Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Message Boards
FORUM:   Diet and Nutrition

Family friendly low fat dinners

Click here to read our frequently asked Diet and Nutrition questions.

Search the
Message Boards:
Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

Author: Message: Sort First Post on Top

SparkPoints: (3,861)
Fitness Minutes: (2,091)
Posts: 12
1/26/13 11:30 P

I don't understand what is meant by "family friendly." Most people have a family and eat with their family, and I don't understand how "family" always seems to mean "families with children." If you're looking for so-called "child friendly" recipes, call it like it is. And, really, if you're doing a good job teaching your children healthy eating habits, you shouldn't have to cook something separate for your kids or adapt your "healthy" meals to fit their tastes. The culture of the United States is one of the only cultures in the world that caters to children's so-called tastes, which (we tend to believe) revolve around hot dogs, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and pizza. What do kids in other cultures eat? Um, the same native, healthy food the rest of their family eats...

SparkPoints: (3,391)
Fitness Minutes: (3,803)
Posts: 44
1/26/13 6:43 P

Kalua Pork- recipe from Pork Shoulder with 1 tbsp Mesquite Liquid Smoke and sea salt. Put in the crockpot the night before and is ready when you get home from work. We have it the first night with just the pork, rice & veggies and then that night I add BBQ sauce and let set a little longer and then the following day the rest of the family has Pulled pork sandwiches on a hard roll.

Posts: 195
1/26/13 1:29 A

I don't have kids myself, but lettuce wraps are fun. I think I would have loved it if we had had them when I was a kid! (My parents always cooked: slab of meat, instant mashed potato, canned veggie...blah. So I would have just loved to have anything different!). Basically, just stir fry chicken (cut up into really small pieces) with diced mushrooms and cole slaw (know this sounds weird, but cole slaw is shredded cabbage and carrots, so it's perfect for this), with chop suey seasoning (mix with soy sauce/water as per the directions on the package). Then put it inside lettuce leaves (like little tacos), and put something crunchy on top (I use crushed up uncooked ramen noodles...I think you're actually supposed to use crispy rice noodles, but I'm a college student, so crushed up ramen is what's on hand!). I use Sun Bird chop suey seasoning, by the way, which isn't spicy at all, so it should be okay for kids (I actually add a few drops of tobasco to mine).

Posts: 41
1/24/13 3:10 P

I also love the recipes on! I just made the Italian sloppy joes in my crock pot and they were very good and satisfying!!

Posts: 264
1/24/13 12:25 P

I love this slow cooker mexican-style chicken for filling burritos, tacos, etc.
I use about double the lime and cilantro and GREEN salsa, not red. It is SUPER easy and tastes even better the next day.

For folks watching sodium: It has a lot of sodium but I find I am OK if I skip other high sodium stuff the same day (no soups, peanut butter, etc.)

Posts: 996
1/23/13 7:49 P

Turkey Skillet lasagna!

SparkPoints: (14,659)
Fitness Minutes: (21,247)
Posts: 484
1/23/13 3:08 P

For roux, I brown the flour on the stove or in the oven with no oil. Google Emeril Lagasse's Low-Fat Seafood Gumbo. It'll tell you how to do it in the oven.

SparkPoints: (79,825)
Fitness Minutes: (12,640)
Posts: 25,651
1/23/13 11:42 A

Here is a great recipe for roasted potatoes, green beans and onion.

put chicken breast wrapped in foil, sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with your choice of seasoning bake at the same time as the veggies.

Posts: 37
1/23/13 6:04 A

What do you use to make your fat free roux?

SparkPoints: (4,541)
Fitness Minutes: (302)
Posts: 163
1/22/13 5:07 P

Pasta + sauce with loads of hidden vegetables. Even homemade versions of favourites are lower in fat and you know exactly what goes into their food too.

SparkPoints: (7,622)
Fitness Minutes: (9,889)
Posts: 102
1/22/13 3:41 P

always looking for a new place to get receipes , sounds like is where I will look next thanks for the info..

SparkPoints: (87,980)
Fitness Minutes: (32,873)
Posts: 5,335
1/22/13 12:10 P has very family friendly recipes. I have 4 kids, and every think I make from that site, they gobble up. Try the Santa Fe Chicken, and Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Squash!

