4 Kid-Favorite Dishes Made Healthy

Four healthy recipe makeovers that kids can love, and you can too.

Is it possible to still serve the favorite foods our kids love, but with a twist of good nutrition? Many parents struggle with picky eaters and are limited in time and creativity when it comes to pleasing different taste palates. Let's think outside of the prepackaged processed boxes and come up with some tasty and nutritious updates to our favorite foods. These recipes are nutritious and taste great, and you'll feel great about serving them on a regular basis.

California Pizza Bake


  • 12-inch loaf whole-wheat French bread
  • 1/2 cupt part skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, shredded

Pizza Sauce

8-ounce can crushed tomato sauce, dash of oregano, garlic and onion powder.


Slice French bread length wise. Spread pizza sauce over bread halves. Top bread halves with parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, diced tomatoes and diced avocado. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and veggies are tender. Garnish with fresh basil.

Herb Roasted Potato Wedges (instead of French Fries)


  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss potato wedges with olive oil and garlic. Arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with parsley, oregano, salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Healthy No Bake Mac N' Cheese


  • 12-ounces whole grain elbow noodles, uncooked
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen broccoli chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded 2 percent cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 basil fresh leaves, shredded (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil pasta for four minutes. Add frozen broccoli and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, four to five minutes more. Drain pasta-broccoli mix and set aside in strainer. Return large (empty) pot used for boiling pasta to the stove top. Add olive oil and crushed garlic over medium heat for one to two minutes. Return drained pasta to the large pot containing the olive oil and garlic mixture. Slowly add 1 cup of milk, salt, pepper and cheeses. Stir well over medium-low heat for 1 minute until cheese is melted. Sprinkle shredded basil on top. Enjoy.

Beefy Bean Burgers


  • 1 pound 93 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed, mashed with a fork
  • 1 small finely shredded zucchini
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • Sliced lettuce leaves
  • 6 whole grain buns


Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix together (except lettuce and avocado). Form six to eight patties. Cook the hamburgers on a preheated grill until the beef mixture is no longer pink in the center, about four minutes per side. Serve on toasted whole grain buns and top with avocado and lettuce slices.

Tricia Azra is a registered dietitian nutritionist, and has been practicing nutrition in the North Carolina region for 19 years. Azra is excited to mentor the Howe and Hill Spotlight Families for the Fit Family Challenge.

Want your family to get active towards a healthier lifestyle? Register now for the Fit Family Challenge.