South Beach Diet - Kid-Friendly Phase 2 Meals?

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03-12-2010, 10:16 PM
Hi everyone,

I am interested in some Phase 2 meal ideas that I can also put in front of a toddler! I know I can always add some of his favorites to my "adult meals" - like add pasta when we are having a fancy chicken dish, or adding nuggets when we are having a stew I know he might not enjoy.

But what are some dishes you can think of that the whole family might enjoy? So far all I've got are whole-wheat pasta ideas and tacos (taco salad for me).


03-12-2010, 10:25 PM
I have a toddler too. Luckily, she loves veggies, beans, cheese, etc. I made turkey meatballs and multigrain pasta for her and DH and I ate spaghetti squash instead of pasta (she wouldn't touch it). Pizza with whole wheat crust and tons of veggies and something for protein is another option. What about veggie burgers? My DD loves them. Chili if your little one eats beans - you make it mild and then add additional spice to your own serving if you want it. Tacos are another option.

Often she eats something different than us because she eats at 5 or 5:30 and DH isn't even home until after 6. We eat when she goes to bed at 7. But I definitely am on the lookout for recipes we can all eat.

03-13-2010, 03:17 AM
I have always made the same meal for everyone in my family. I am not a short order cook and I am not frying up big piles of cow poo. The food I make is as healthy for them as it is for me. My kids eat tofu, beans, whole wheat, steel cut oats, brussels sprouts, eggplant, zucchini, salad, cottage cheese, etc. I do not have the time or energy to make five different meals for the five people in my family.

Standard favorites around here are:
taco bake
spicy "beef" casserole with mock cornbread (I'm a vegetarian so I use soy crumbles instead of beef.)
make your own pizzas (I toast whole wheat tortillas and then put out pizza sauce, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant, diced tomatoes, garlic, cheese, etc. and they each put on what they want.)
big salads (garden salad with diced hard-boiled egg, fake chicken, feta, apple slices, raisins, etc.)
spaghetti with roasted eggplant in the tomato sauce
roasted zucchini with feta
stuffed zucchini
vegetable lasagna (I roast eggplant and zucchini slices to use in place of the noodles)
any soup with grilled cheese

Hope that helps!

03-13-2010, 04:53 AM
When asked, my older friends with the healthiest eating habits say this was just how they ate when they were growing up. I don't have kids, but admire how Kara, TallGirl and others are eating healthy and passing it on to their kids. I do realize that when the kids are older that the old habits are harder to break. It sounds like you have the perfect opportunity with your young children. The earlier they learn to enjoy whole wheat pastas, veggies, non-deep fried foods and healthy desserts free of refined sugars and white flours, the better chance they will have to become healthy adults with sound nutritional habits.

Last summer I helped with the food at our vacation bible school at church. It was a little disconcerting to me how the group of well meaning women fed the kids nothing but junk from the moment they walked in the door, then were amazed that by noon they were literally bouncing off the walls. I've expressed my concerns, and am really hoping for a healthier approach this year.

When I started SBD, I took our favorite meals and tweaked them to fit into this WOE. What I'm noticing, is that after almost a year eating healthy foods, my DH doesn't enjoy the old stuff anymore. He's gotten used to the taste of "real" food. It seems this concept would apply to kids, too.

Best wishes! It's great to have you back!

03-13-2010, 07:11 AM
:welcome2: Kleo. I have two exceedingly picky teens. (Wait... one is now 20.) I know I made them this way by catering to their tastes growing up. This is a long story that I won't go into. But I am telling you this because I soooo encourage you to feed your toddler what you eat whenever possible. I wish I had done that and would love to be able to go back and do it over. The older they get, the more opinionated they get!

03-13-2010, 10:08 AM
I have to agree with Karen, all of my kids are super picky eaters, even DH- I am slowly converting them to eating some healthy stuff but it's hard they don't like a lot of the recipies I make. The crackslaw DH loves noone else in the house will touch it. Taco Bake they will all eat, I just had soft taco shells for them.

So I agree give her your healthy food so she will learn early to eat right.

03-13-2010, 10:30 AM
Well, I certainly didn't mean to give the impression that I was pumping my kid full of junk or acting as his short-order cook. When I cook for my family, I like to strike a balance between "healthy and adventurous" and "cut a kid a break." As a 2 year old his tastes are naturally more simple, and it takes him awhile to warm up to food that is new to his palate.

When I feel like whipping up something like vegetable moussaka, I will give some for him to try but I won't let it turn into WWIII. Nor will I banish some of his favorites from his diet just because I shouldn't be eating them (mandarin oranges, corn, and good old Kraft macaroni and cheese come to mind).