Posts: 1,662
1/22/13 11:39 A

I never, ever use creamed soups anymore for casseroles and that really helps on the healthful nature of some of my family favorites like chicken pot pie, potato/chicken casserole, and chicken/brown rice casserole. Instead I make a fat-free roux in place of those soups. This automatically lowers the fat/sodium.

Also, we do a lot of regular recipes that I just substitute ingredients for. Add extra vegetables, change white pasta for whole wheat, etc.

SparkPoints: (3,861)
Fitness Minutes: (2,091)
Posts: 12
1/22/13 11:25 A

I'm not sure what people mean by "family friendly." My family all eats the same good, nutritious food. I've heard a lot of people say they can't get their kids to eat vegetables and I suspect it was because they weren't introduced early, before fatty foods like chicken nuggets and sweet junk food like candy. Healthy eating starts in infancy--if anyone is struggling now, I recommend taking your child to a CSA farm or planting a garden with them. They get interested in their dinner when they've helped to grow it.

SparkPoints: (1,563)
Fitness Minutes: (1,363)
Posts: 20
1/22/13 11:17 A

I make chicken nuggets with pureed veggies in the egg wash to "sneak" veggies for my little one. I also puree butternut squash and mix in with mac n cheese (even hubby didn't know it was in there).

SparkPoints: (42,774)
Fitness Minutes: (47,214)
Posts: 1,523
1/22/13 8:37 A

I think as a kid I always liked little things rather than the full sized versions...

Maybe you could make turkey burger sliders on wheat dinner rolls instead of big ones. That way if they only eat one as opposed to half a big burger, there's less waste.

There are tons of recipes out there for homemade fish sticks and chicken nuggets too.

Grilled sandwiches and tomato (or other kinds of) soup is always good too :)

SparkPoints: (19,635)
Fitness Minutes: (36,438)
Posts: 376
1/22/13 8:09 A

Our grandson eats what we we don't have to alter our meals for him

SparkPoints: (148,237)
Fitness Minutes: (110,819)
Posts: 7,657
1/22/13 7:37 A

Cooking for my 2 year old granddaughter (I usually have her at least 2 meals 6 days a week) is very hit and miss here. I offer her some of whatever we are having and sometimes she eats it and sometimes she doesn't. She is great at eating fruit, tangerines are her current favorite and she has a banana every day, so I always have 5 or more kinds of fruits for all of us. She likes cottage cheese and various other cheeses, so that tends to be our backup if she doesn't eat what we are eating. Peas are her favorite vegetable, but she'll eat carrots, corn, green beans and many others. She eats cooked veggies better than salad or crispy ones. Baked chicken, salmon loaf, spaghetti, vegetable soup, pork tenderloin cut into very small pieces, lean hamburger are all things she likes sometimes. Sandwiches she likes to take apart and eat the pieces. I find that baked chicken works for her better than grilled because it is more tender.

SparkPoints: (14,196)
Fitness Minutes: (1,629)
Posts: 165
1/22/13 6:32 A

Everyone has great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

SparkPoints: (1,633)
Fitness Minutes: (1,092)
Posts: 21
1/21/13 12:05 P

My husband and I love to turn anything into a salad instead of something with extra a taco salad instead of tacos in a shell OR use lettuce as the wrap instead. I also love doing chicken (for my husband) tofu(for me) lettuce wraps using buffalo sauce or barbecue sauce with maybe some quinoa or brown rice. We also love rice and beans with cayenne pepper/chili powder/cumin and a dash of garlic salt. It's a yummy and filling option when you are on a budget and very low in fat. Vegetarian chili and lentil soup are also great because they are high in protein and low in fat, plus you can make it in bulk! Use greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a tasty high protein addition to your soup!

SparkPoints: (31,051)
Fitness Minutes: (18,571)
Posts: 9,111
1/21/13 10:55 A has great recipes!

Posts: 866
1/21/13 10:17 A

soup has become a twice a week dinner at our house (with endless amazing recipes on spark), and we also have a family salad bar at least once a week: i set out little bowls of all kinds of different salad toppings and the kids each get to build their own dinner salad

SparkPoints: (16,827)
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
Posts: 983
1/20/13 10:04 P

Spaghetti squash with a tomato meat sauce over it, sprinkled with a little parmesean cheese.Low fat, high fiber, tasty and filling.

