Recipes from the ‘Meal Makeover Moms’

Food,Hometown Cooking
October 6, 2011

Veggies star in kid-friendly casserole recipes

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Finicky eaters don't fluster Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex. The mothers and registered dietitians turn snubbed vegetables into tasty recipes with kid appeal.

"You can make the healthiest meal in the world, but if it doesn't taste good, no one's going to eat it," says Weiss, 50, of Lexington, Mass. (pop. 31,394).

She and Bissex, 51, who call themselves "Meal Makeover Moms," published their first cookbook, The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers, in 2004. The moms met in the early 1990s when Weiss reported on nutrition for CNN and Bissex served as a nutrition consultant for the U.S. Senate. Over lunch in 2000, they talked about parents who struggled to encourage healthful eating by kids who balk at broccoli and other greenery on their plates.

"News was just starting to bubble up about kids and obesity, and we wanted to show families how to give the diet a healthy makeover," says Weiss, mother of Simon, 12, and Josh, 16.  Readers welcomed their makeovers of kid favorites, such as macaroni and cheese made with whole-wheat pasta to boost the fiber and vitamins.

"We weave in good nutrition," says Bissex, of Melrose, Mass. (pop. 26,983), mother of Leah, 11, and Carolyn, 19.

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Oodles of Orzo Zucchini Bake

A chicken pasta zucchini bake, perfect for dinner with your family

Whole Enchilada Bake

A healthy casserole packed with Vitamin A.

Chock-Full-O-Veggies Lasagna

Carrot, zucchini and mushroom mix with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

Cowboy Chili with Sweet Potatoes and Corn

Corn and sweet potatoes add color and sweetness to this chili that kids crave.

Chili-Crusted Sweet Potatoe Fries

Your kids will love this healthy and flavorful alternative to traditional french fries.

Grab-and-Go Granola Bars

These make a great healthy and portable snack.

Double Strawberry Smoothie Pie

A delightful strawberry filling is found in this healthier take on graham cracker crust.

Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Young chefs will love helping you make this tasty recipe.