Get your kids in the kitchen with these quick and healthy dinners your family will eat up
Recipes by Lori Powell
Get Your Kids Moving With These All-American Family Recipes
A Family Feast
First Lady Michelle Obama has made it her mission to bring more green to the American dinner table, and we couldn't agree more. That's why we're partnering up with Mrs. Obama for Prevention's very first "Kids Get Cooking" day. And to start you off, we lightened up 6 of your family's all-American favorites. Each recipe features tons of veggies and lean proteins, plus easy and safe ways to turn your kids into healthy little sous chefs. Once you're cooking up a storm go to prevention.com/kids-get-cooking to download a White House chef's recipes, post photos of your family cooking together, and enter to win prizes. Now let's get cooking!
Mac & Cheese "Muffins"
This version of an American classic is packed with veggies and fits perfectly in your little one's hand.
Kids Can: Coat muffin pan with cooking spray; fill muffin cups.
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES + STANDING TIME | SERVINGS: 6 (2 MUFFINS EACH) | VEGETABLES PER SERVING: 1 CUP
8 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen peas
1 box (12 oz) frozen cooked winter squash, thawed
1 1/4 c whole or 2% milk
1 3/4 c shredded 2% milk Cheddar and Monterey Jack blend
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan
1 HEAT oven to 375°F. Lightly coat 12 muffin cups (1/2-cup capacity) or 2 1/2 to 3 qt baking dish with olive oil spray.
2 PREPARE macaroni al dente according to package directions.
3 HEAT oil in large pot over medium heat while macaroni cooks. Add onion and carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas, squash, and milk and bring just to a simmer. Add shredded cheese, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
4 DRAIN macaroni and immediately add to squash mixture. Toss until well combined. Mound in prepared muffin cups.
5 TOSS together bread crumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over top of macaroni.
6 BAKE in middle of oven until tops are golden brown and cheese sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
NUTRITION (per serving) 390 cal, 21 g pro, 54 g carb,8 g fiber, 10 g fat,5 g sat fat, 530 mg sodium
The addition of turkey, lighter cheese, and whole wheat tortillas make this Mexican treat a healthy go-to meal.
Easy Slow- Cooker Carnitas
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 4 | VEGETABLES PER SERVING: 1 CUP
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb turkey breast cutlets
1 can (15 oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c frozen corn kernels
1 c chunky salsa (8 oz)
1 tsp cumin
1/4 c chopped cilantro + leaves for garnish
4 whole wheat tortillas (8" diameter)
2 c chopped or torn romaine lettuce
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 c shredded 2% milk Cheddar
4 lime wedges
1 HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season turkey and cook, turning, until golden and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to plate.
2 ADD beans, corn, salsa, and cumin to skillet and stir. Simmer until corn is hot, 5 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro.
3 SLICE turkey and arrange on serving platter with corn salsa, tortillas, lettuce, avocado, cheese, lime wedges, and cilantro leaves.
NUTRITION (per serving)
528 cal, 45 g pro, 57 g carb, 11 g fiber, 16 g fat,3 g sat fat, 922 mg sodium
Spaghetti And Meatballs
You can now feel as good about eating this dish as you do about making it! And with chicken sausage replacing the high fat pork stuff, it's okay to serve yourself an extra meatball.
Kids Can: Pour tomatoes into pan and stir sauce; form meatballs.
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 6 | VEGETABLES PER SERVING: 1 1/3CUPS
2 tsp olive oil
4 lg carrots, coarsely grated
3 lg ribs celery, finely chopped
1 lg onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 lb sweet Italian chicken sausage
12 oz whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 c finely grated Parmesan
1 HEAT oven to 450°F. Line sheet pan with nonstick foil and coat with cooking spray.
2 HEAT oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook until tender, 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 12 minutes.
3 REMOVE sausage from casings and form into 18 balls. Arrange in single layer on pan. Roast in upper third of oven until golden and cooked through, 20 minutes.
