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5 Ways To Make Your Favorite Meals Healthier

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight and cook for other people at the same time, you know that cutting calories and keeping everyone else well fed and happy is easier said than done. Maybe you’ve tried the “night of a thousand dinners” approach: You nibble a salad, your husband cooks a burger, your daughter eats chicken nuggets, and your son noshes on a slice of pizza. Or maybe you’ve heard complaints from your kids and spouse about the bland-tasting “diet” food you’re serving lately. Even worse, you may have suffered through cooking a delicious dinner for everyone, only to sit down to a prepackaged meal or diet shake for yourself.

These approaches usually work for a little while, but they all end up fizzling out because they take an “us versus them” approach that’s just too time-consuming, too monotonous, or too impractical to maintain. Thankfully, families of all shapes and sizes can enjoy the same flavorful, satisfying foods, and many are already kid-friendly staples.

Here are five delicious family recipes you’re used to eating – only healthier. Dig in!

  • best recipes banana split pancakes

    Crunchy Crust Mac & Cheese

    You won’t have any trouble enticing your family to eat this creamy macaroni and cheese casserole.

    Make it a Flat Belly Diet Meal: Serve with 1 cup steamed broccoli tossed with 1 teaspoon trans-free margarine.

    Get the Recipe »

  • best recipes blackberry apple crumble

    Chocolate-Stuffed French Toast

    Could there be anything better than chocolate for breakfast? Look to this dish when you want a decadent start to your weekend. Neufchatel cheese contains one-third less fat than regular cream cheese, making it a great alternative in most recipes.

    Make it a Flat Belly Diet Meal: A single serving of this recipe counts as a Flat Belly Diet Meal without any add-ons!

    Get the Recipe »

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    Fudge Dark-Chocolate-Raspberry Brownies

    Baking brownies in parchment paper lets you lift them out of the pan when they’re cool and makes dividing them into picture-perfect squares a snap. For a more precise cut, refrigerate beforehand.

    Make it a Flat Belly Diet Meal: Serve with 1/2 cup of soy chai,

    warm or iced.

    Get the Recipe »

  • 04.jpg

    Salt & Pepper Oven Fries

    The tasters in our test kitchen couldn’t believe how tossing the baked fries with a final coating of canola oil made them taste like they’d actually been fried!

    Make it a Flat Belly Diet Meal: Serve with 3 ounces baked cod and 1 cup steamed broccoli.

    Get the Recipe »

  • 05.jpg

    Peanut Butter Strawberry Wrap

    Kids adore peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This version ramps up the fiber while cutting down on the unwanted sugar that’s in the jelly.

    Make it a Flat Belly Diet Meal: Serve with 1 cup 1% milk.

    Get the Recipe »

Reprinted with permission from Flat Belly Diet! Family Cookbook by Liz Vaccariello and Sally Kuzemchak, RD. Published by Rodale Books.

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