So...I guess the point of the post was just to solicit some of your favorite SB diet foods that both adults and kids enjoy! Thanks for those who have responded with some good ideas!

03-13-2010, 10:42 AM
Kate, I hope my post didn't come across as insulting because in no way did I mean to imply that you aren't feeding your son a healthy diet. I just see no reason *in my family* for the kids to have any different foods than I make for my husband and myself. When I do Phase 1, of course I add in breads and pastas and cereals to their meals. I'm very careful with what I feed them because I worry about preservatives and food dyes and sugar and hydrogenated oils, etc. I am, admittedly, more crazy about what I feed my kids than most other people. We eat corn, too. It doesn't cause cravings for me and the kids love it. I make macaroni and cheese myself so I can use whole wheat pastas and good cheeses. I'm totally a cheese snob and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I don't get them mandarin oranges, but we do get tangerines and clementines often and they love those. They eat a lot of yogurt (I buy plain and add fruit chunks to it), unsweetened applesauce, crackers (Triscuits or Kashi crackers), and sliced fruits and veggies for lunches. For breakfasts I make them pancakes with whole wheat flour on Mondays, oatmeal on Tuesdays, eggs on Wednesdays, waffles on Thursdays, and they have cold cereal on Fridays. Saturdays are either family brunch or kind of grab-your-own days and honestly, on Sundays, they usually get a granola bar and banana on the way to church.

03-13-2010, 12:17 PM
Lots of great suggestions in your posts! I love good cheese as well - but I haven't had too much luck finding tasty varieties of reduced fat - do you have any faves?

DS will eat the homemade kind of macaroni and cheese, but he DEVOURS the Kraft!! What is up with kids and that little blue box?!?

Some of the ideas you all have given me that I hadn't thought about are veggie burgers, turkey meatballs with pasta or spaghetti squash (we can always try), stuffed zucchini, taco bake, "breakfast for dinner" could include whole wheat pancakes, eggs, and sausage (we do a lot of the soy kind too).

I haven't thought about plain yogurt mixed with fruit, sounds like something we could try because I give artificial sweeteners sparingly to my son. I suppose a little honey could sweeten it for him in addition to the fruit!

03-13-2010, 12:47 PM
I use honey often for my kids, even though I don't use it myself. I also use agave nectar for them (but it's more expensive than honey and there are more of them than me, so I can stretch it farther if I use honey for them and agave for myself - not too concerned about them craving from the sugar content in honey LOL).

I don't know about the Kraft mac and cheese. My kids won't eat it. They got it at a restaurant once and gave me this look like, "What IS this stuff and WHY is it BRIGHT ORANGE???" My husband says I'm making them food snobs because I cook lots of things from scratch. It takes a lot more time, but I think it's worth it.

If you really want to know my cheese secret... I don't really worry about using reduced fat only because the good cheeses are not reduced fat. I always just have a smaller portion of meals made with good cheeses. I'd rather have a small amount of the good stuff than a large amount of the mediocre stuff. I adjust the rest of my day to be less calorie-intensive and adapt that way.

There's a great recipe for portobello burgers in the recipe section. I haven't made them in forever, but you mentioning veggie burgers made me think of them. They're so yummy! We like to do sweet potato "fries" with veggie burgers. I just cut up sweet potatoes into strips and roast them with some olive oil, garlic, and onion. Mmmmmm!

03-13-2010, 12:57 PM
Kleo, Here are our family favorites:

"meal salads" - chef, chicken Ceasar, Nicoise, etc.
Chicken divan
Mediterranean Chicken (with ww pasta)
Chicken Cheesesteak saute
Chicken Parmesan
homemade pizzas
Egg Fu Young
Broccoli Cheese Soup or Cream of Broccoli Chicken Soup
butternut squash mac & cheese
pasta with Weezle's Alfredo Sauce
quesadillas with ww tortillas
make your own omelets/frittatas
tuna pasta salad or couscous salad

03-13-2010, 11:20 PM
I think it is also harder to enforce the "one meal for everyone" philosophy when you have very young children. My DD is only 16 months old, thin and ALWAYS hungry. Seriously, she says "nummies" all day long. If dinner is ready when it is time for her to eat, then she gets some of that and if I worry she won't eat it I always have very easy back up foods. Beans, quesadillas with lowfat cheese and whole wheat tortillas, cooked ground turkey, veggies, veggie burgers, pasta with veggie sauce, mac and cheese (I buy the store brand organic ones). None of these take longer than a few minutes to prepare and are healthy for her.