I also like cabbage rolls because you can make a pay of them ahead of time - like on a weekend. Cabbage leaves wrapped around meat, quinoa or rice & onion mixture, topped with tomato sauce and baked.

Breakfast for dinner - Veggie omelets; whole wheat raisin bread made into French toast (I mix OJ with the maple syrup and top with that); pumpkin pancakes with fruit topping.

Soup and sammies - favorite combos are toasted cheese with tomato soup; lean ham with split pea; turkey on pita alongside veggie or minestrone. Beet borscht with light sour cream
and tuna cheesies on Eng muffin half.

Mac & cheese casserole with tuna and peas. Love this with a glass of V-8 or carrot juice or milk for your little one.

SparkPoints: (2,683)
Fitness Minutes: (989)
Posts: 65
1/20/13 8:49 P

Homemade spaghetti sauce with whole wheat pasta - very good!

SparkPoints: (10,189)
Fitness Minutes: (4,677)
Posts: 200
1/20/13 5:52 P

Turkey Meatloaf...I know. But Whole Foods sells a prepared meat loaf with lots of veges inside. Get this from the butcher...fresh. Put it in at 350 for about 40" and ...PRESTO. Also, I took a recipe from SPARKS to make sweet potatoes and cooked with low/butter and sprinkle generous cinnamon. It's a hit!

Edited by: BUMPS2 at: 1/20/2013 (17:54)

SparkPoints: (4,541)
Fitness Minutes: (302)
Posts: 163
1/20/13 4:44 P

Casserole. Easy peasy.

SparkPoints: (2,017)
Fitness Minutes: (354)
Posts: 1
1/20/13 3:42 P

Ours is spaghetti bolognaise - my husband and daughters favourite. I make the sauce with lean mince and add in loads of veggies with the passatta and herbs e.g. pepper, onions, courgette, mushrooms which bulks it out.
I chop the mushrooms up finely so my 3 year old daughter can't see them - she's not keen on them!

SparkPoints: (8,986)
Fitness Minutes: (1,518)
Posts: 44
1/20/13 9:23 A

We now do "homemade pizza night" every Saturday. This way, we can control the fat, calories, and add as many veggies as we want. I've actually found affordable whole wheat pizza crusts which make it super easy. Kids love this new tradition! (check out the Chicken Spinach Alfredo Pizza on the Spark Recipes page. It's delish!)

SparkPoints: (2,746)
Fitness Minutes: (782)
Posts: 37
1/19/13 2:19 P

Not only does that sound good .. I cant wait to serve this to my family and friend. emoticon

Posts: 321
1/19/13 1:52 P

I love too! Everything I've made from there has been good!

SparkPoints: (564)
Fitness Minutes: (36)
Posts: 11
1/19/13 11:44 A

This sounds wonderful! Thank you! emoticon

SparkPoints: (18,147)
Fitness Minutes: (8,109)
Posts: 71
1/19/13 10:59 A

I agree with ECAT77 - has great recipes. All of her recipes have nutritional information including Weight Watchers points and she has lots of kid/family-friendly recipes since she has two girls of her own. She usually mentions what her daughters and husband think about the recipes, too. I've made a lot of her recipes and every single one has been good!

SparkPoints: (8,129)
Fitness Minutes: (1,770)
Posts: 295
1/19/13 2:45 A

Soup and salad with a half of turkey sandwich with low-fat cheese!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Posts: 2,672
1/19/13 1:56 A

soup. we have a very hearty, thick potato soup recipe that is very filling and good in winter.

Edited by: SUSANBEAMON at: 1/19/2013 (01:57)

Posts: 10
1/19/13 1:50 A

I use a website green lite bites. it has delicious recipes using fresh vegies! My knew vegies is spaghetti squash, there is so many recipes out there for it.

SparkPoints: (14,985)
Fitness Minutes: (15,575)
Posts: 488
1/18/13 10:16 P

Thanks for the good suggestions!!!!!!!!

Posts: 65
1/18/13 6:05 P

A new website my husband recently discovered (he does 99% of the cooking) is Lots of great, healthier options on there. The author includes Weight Watchers points for each meal. We really like soups/stews and other crock pot meals. That website has a great taco soup recipe. Our family loves Mexican food.

