What A Dietitian’s Husband Feeds The Kids When She’s Away

When I’m “out of office” here’s what happens in my kitchen.

Healthy Options for Kids to Eat When Mom is Away | @TspCurry

[Disclosure: I created this recipe and content in partnership with Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate Program. I was compensated for my work. All opinions are my own.]

Pizza.

That is all.

Extra-large, extra meat supreme, from the local pizzeria. That is what my husband used to feed our kids when I was away. For a couple of nights in a row. With nary a vegetable in sight, except for a few stray green peppers or an onion which made it onto the hefty, meaty pizza. And tomato sauce, of course.

Now there is certainly a time and place for extra-large, meat supreme. It’s just probably not in my small children’s bellies every night, for several nights in a row, during my high-travel season.

So we’ve made some delicious compromises: this veggie-loaded, DiGiorno Thin & Crispy Garden Vegetable pizza.

Healthy Meals to Feed Kids when Mom is Away | @TspCurry

And everyone is happy about it. My husband doesn’t have to remember to order the pizza, or cart our four kids to the pizzeria (they don’t deliver) or listen to the one disgruntled child who actually does want extra green peppers on their pie.

Instead, he just opens the freezer, turns on the oven and pops in two DiGiorno pizzas. A few minutes later, the pizza emerges fresh from the oven, piping hot and crispy. Magic.

While the pizza cooks he asks, ‘Who wants to make the Apple Carrot Salad all by themselves?” By adding “all by themselves,” he always gets at least three noisy volunteers.

It’s a pride issue for the kids.

Healthy Options for Kids to Eat When Mom is Away | @TspCurry

Then he asks who wants to make the fruit and yogurt parfaits for dessert, and tells them the dessert chef gets to pick the fruit and yogurt combo…and ‘gets the glory.’ More loud shouts.

Unfortunately, there is no glory for the two remaining children stuck with setting and clearing the table.

So why am I happy to stock the freezer with the DiGiorno pizzas my family loves when I’m traveling?

> Because the frozen hamburger casseroles I used to prep-ahead for my family were never thawed.

> Even sandwich meat + bread was left untouched.

> But there were lots of empty, greasy pizzeria boxes near the trash can.  #ad What a Dietitian's Husband Feeds The Kids When She's Away via @TspCurry Click To Tweet

Now, I know they will eat what I leave in the freezer – and save a ton of cash on take-out. Plus, over a year ago, I learned a lot about how the nutrition profile of DiGiorno totally got a make-over:

  • Sodium levels have been lowered by about 11% in the original Rising Crust line since 2013.
  • A variety of thin crust pizzas – with fewer calories and carbs – and more veggies are available.
  • DiGiorno pizzas have no artificial flavors and they now have preservative-free crusts.
  • A new line of gluten-free and no-GMO pizzas called Ultra Thin were introduced.

And as a dietitian, I can totally get behind the idea of balancing your plate with pizza. The idea is simple:

  • DiGiorno frozen pizza + veggies/fruit + water or low-fat milk = A Balanced Plate

Healthy Meals to Feed Kids when Mom is Away | @TspCurry

They even suggest a mindful portion right on the box. Another tip I like: use your hand as a guide to determine the right portion for you. This works for kids and adults.

Here’s what my 9-year old’s plate looks like:

Healthy Meals to Feed Kids when Mom is Away | @TspCurry

The fruit & yogurt dessert parfait she created was:

  • Vanilla yogurt + strawberries + cinnamon granola

But she continues to get glory for the following creations – which her siblings ‘copy’!

  • Banana yogurt + bananas + graham crackers
  • Blueberry yogurt + frozen raspberries + chopped nuts

Here’s hoping you can now travel – or be away for the night – without as much drama as in my house, but with a similarly colorful meal.

For more pizza pairing inspiration, check out the Balance Your Plate Pinterest board or www.nestleusa.com/balance.

And, join me on July 13 on Facebook Live to see one of my little chefs make this salad!

Print

Apple Carrot Salad

Healthy Options for Kids to Eat When Mom is Away | @TspCurry

Kids can make this salad in no time. The dressing is just two ingredients – add an apple, a shredded carrot, and raisins. Ask kids to ‘make the salad for dinner’!

  • Author: Serena Ball
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh or from a bottle)

1 medium apple

1 large carrot

¼ cup raisins

Instructions

  1. In a serving bowl, combine yogurt and lemon juice and mix with a fork.
  2. Core and chop apple. Shred carrot using the large holes on a box grater. Add apple, carrots, and raisins to yogurt mixture. Stir well.

Notes

For variation, add ¼ cup chopped nuts, like peanuts.

What do you leave for your family to eat when you’re away? Do they eat it?!

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