Hungry Girl: Smart Swaps for the Kids’ Meals You Can’t Stop Eating

03/10/2014 at 04:11 PM ET

Hungry Girl Healthy Foods for Kids
TheCrimsonMonkey/Getty; Inset: Courtesy Hungry Girl

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating.

She is also the author of eight Hungry Girl cookbooks, five of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

It’s the eternal parent dilemma: What goodies can I keep in the house or make for dinner that’ll satisfy the whole family, but won’t cause me to go up a pants size? Celeb parents must feel this too, right? I’ve got some ideas to help:

The Sneaky Chef Creamy No-Nut Butter
This imitation nut butter spread is made from golden peas, which sounds odd, but you’d never guess! It tastes great and it’s got less fat than regular peanut butter. Pair with low-sugar jam and light bread for a smart PB&J swap!

Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables Chips
Rid your kitchen of salty, fatty potato chips and try these on for crunch. They have a full serving of veggies like kale in each 1-oz. serving (130 calories, 7g fat), and they taste incredible! Side note: Snikiddy has a whole slew of guilt-free, kid-friendly snacks worth checking out.

HG’s Super-Sized Boxed Mac ‘n Cheese
Here’s a way to lighten up the fat content and boost the nutrition of the classic kid favorite (that parents can’t help dipping into): blue-box mac ’n cheese. Start with macaroni & cheese made with 50% whole grain (for added fiber; I like the Kraft version), prepare with skim milk and light butter, and stir in cooked butternut squash for even more fiber! The portion size is huge, and kids love the sweet squash flavor. I think Honey Boo Boo might even like it better than Mama June’s infamous “sketti”

Chobani Champions Tubes
For the kid on the go (perhaps North West in her teeny Lamborghini?), Chobani Champions makes a tubed yogurt with natural ingredients that comes in flavors like Flyin’ Dragon Fruit. It’s Greek yogurt, which means it’s packed with protein. And with 70 calories and 1g fat each, it’s NBD if you sneak one now and then. (You bought them, so you’re allowed!)

Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies Snack Packs
No one of any age can resist bite-sized cheesy crackers. What I love about these packs is that they’re portion controlled, which helps to curb the accidental devouring of an entire multi-serving box at once. Plus, Annie’s makes good wholesome food, and the crackers are made from organic wheat and real cheese, with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Each pack has 130 calories and 6g fat. Crunch, crunch!

Honey Mustard Pretzel-Coated Chicken Fingers
Another food popular with the kiddos is chicken fingers. (Can you blame them?) But instead of serving up deep-fried poultry, try this recipe of mine. It’s baked, not fried, and the strips are coated with crushed pretzels! Eat four fingers for around 350 calories and 2.5g fat. Yum for the whole family! P.S.: Kids aren’t the only ones with a weakness for chicken fingers — supermodel Elle Macpherson loves ’em too.

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

FILED UNDER: Food Blog , Hungry Girl , Pizza

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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