At a recent event, "The Family Table", my friends at Fredericksburg Parent and Family and I held a vote for children. We asked kids what their favorite kids meal is so that I could do a makeover on the meal to make it more nutritious. The choices were:
- Mac and Cheese
- Hamburger and Fries
- Chicken Tenders and Fries
The winner was.......drumroll.........HAMBURGER AND FRIES!!
My hamburger and fries makeover was pretty easy, as I already had a great Turkey-Veggie Burger recipe up my sleeve. This recipe can easily be done with lean ground beef instead of ground turkey. What makes this burger healthier than the usual is the addition of lots of chopped and sautéed vegetables, and some healthy binders like flax meal and wheat germ. I also served this on a white whole wheat bun for extra fiber. See the ratings at the end of this recipe and you will notice the great reviews from my Tiny Tasters.
I replaced the traditional fries with a SMALL pile of baked sweet potato fries. I left the skins on, cut the sweet potatoes into strips, and tossed them in a little heart-healthy olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and rosemary. I then baked them for 25 minutes on a lightly oiled cookie sheet at 450 degrees (turning once). Baking rather than frying ensures they are not so soaked in fat. I made sure not to put too many fries on the plate, so I had plenty of room for the fruits and veggies.
The new USDA Choose MyPlate icon (which recently replaced the old Food Pyramid), recommends that half our plate is filled with vegetables and fruit. I made sure that this was true of my Hamburger and Fries makeover. A small arugula salad with yellow tomatoes, and some peaches and blackberries from the farmers market round out this new and improved meal. Overall this meal is lower in calories but much more packed with nutrition than the traditional kids meal (and a lot prettier, too!)