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The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers: Improving the Way Your Family Eats, One Meal at a Time! [Paperback]

Janice Bissex , Liz Weiss
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 23 2003
For the legions of harried moms who have tossed in the dishtowel on cooking healthy meals (or any meals!), the easiest-ever guide for bringing super nutrition back to the kitchen.

Getting dinner on the table night after night can be a challenge. So it’s no surprise that busy moms often rely on fast food, takeout, and convenience meals like macaroni & cheese, chicken nuggets, and fries. The kids love it but the drawback is that little twinge of guilt moms feel every time they feed their family another not-so-healthy meal. At the end of the day, many children end up with a poor diet high in sugar, saturated fat, and calories … a major factor in the rising rates of obesity.

Finally, here are realistic guidelines designed to give families a healthy meal makeover.
The Moms lay out a 5-Step Meal Makeover Plan, explaining how to market good nutrition to kids, establish food rules, and make life easier in the kitchen.
In The Best of the Bunch chapter they reveal which brands of kid convenience foods–hot dogs, frozen pizza, and more–are the best tasting and most nutritious ones out there.
The Moms show how to stock a healthy pantry and whip up delicious anytime meals using pantry staples.
They even serve up 120 reworked recipes for family favorites such as Fast-as-Boxed Macaroni & Cheese, Squishy Squash Lasagna, Cheesy Broccoli Soup, Sweet Potato Fries, and Chocolate Pudding with Toppers.

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From Booklist

The unhealthiness of juvenile diets has generated new concern about excessive fast food and nutritionally suspect mass-produced meals in children's daily fare. Dieticians Bissex and Weiss have written The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers specifically to show just how to go about enhancing the nutritional value of everyday home cooking. Despite the title's somewhat sexist assumption (Are dads by nature uninvolved in, ignorant of, or averse to their offspring's good nutrition?), the book presents relatively simple ways of bettering recipes' nutrition by substituting lower-fat and lower-sodium ingredients and by always paying attention to labels. Each recipe has a table comparing fat, protein, carbohydrate, sodium, and fiber levels of both the standard and improved recipes. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

