use the "light" cream cheese as an alternative .... summer is coming ..... they will be home from school in just another 2 weeks ..... I want to have a jump-start this year with daily dinners   .............  especially easy ones like these that are different!

Helpful - 0
93532 tn?1349370450
The cool thing with the bisquick is you can tweak it, I even use dry ranch seasoning in it. I have a recipe for that as well, I use it in cooking, never actually made the dip/dressing from it ;-)

And it has a light crunch to it, but not crispy. In the spirit of keeping things lighter I bake, but you could probably do a quick fry in a sauce pan with some PAM.

It goes great with eggplant pesto stacks.
Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
Dry ranch sounds perfect for my gang!   I think I'll make the chicken fingers for a snack to keep around and do the lasagna one tonight!!!!!

Now if anybody has any recipes how to get the family to be home at the same time to eat together, I'll take those too LOL!  They are 9, 10, 15 & 17 ... and, there is a Mr. ChitChat who is fussier than all of them combined  -- it's because HE should be eating healthy for high BP, Cholesterol, etc. that I just love this new community as an inspiration to prepare some healthy meals.  Maybe I'll do a post about Heart Healthy Meals.

We tried a pasta made out of wheat last night with meatballs in gravy w/o sour cream (yes, a biggie to let go of in the beginning stages of eating more healthy) and they didn't like the wheat pasta ... but, I tried -- as got the idea in an above post.

Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
Mac n Cheese Lasagne is cooking NOW as I type this ................looks really great and I doubled the recipe to have leftovers this weekend!!!!

Easy to make and looks yummy ......................reviews will roll in later.

Helpful - 0
172023 tn?1334672284
Well, its not gourmet, certainly!  Don't get overly excited.  It was easy and good, I think kids would like it.  Andi's kids didn't like it, though.  

Helpful - 0
483733 tn?1326798446
I like to make homemade chicken fingers using skinless boneless thighs - dip in flour (with salt & pepper), dip in beaten eggs (sometimes add a bit of red hot sauce) and then in crushed corn flakes and bake.  Dip in store bought dipping sauces.  Delish.  

And here is a recipe I created and my husband and son love.  You could replace the shrimp with chicken.

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

2 cups shrimp – peeled & deveined
1 package capelletti pasta
Olive oil
½ red onion sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves diced
1 cup white wine or chicken broth
2 zucchini, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
½ cup sliced mushrooms
2 large tomatoes chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Defrost and prepare shrimp and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Heat olive oil in large frying pan.  Add red onion and sauté until slightly browned.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Deglaze with white wine.  Cook for 2 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, zucchini, peppers, and mushrooms.  Cook on medium heat until tender.  
Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and cook until pink.
Add fresh herbs.  
Combine with pasta and serve topped with parmesan cheese
Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
YES I'll try that yours, too!   And all 6 of us love shrimp so this may work really well !  And your idea with the chicken baked in corn flakes sounds good, too ... All the ideas here are really different and worth a try .. I really mean it bcz I'm too busy to really put too much thought into dinners, let alone get to the store and buy the ingredient and make them but with new ideas that are healthy, too .. there is some inspiration to be found!!

The reviews are in on the Mac N Cheese Lasagna Bake .. 4 of the 6 liked it alot .. the other 2 ate it ... so in my book that is a successful meal!   Nobody squawked that they refused to eat it LOL!!!

And best part .. leftovers for lunch today!

Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
It's the angel hair pasta tonight!

Can't wait to try it!

Helpful - 0
203342 tn?1328737207
Hey Peek! I'm going to try your Mac & Cheese Lasagna tonight and I have a dumb question! When you make the Mac & Cheese are you supposed to leave out the cheese? I wasn't sure when you said to make the box according to the directions and then said to use the milk and butter. Did you mean use ONLY the milk and butter and not the cheese? Sorry, I just wanted to make sure I get it right!
Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
I followed the box and realized I should have used Peek's maragarine & milk quantities which are different than the box.

I think she means to make the noodles as directed, add the cheese as directed, but use her am't of margarine and her am't of milk and not the boxes am't ??

Luckily I realized I put in too much margarine and was able to scoop most of it out before it melted.

I had the last of the leftovers today for lunch.  Reheats really well in the microwave!!!

Hope you don't mind me giving my 2 cents  .. now I'm back from the store and ready to tackle the angel hair shrimp pasta !!
Helpful - 0
203342 tn?1328737207
ChitChat, thanks! I'll try what you suggested. I'm making mine with ground turkey. Did you use beef or turkey? I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
I guess Peek is working today. Thanks for writing back!
Helpful - 0
168348 tn?1379357075
I used beef ....... my crew needs to have this healthy approach done gradually ........ so I used very lean beef.

I made the Shrimp w/pasta and took a photo !!!!     It was a hit!   I will have to post it in my photos as soon as I can retrieve it from my camera!!!!

My 9 and 10yr olds ate their whole plate!!!!!  My 17yr old asked for more and my husband ate it too!  My 15yr old was amazed I cooked it from scratch and it was lite in texture and taste!

And I loved it too!!!!!

Best part it was lite and didn't look "healthy" KWIM?!


Helpful - 0
483733 tn?1326798446
I'm so glad it was a hit!  When my son moved out on his own I created that recipe and taught him how to make.  Now it is a standard in my house.
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168348 tn?1379357075
What I learned (cause I am not a cook of any sort) is what "deglaze" means .. it frightened me in the recipe and then when it happened in the pan I was amazed .. not for a grown women to be AmAzEd by something so common in the world of cooking had to make even me laugh as I prepared your dish LOL!

Helpful - 0
483733 tn?1326798446
Deglazing is so much fun!  I learned to make the best tasting and lower fat gravy with that.  Pour off all the oil and just deglaze the pan with wine or broth and add some concentrated stock and you have an amazing sauce.
Helpful - 0

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