Donnamarie Morgano faces a challenge many busy moms face these days: trying to add variety to her kids' lunchboxes and also getting them to eat healthier. Lucky for her, when Rachael is in town with her Big Block Party, she pops over to Donnamarie's kitchen to share tricks for sneaking healthy items into kids' meals ... without them even knowing!
• Revamped mac and cheese- Donnamarie's family loves mac and cheese, which Rachael points out isn't a bad thing, but there's always room for improvement. Rachael suggests using béchamel sauce (thickened up milk) and then melting in your cheese. "Use a nice super-sharp cheddar so you don't have to use a ton of the cheese," Rachael tells her, "and then the same color of the cheese is your opportunity to sneak in any kind of vegetable that you like. This cheese is yellow, so we're going to put in puréed carrots and one box of butternut squash defrosted. It's nice and sweet and it will taste just like the cheese sauce once it's all incorporated!"
Hot dogs are a staple at the Morgano household, and Rachael has a healthy substitution: tofu dogs. "They're literally pure protein," Rachael explains, adding sliced browned dogs to the mac and cheese sauce. The finishing healthier touch? Make it with whole-grain pasta. "They'll never see it coming because it's underneath the cheese sauce!"
• Sneaky sandwiches- Donnamarie laments that her daughter Giovanna only eats salami sandwiches. Rachael suggests a few small, healthier changes: "Buy wheat or whole-grain bread, but you're going to hide it underneath the white bread," she explains, placing the whole wheat slice on the bottom of the sandwich. "Then you trick them by putting in vegetables ... you hide it underneath what they like, cover it up with a few slices of salami, the white bread on top and it looks like salami and white bread!"
Visit Yum-o.org for more ways to empower your family and develop healthy relationships with food and cooking.
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- Rocco Dispirito’s Low-Cal Provolone Cheese Sauce
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