A former dietitian for the U.S. Senate, Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD, is a sought-after speaker, spokesperson, and nutrition consultant for restaurants and food companies. She lives in Melrose, Massachusetts, with her husband and two daughters.
Liz Weiss, MS, RD, is an award-winning television journalist who has covered health and nutrition stories for PBS and CNN for more than a decade. Currently, she reports for CNN and is Contributing Editor for Health Magazine. She lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just add carrots... April 14 2004
By A Customer
I bought this book based on the reviews- they all seemed positive and encouraging. If you are really clueless in the kitchen, this book will definitely help you. If you know your way around the kitchen and are looking for some fresh, new ideas for healthy meals for your family, avoid this book. The authors' ideas for making a meal healthy most often include adding a carrot or two. Almost every recipe involving ground meat touts adding grated carrot to add extra vitamins and nutrition. Anyone can add carrots to a recipe. I could add shredded carrot to my creme brulee and call it more nutritious, but I doubt it would sell many cookbooks.
I was hoping that this book would help me with creative new ways to present food to my small children in order to get them to try new things, while helping me maintain my modest grocery budget. Most of the suggestions in this book involve a trip to a specialty grocery store, or the organic aisle at my supermarket- either way increasing the money spent on groceries. This book was a huge disappointment to me- I didn't need a book to tell me to avoid fast food. It contains too much common sense, and isn't worth what I paid for it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes and fast easy meals May 7 2004
By Sarah
These recipes are quick, easy, good, and best of all, a little more adventurous than your normal "family" cookbooks filled with chicken nuggets and pasta. I am not one to plan a week's meals ahead, and I love that I can open this book and find something great to make out of what I have on hand. I've made at least 15 of the recipes and every one was great. The prep time estimates seem to be pretty accurate. Our family in general likes things a little more spicy than most, so some recipes were a little bland but I just add a little more seasoning if that happens. I think they would probably be fine for most people, especially kids.
I think the authors are right on the mark with their advice on kids trying new foods, no "yuck!"s etc. Their philosophy is similar to our own house rules, and as a result my boys (3 and 7) are great eaters. I had the pleasure of meeting the authors at a bookstore signing, and I was very impressed with their knowledge, sensibility, and friendliness!
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By A Customer
This is a WONDERFUL cookbook for those parents interested in improving the meals that we prepare for our kids. Our three young children are of normal weight, are super-active and all have high cholesterol levels so I have been searching for a cookbook oriented to healthier cooking for kids and this cookbook is it! The book is a quick, interesting read even before the receipes are introduced. It is quite factual, without bogging you down with minutiae. I have already tried nine receipes and all of them have been winners with my kids---even the one with brussel sprouts! Today my son asked me to make something for dinner "out of that good food cookbook". Everything has tasted great---nothing has tasted "low-fat". I have re-stocked my pantry and freezer with stuff I never would have thought to try because I thought they were too weird (like flaxseed waffles---delicious!!) or because I didn't know what to do with it--like wheat germ. This book has really expanded the foods that I am serving my family. I am committed to improving how our family eats and this book is a fantastic reference. We had friends over tonight with their three young children and we tried three new receipes and they were all hits. Now, she's ordering a copy of the book, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book for busy moms--EVER Dec 26 2003
By A Customer
OK--you know those days when your kids want McDonalds and you're just too tired to argue? You feel guilty as all heck, but let's face it, we've all been there, even super nutritionist moms, Janice and Liz. So the first step of the book is where they tell you how to take the kids to Micky D's (and other fast food places )and give them the healthiest meals possible. You'll be AMAZED by some of the differences between some of the menu options.
The next step is frozen and prepared foods. Again, we all feel so guilty every time we heat up those fish sticks and frozen peas, but Janice and Liz explain, right down to telling us what brands to use, how to make a really, really healthy meal out of frozen and canned foods.
Finally, for those days when we finally do have some time, Janice and Liz make it so easy to cook easy healthy foods for our kids that they'll actually eat and LOVE. They show us how to clean out our pantries so that cooking like this is easy, and no recipe takes more than 20 minutes.
One of the best parts of the book is the companion website, where you can go, join the club, share recipies and anecdotes with other moms, and get more tips and advice from the monthly mom's newsletter by Liz and Janice--our national treasures! Buy this book, join the club, tell your friends--or be sorry you didn't!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Skeptic: Convinced!! Jan. 23 2004
I pride myself on being a pretty good cook, so the idea that a cookbook would contain recipes that were not only easy (being a working mom with five kids made that important), interesting to my children, and, compelling to myself and my partner seemed impossible. I really enjoy this cookbook. I have liked nearly every recipe I've tried--the kids have been much more open than I ever imagined--and some of the tips have already infiltrated their way into other meals. I appreciate the ease of preparation; I appreciate the range of foods suggested; I appreciate the graphics and side bars of the book. In other words, I am convinced. I really urge you to give this cookbook along with the authors' suggestions about changing your family's eating habits a try.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great!
I love this book. It's fabulous. The recipes I've tried all turned out great, and I'm looking forward to trying many more! They're interesting, but not exotic ... Read more
Published on June 6 2004 by Karen Duester
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy, healthy, yummy!!
Easy, healthy and yummy. That pretty much sums up the recipes in this great
book. All kinds of common healthy ingredients are used, stuff I bought in
the past but didn't... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Nancy Wessels
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthy eating and great taste!
This cookbook is the best! With 3 teenagers, our schedules are busier than ever. The recipes are quick and easy to prepare, and my kids love them!! Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Lori A. Hopper
5.0 out of 5 stars Dependably Delicious!
I love this book! I actually look forward to trying new recipes each week. They are easy to make and use ingredients I usually have on hand. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by "tucker444"
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Guide to Feeding Your Family
What an incredible book! Weiss and Bissex have written a user-friendly guide that every family will love. The recipes are delicious, and even more amazing, easy to prepare. Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by Amy Yankovich
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a groupie!
I bought this book at a Mothers & More cooking demonstration. I loved that the authors were honest about how much time and energy Moms have in the kitchen and were realistic about... Read more
Published on April 26 2004 by "nbcmec2"
5.0 out of 5 stars Dietitian's recommend this book.
Great resource for busy parents looking to feed the whole family healthy! As a registered dietitian myself, I have found this book to be practical, with quick easy ways to sneak... Read more
Published on April 20 2004 by R.Boback
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Realistic Advice!!
I have tried several of the recipies from this book on my very picky family. The recipies are easy, use readily available ingredients, and are delicious. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by Karen P. Parnell
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTIOUS!
I'm the type of Dad who likes to cook for his toddler -- I don't want to feel guilty whenever "Cats in The Cradle" comes on the radio -- and let me just say that... Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by "darren-nh"
5.0 out of 5 stars Healthy Dinners with Less Stress!
I'm often asked by parents who have read my book, Busy but Balanced, for ways to handle the chores of running a family. Read more
Published on March 8 2004 by Mimi Doe
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