4 PREPARE pasta according to package directions while meatballs cook. Drain.
5 TOSS pasta in serving bowl with sauce and meatballs. Sprinkle with cheese.
NUTRITION (per serving) 456 cal, 30 g pro, 62 g carb, 12 g fiber, 11 g fat,3 g sat fat, 681 mg sodium
Crispy Fish And Chips
Now you can enjoy crunchy battered fish without a stitch of guilt: This feel-good fish recipe is packed with heart-healthy omega-3s and lean protein.
Kids Can: Scrub and season sweet potatoes; make tartar sauce.
PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 40 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 4 | VEGETABLES PER SERVING: 1 1/4 CUPS
1/2 c 2% Greek-style yogurt
1 Tbsp dill pickle relish
1 1/2-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes (skins scrubbed well), cut into 4" × 1" pieces
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp salt-free Southwest seasoning
1 c panko bread crumbs
1 lg egg, beaten
1 lb tilapia fillets, cut into 8 equal pieces
1 HEAT oven to 450°F. Line 2 large sheet pans with nonstick foil.
2 STIR together first 4 ingredients for tartar sauce.
3 TOSS sweet potatoes with 2 tsp of the seasoning. Lightly coat potatoes with olive oil spray and arrange in single layer on 1 of the prepared pans. Roast in upper third of oven, 12 minutes. Turn and cook until crisped and golden brown and tender on the inside, about 8 minutes longer.
4 STIR together panko and remaining 1 Tbsp seasoning in shallow bowl. Pour egg into separate shallow bowl. Coat fish in egg, then panko, and transfer to prepared pans. Lightly coat tops with olive oil spray.
5 ROAST fish in lower third of oven (during end of cooking time for potatoes) until cooked through and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Serve fish with potatoes and a dollop of tartar sauce.
NUTRITION (per serving) 335 cal, 31 g pro, 43 g carb, 6 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 269 mg sodium
Steak, Peppers, and Mashed Potatoes
There's nothing like a meat and potatoes dinner. For this recipe, we chose a lean flank steak and broiled it, along with the peppers, to eliminate extra cooking oil. Don't flinch at the mashed potatoes, either: they're partly cauliflower!
Kids Can: Add buttermilk to vegetables and mash; coat peppers with olive oil spray.
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES + STANDING TIME | SERVINGS: 4 | VEGETABLES PER SERVING: 2 1/2 CUPS
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 lb cauliflower florets
1/2 c low-fat buttermilk
1 lb trimmed flank steak
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb mini sweet peppers (12-18 total)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 COVER potatoes and cauliflower with 2" of cold water in large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Mash with buttermilk and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and keep warm.
2 HEAT broiler while vegetables cook. Rub top of steak with garlic and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp each salt and black pepper. Place on 1 side of foil-lined sheet pan. Arrange sweet peppers on other side of pan. Lightly coat all with olive oil spray. Broil 6" from heat, turning, until peppers are golden brown on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes, and steak is cooked to medium-rare, about 10 minutes.
3 LET steak rest 10 minutes before slicing. Spoon mashed potatoes onto plates and serve with steak and peppers. Drizzle peppers with vinegar, if desired.
NUTRITION (per serving) 321 cal, 31 g pro, 35 g carb, 6 g fiber, 7 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 238 mg sodium
Skillet Chicken "Parm"
Part-skim mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts make for a healthy new take on an old world Italian classic.
Kids Can: Whisk together flour and seasonings; top chicken with basil.
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 4 | VEGETABLES PER SERVING: 1 1/4 CUPS
1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning
1 lb thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 pt grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 oz sliced part-skim mozzarella
1/4 c fresh basil leaves
1 WHISK together flour, 2 tsp of the seasoning, and 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture to coat.
2 HEAT oil in large broiler-safe nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, turning, until golden and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to plate.
3 HEAT broiler.
4 ADD tomatoes and remaining 1/2 tsp seasoning to skillet. Cook, stirring, until tomatoes are broken down and becoming saucy, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat, nestle chicken into sauce, and top with cheese.
5 BROIL chicken 6" from heat until cheese is golden, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with basil.
NUTRITION (per serving) 314 cal, 32 g pro, 16 g carb, 3 g fiber, 13.5 g fat, 3.5 g sat fat, 382 mg sodium