Healthy Spaghetti and Meatballs

Hello Readers!  We moms are always looking for a healthier version of our favorite foods, and sometimes those foods are difficult to replace.  But sometimes we can find some great alternatives that our kids might like.  One such example is with spaghetti and meatballs.

So, let me tell you about my childhood.  I was one weird kid!  I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents, and my maternal grandmother Nammi became a health nut before it was the “in” thing to do.  One of her favorite foods to offer was spaghetti squash.  In the summertime, she would serve us a serving of the squash with marinara sauce or a little butter.  And I loved the stuff!  I still do, despite the fact that most of us experience changes in our taste over the years.

I know that some of you are probably shaking your head and saying the same thing: there is absolutely no way your kiddos are going to eat a veggie and like it.  I get it.  My husband doesn’t love spaghetti squash, but he will at least eat it if I make it.  And, for the moment, our little one does like squash.  Of course, all babies like squash, so that’s currently irrelevant.  Like I said, I was a weird kid that always loved squash, so I don’t expect your kids to instantly love it.  But it’s worth a try.

If you try it and it doesn’t work, why not try a healthier pasta?  Not only can you find a whole wheat variety of your favorite spaghetti noodles, you can also find some varieties of quinoa-based pasta.  You will recall from my previous post Instead of…White Rice, I am a huge fan of quinoa.  It’s a major superfood, and it contains a lot of nutrients that can only help you.

Now, as for the meatballs, I know that we all love our meatballs just like our Nana’s made in our childhood.  But those meatballs can be fattening.  They are typically filled with ground pork, which contains more fat than ground beef, and we already know how fatty ground beef can be, even when it’s lean.  If you want to try a healthier version of your favorite meatballs, I recommend using straight ground turkey or chicken instead of beef or pork when making meatballs.  You can even buy such meatballs.

If you want an even healthier option, I would recommend veggie-based meatballs.  It may sound weird, but it’s a flavorful and healthy alternative to regular meatballs, and it’s a great way to add a serving of veggies for your kids.  As a bonus, most kids may not notice the veggies in the meatballs.

As for the sauce, I would highly recommend using a veggie-based sauce.  I like using one that contains several other veggies, such as peppers, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and more like that.  Aside from being full of flavor, these sauces contain a lot of nutrients found in the veggies.  While a straight marinara sauce can contain some nutrients from the tomatoes, there are typically more found in these veggie based sauces.

So tell me Readers, have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  What results have you had with it?  Have you ever tried turkey or veggie meatballs?  What have you discovered from them?  I would love to hear from you.

Until next time,

-BBM

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