Dinner Makeovers for Picky Eaters

Pasta Primavera
Francis Janisch
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!
Francis Janisch
Francis Janisch

Dinner Now

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

Francis Janisch
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.

Francis Janisch
Francis Janisch

Dinner in 2 Weeks: Really Healthy

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

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

Francis Janisch
Francis Janisch

Dinner Now

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

Francis Janisch
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.

Francis Janisch
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.

Francis Janisch
Francis Janisch

Dinner Now

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

Francis Janisch
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.

Francis Janisch
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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