SparkPoints: (12,196)
Fitness Minutes: (9,906)
Posts: 27
1/18/13 4:40 P

great suggestions! we like to do buffalo chicken bites, I cut chicken breasts into smaller pieces and use franks red hot sauce and a package of buttermilk ranch mix to dip these in then bake them. serve with homemade ranch (the kids wont touch blue cheese im sure)... and whatever veggies your kid likes (ours likes cucumbers).

Posts: 306
1/18/13 9:23 A


SparkPoints: (18,322)
Fitness Minutes: (20,942)
Posts: 305
1/17/13 1:02 P

Stir fry is PERFECT for little ones, since it can be made with any number of veggies or meats. The chopped up, bite sized pieces are perfect for the 2 year old to be able to feed her self safely. Plus, it's an awesome way to introduce new veggies with different, bold or mild flavors. Just don't go nuts with the soy sauce, salt or oil!

Edited by: EMMAEKAY at: 1/17/2013 (13:03)

SparkPoints: (16)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 1
1/17/13 12:51 P

I cant find it! Where is it? Thanks. emoticon

SparkPoints: (2,362)
Fitness Minutes: (1,624)
Posts: 27
1/17/13 12:18 P

Thanks fo all the great ideas everyone!

SparkPoints: (3,236)
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
Posts: 331
1/17/13 10:26 A

Ground Veggie Burgers on the foreman. Put shredded carrots, zuchini, red bell pepper in the meat mix up, make these awesome patties. Maybe a kale salad with fruit n walnuts.

Posts: 661
1/17/13 10:08 A

I like POPSECRET's make your own meal suggestion.

Posts: 866
1/17/13 9:49 A

because i LOVE quantity of food (so much so that i eat my salad out of a mixing bowl!), it is super important for me to make really healthy dinners that i can have big portions of and not break my calories for the day. i have had huge success with loads of spark recipes, and my new favourite website for great family meal ideas is the other biggest factor is that i now meal plan a whole month in advance, to make sure that we are eating balanced, varied meals that we all like

Posts: 2,707
1/17/13 9:15 A

What worked for me was to find ways to make the meals I was already preapring healthier. I substitute extra lean ground turkey or extra, extra lean ground beefore for regular ground beef for burgers and tacos. I make sloppy joes with it, too, and use low sugar ketchup and Coke Zero for the sauce. (I know not everyone is a fan of artificial sweetener, but my husband is low carb, so I try to stick to that as much as possible.) Use whole wheat or tofu noodles or spaghetti squash in pasta recipes. Stay away from cream sauces unless you make them yourself with lowfat dairy. Use lots of vegetables to add bulk.

Posts: 2,667
1/17/13 8:41 A

lots of minis and finger foods.
No small children at home any longer, so can't come up with better ideas than that

SparkPoints: (42,774)
Fitness Minutes: (47,214)
Posts: 1,523
1/17/13 8:39 A

Kids generally like make-your-own meals. Things like tacos, mini pizzas, and baked potatoes. You could pre-make a few toppings, the pizza crusts, the potatoes. Then everyone gets to choose what they like while you can kind of control the health aspect (whole wheat thin crusts or tortillas, low fat sour cream, veggies, turkey vs ground beef, etc.)

Breakfast for dinner is always a hit too.

Posts: 193
1/17/13 8:09 A

Have you checked out the recipe section on here? There are great recipes and your 2 year old can eat just about anything you eat. I know 2 year olds can be picky but I serve 4-5 items that my kids can choose from. I do not do casseroles at all since my son really wants to see what is in his food and he doesn't like sauces. My daughter loves all sea food and we have that frequently. My son won't touch sea food other than the bite he is required to take so I make sure there is some good food i think he will eat on those days.
We do turkey burgers (with some hidden veggies in it since my son insists he hates all veggies he can see) with raw veggies/ salad, maybe some fruit; soft tacos with rice and beans; smoked salmon with spinach soup, poached eggs, and maybe some bread and cream cheese; "Asian noodles" which is pretty much a stir fry over udon, buckwheat, or glass noodles (the kids really like buckwheat noodles).

Edited by: OMENDER at: 1/17/2013 (08:10)

SparkPoints: (2,362)
Fitness Minutes: (1,624)
Posts: 27
1/17/13 6:56 A

My husband and I have a two-year-old and I'm looking for family friendly recipes for the whole family. What is your favorite family meal?

Page: 1 of (1)   [ 1 ]


Diet Resources: mini stair stepper reviews | diamondback stair stepper | cybex stair stepper