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5 healthy dinners for kids

Published On: Jul 26 2013 03:14:07 PM CDT
Updated On: Feb 25 2014 10:46:35 AM CST
Baby with vegetables

iStock/SvetlanaFedosova

By Pure Matters

Getting your child to eat what you make is always a losing battle. Right now, my 18-month-old only wants to eat snack bars, yogurt, and cheese. Yet, every night I try to give her some kind of protein and veggies only to have it all left sitting cold on the highchair. So I decided to do some research to give her a little more variety. Here are some recipes I found that I can’t wait to try out… now and down the road!

Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers
Ingredients
cooking spray
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large egg whites
1 pound chicken tenders

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.
2. Place almonds, flour, paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper in a food processor; process until the almonds are finely chopped and the paprika is mixed throughout, about 1 minute. With the motor running, drizzle in oil; process until combined. Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.
3. Whisk egg whites in a second shallow dish. Add chicken tenders and turn to coat. Transfer each tender to the almond mixture; turn to coat evenly. (Discard any remaining egg white and almond mixture.) Place the tenders on the prepared rack and coat with cooking spray; turn and spray the other side.
4. Bake the chicken fingers until golden brown, crispy and no longer pink in the center, 20 to 25 minutes.
(Courtesy EatingWell.com)

Hamburger Buddy
Ingredients
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
10 ounces white mushrooms, large ones cut in half
1 large onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups water
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium beef broth, divided
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles, (2 cups)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or chives for garnish

Directions
1. Fit a food processor with the steel blade attachment. With the motor running, drop garlic through the feed tube and process until minced, then add carrots and mushrooms and process until finely chopped. Turn it off, add onion, and pulse until roughly chopped.
2. Cook beef in a large straight-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables start to soften and the mushrooms release their juices, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Stir in water, 1 1/2 cups broth, noodles and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Whisk flour with the remaining 1/4 cup broth in a small bowl until smooth; stir into the hamburger mixture. Stir in the sour cream. Simmer, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley (or chives), if desired.
(Courtesy EatingWell.com)

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Ingredients
MEATBALLS
1/3 cup bulgur
1/2 cup hot water
4 ounces lean ground beef
4 ounces hot Italian sausage
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat

SAUCE & SPAGHETTI
4 cups prepared marinara sauce
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil leaves, or chopped fresh parsley
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti, or linguine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, or Romano cheese (1 ounce)

Directions
1. To prepare meatballs: Combine bulgur and water in a small bowl. Let stand until the bulgur is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a rack with cooking spray and place it over a baking sheet lined with foil.
3. Combine ground beef, sausage, onion, egg whites, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and the soaked bulgur in a large bowl; mix well. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs (about 24). Place the meatballs on the rack and bake for 25 minutes. Blot well with paper towel.
4. To prepare sauce & spaghetti: Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil. Bring sauce to a simmer in a Dutch oven. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Stir in basil (or parsley).
5. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti (or linguine) until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the sauce and meatballs and serve with grated cheese.
(Courtesy EatingWell.com)

Corn & Broccoli Calzones
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels, (about 3 ears; see Tip)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
20 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough, thawed if frozen
2 teaspoons canola oil

Directions
1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 475°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Combine broccoli, corn, mozzarella, ricotta, scallions, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
3. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Place a generous 3/4 cup filling on one half of each circle, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. Brush the border with water and fold the top half over the filling. Fold the edges over and crimp with a fork to seal. Make several small slits in the top to vent steam; brush each calzone with oil. Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheets.
4. Bake the calzones, switching the pans halfway through, until browned on top, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Healthy Heart Variation: To reduce saturated fat even further, use nonfat ricotta in place of the reduced-fat ricotta.
(Courtesy EatingWell.com)

No-Bake Macaroni & Cheese
Ingredients
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles (2 cups)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped broccoli
1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Directions
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta for 4 minutes. Add frozen broccoli and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups milk in another large pot over medium-high heat until just simmering. Whisk the remaining 1/4 cup milk, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Add the flour mixture to the simmering milk; return to a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in Cheddar, Parmesan and mustard until the cheese is melted.
3. Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the cheese sauce. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, over medium-low heat, until heated through, about 1 minute.
(Courtesy EatingWell.com)

Source: Pure Matters

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