Kid-Friendly Favorites Reinvented.

Kid-Friendly Favorites Reinvented

In the last 3 years, I have eaten more pizza, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, and grilled cheese than I care to remember. The fact is, I love these foods and so does my 3-year-old son!

Many foods that are considered to be kid friendly are loaded in refined carbs. If you have diabetes and/or are trying to lose weight, eating such foods on a regular basis can make blood sugar control more challenging and wreak havoc on your weight loss efforts.

The following is a list of healthy alternatives to kid-friendly favorites that will allow you (and your family) to enjoy a similar meal without the guilt.

Pizza

Average carb amount in 1 slice of cheese pizza: 33g carb

Healthy Alternatives:

  • Thin crust cheese pizza
    • 1 slice: 24g carb
  • Pizza made with cauliflower pizza crust
    • 1/6 crust: 2 – 17g carb (amount varies depending on brand)
    • Brands to try: Trader Joe’s, Cali’flour FOODS, Gordon Food Service
  • No Dough pizza
    • 1 slice: 7g carb
    • Try this recipe!

Macaroni and Cheese:

Average carb amount in 1 cup of prepared macaroni and cheese: 44g carb

Healthy Alternatives: 

Try a high fiber/low net carb pasta such as Dream Fields pasta

  • ½ cup dry Elbow noodles: 41g carb (36g Net Carb)
    • The carb amount is not drastically different (in comparison to regular pasta) however the additional fiber and protein in this pasta can help reduce post meal blood sugar spikes and keep you feeling satisfied longer.
  • Vegetables such a zucchini and squash make great noodles. These noodles can be coated in cheese sauce for a unique twist on traditional macaroni and cheese.
  • Riced cauliflower
    • Add your favorite cheese/cheese sauce to riced cauliflower for a nearly carb-free macaroni and cheese alternative.
      • ¾ cup serving: 3g carb
      • Brand to try: Trader Joe’s, Birds Eye, and Green Giant are a few brands that make riced cauliflower.
    • Quick recipe idea:
      • Combine ¼ cup Kraft Velveeta cheese and ¾ cup of steamed riced cauliflower. Mix until cauliflower is completely coated in cheese sauce.
        • ¾ cup serving: approx. 10g carb

Chicken Tenders:

Average carb amount in 4-piece (6 oz.) serving: 20g carb

Healthy Alternative:

  • Instead of bread crumbs, coat chicken tenders with a mixture of almond crumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake chicken tenders instead of frying.
    • 4-piece (6 oz.) serving: approx. 10g carb

Grilled Cheese:

Average carb amount in 1 grilled cheese sandwich: 30g carb

Healthy Alternative:

  • Use eggplant as a bread alternative. Slice down the length of an eggplant to make eggplant slices to your desired thickness. Coat each slice of eggplant with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Heat on stove-top on medium until slightly crisp. Add desired cheese between 2 slices of grilled eggplant.
    • 1 sandwich: approx. 10g carb (carb amount will vary depending on the thickness of the eggplant slices)

Do you have a favorite low carb alternative? Please share your creations with the type2diabetes.com community.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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