Sneaking in Nutrition

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Tofu has little flavor of its own and is a great way to add low-fat protein to many dishes. Silken tofu can be mixed in with scrambled eggs. Firm tofu can be mashed and mixed with ricotta for lasagna or desserts.

Breakfast breads like pancakes, waffles and muffins are prime targets for nutritional boosts. Decrease the flour by about half a cup and substitute the same amount of oatmeal. Replace the oil in the recipe for the same amount of applesauce or mashed ripe banana to keep the food moist while decreasing fat and adding flavor.

When serving party snacks, swap sour cream-based dips with salsa and hummus. Replace ordinary potato chips with vegetable chips, or try chips that contain nutritional "extras" such as flax seeds.

If your children like to drink fruit juice, you can slip in a small amount of vegetable juice into the beverage. Use the low-sodium variety and add just a spoonful at first. This works particularly well with grape juice and fruit punches as these have strong flavors that help mask the vegetable flavor. You can also introduce your children to fruit and yogurt smoothies as nutritious substitutes for milkshakes.

If you have an ice cream maker, you can make healthy desserts by including fruits, berries and nuts and top it off with granola.

Most importantly, set a good example by being open-minded. Search cookbooks and the Web for recipes that have an interesting nutritional twist, such as tomato soup cake, and try them. Enter the word "healthy," the name of the food and "recipe" into a search engine and chances are, someone has already crafted a delicious and healthier alternative and saved you the guesswork from trying to figure it out yourself. Soon, you may find your family members are not only eating their vegetables, but they're also asking for second helpings!