As she gets older and goes to bed a little later, she will eat what we eat. But at this time it does not fit with our daily schedule. When I get her home from daycare at 5:30 she will scream if I don't get food into her in 5 minutes and then needs to get to bed pretty soon there after.

This response isn't to argue or anything, I just understand where the OP is coming from :).

03-14-2010, 09:31 AM
Kleo - my apologies if you felt insulted... I certainly did not intend that at all. I actually was just trying to be helpful and share something I had learned about myself as a parent from my own experiences. I cannot offer you much in the way of food ideas because my boys are so finicky they will just pick the meat/chicken out and skip the other ingredients. We have lots of plain stuff here, with veggies on the side that they ignore and grain on the side that I ignore. I do want to add that one of the great things about putting something out here on a thread is you never know what direction the responses will take. I guess that is a potential downside if they, like I did, don't address exactly what you hoped for. Happy cooking:)

BTW - my 20 year old could live on mac and cheese! My other son eats almost no pasta!

03-14-2010, 09:50 AM
I swear I don't want to sound mean or anything, I swear! And I fed my kids that mac and cheese for years when they were little...we all ate it regularly. But knowing what I know now, I wouldn't feed that stuff to my family on a bet. It contains enriched pasta...pasta that has been bleached. Then that orange stuff is made with other chemicals and strange additives. None of us would think about feeding our kids a bowl of bleach and additives, but that's what we do when we give our families processed foods.

As a teacher, I see what happens to kids who eat processed bouncing off the walls, with no attention spans, can't think because they have chemicals running around their brains. Then parents (and doctors!) end up giving them drugs to stop the bouncing. I really believe that most of the problems kids have in school can be solved by diet.

I wish I had it to do all over again in regards to nutrition for my kids. Two of my kids just naturally avoid processed stuff when they can (all my kids are grown) BUT the youngest is now 22 and vegetables rarely pass his lips. He lives on frozen pizzas etc. He is slim and healthy now, but I really worry for him in later years. He was the "picky eater" who never grew out of it. I now wish I would have insisted on him eating better when he was a little guy. Thank goodness for green super powder...he does love a smoothie.

In the last 3 years, I've found many "replacements" for foods I used to love that didn't love me here's one for mac and cheese you might want to try. (

This is also a site you might want to look at for some ideas for kids. (

Kids love "mild" tasting foods, so quinoa is something else you might want to try that would be good for everyone. A little quinoa and chicken and olive oil might be something mild that a child would really like. Then encourage him to try just a "little bite" of what you are eating at each meal and it will increase his love of healthy foods. Try buying him a "big boy" plate so he can eat like Mom and Dad and also let him choose what to plan for dinner (you give hime the choices of course) If he is in "control" of what he eats, then he will be more inclined to eat what you eat.

03-14-2010, 11:05 AM
I'm sitting here trying to think of what I feed my kids all the time!! Unfortunately, a lot of times they don't eat what I eat. But, we bribe them to try at least one bite. Sometimes this really does take money ;). But, my kids have tried veggies I never would've thought by this age (asparagus and turnip greens come to mind). My children are 5 and 6.

Mostly, I have them eat the meat we eat, and hopefully a little of our veggies. In trying to get them to choose things (vs. me making them a plate), I'll then make a veggie/fruit plate. They're required to take at least 2-3 different things off this plate on the nights they won't like what I'm eating. I'll also cut them up pieces of cheese, and add some crackers if there's no grains for me that night. They're both skinny kids, and could use a lot more fat than I need!

Hamburger steak (DH gets gravy; kids get cheese!)
chili; I eat plain, kids use Frito scoops to eat :D
tacos/quesadillas - I'll eat on salad, kids really like making their own
tortilla pizzas - everyone gets what they want!

I planned out the menu this week:
*Hamburger steak (they'll eat it! and they love red potatoes; I'll make sauteed mushrooms and onions for my/DH part)
*Mock cornbread/beef casserole (this is a new try, I won't make it spicy, I think they'll like it)
*Crack Salad - not sure if they'll like it. they'll probably pick out stuff. Will probably have veggie tray available! (they tend to like raw veggies far better than cooked)
*Sausage, mac n cheese for them, kale with beans and tomatoes for DH and I, veggie tray

It's not perfect. But when I watch friends' kids, mine eat a lot more veggies and are more willing then most. I'm hoping when they get older, this will help them in their WOE.

Good luck!

03-14-2010, 01:57 PM
I really want to thank those that have chimed in with helpful and supportive thoughts and concrete ideas.

As for the "not-trying-to-sound-mean-but-I-really-can't-stop-myself-from-saying-that-you're-pouring-bleach-down-your-son's-throat" type of comment, I really could have done without that. Let's let this thread die.