Dinner Makeovers for Picky Eaters

Make tweaks to your kids' favorite foods until they evolve into dinners the whole family will eat. Ready to stop being a short-order cook? Dig in!

1 of 9

Dinner Now

Francis Janisch

Dinner Now

Chicken Nuggets, Rice, and Corn
Calories: 575
Saturated fat: 6g
Sodium: 606mg

2 of 9

Dinner Next Week: A Little Better

Francis Janisch

Dinner Next Week: A Little Better

Baked Chicken with Rice
Calories: 520
Saturated fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 395mg

Tip: You can make both kinds of rice in the same pot; start the brown a few minutes before the white.

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3 of 9

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

Francis Janisch

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

Grilled Chicken with Brown Rice
Calories: 364
Saturated fat: <1g
Sodium: 394mg

Tip: Rinsing the canned beans gets rid of up to 40 percent of their salt.

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4 of 9

Dinner Now

Francis Janisch

Dinner Now

Crispy Beef and Cheese Tacos
Calories: 533
Saturated fat: 12g
Sodium: 1,005mg

5 of 9

Dinner Next Week: A Little Better

Francis Janisch

Dinner Next Week: A Little Better

Soft Beef and Veggie Tacos
Calories: 481
Saturated fat: 9g
Sodium: 592mg

Tip: Tying the tacos makes them much easier for young kids to eat without spilling -- and helps conceal some of the veggies inside.

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6 of 9

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

Francis Janisch

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

Beef & Bean Taco Salad
Calories: 347
Saturated fat: 5g
Sodium: 430mg

Tip: Ask your kid to tear up the lettuce for the salad. She's more likely to eat the dish if she helps make it.

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7 of 9

Dinner Now

Francis Janisch

Dinner Now

Mac 'n' Cheese
Calories: 350
Saturated fat: 7g
Sodium 920mg

8 of 9

Dinner Next Week: A Little Better

Francis Janisch

Dinner Next Week: A Little Better

Broccoli Mac 'n' Cheese
Calories: 315
Saturated fat: 6g
Sodium: 465mg

Tip: Cabot makes delicious 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar; you can find out where to buy it locally at cabotcheese.com.

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9 of 9

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

Francis Janisch

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

Pasta Primavera
Calories: 313
Saturated fat: 3g
Sodium: 235mg

Tip: Evaporated milk has twice the calcium of the regular kind; sub it in other recipes.

Originally published in the May 2009 issue of Parents magazine.

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