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7 Healthy Recipes for Your Family Meal Plan!


Alt: a salad bowl with healthy foods, surrounded by flowers and tableware. Image courtesy of Unsplash, by Brooke Lark.As a parent or caregiver, providing nutritious meals for your family is essential for their growth and development. However, with busy schedules and different food preferences, planning and preparing healthy meals can be challenging. In this post, we share some favorite healthy and nutritious recipes from our Fit & Fun team that you can incorporate into your family meal plan.

The Importance of a Balanced Diet

Alt: A person eating a dish with greens. Image courtesy of Unsplash, by Louis Hansel.Before we dive into the recipes, it's important to understand the importance of a balanced diet. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025, a healthy eating pattern should include:

  • A variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other vegetables
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils are also naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.

A healthy eating pattern limits added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. It's important to note that children aged 2 or older should also follow a healthy eating pattern similar to this. While schools can offer as much as half of a child's daily nutrition, the other half relies on balanced and nourishing meals at home. Consider using some of the following recipes to help your family reach its nutritional goals!


Pam's Golden Quinoa Salad & Homemade Dressing

Quinoa is a versatile and healthy grain that's high in protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. This salad recipe is packed with colorful vegetables, chickpeas, and pine nuts, making it a filling and nutritious meal. The homemade dressing is a tasty and healthier alternative to store-bought dressings, which can be high in added sugars and unhealthy fats.


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small cucumber, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 can of beets (golden beets are preferred)
  • 1 can of black olives
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (golden raisins are preferred)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat parsley
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste


  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer or bowl with cool water for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Shake the quinoa of any excess liquid. Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa, which should take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover for five minutes to allow the quinoa to steam and "fluff up". Uncover and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the slightly cooled quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, beets, olives, nuts, dried fruit, and parsley.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, orange juice and zest, and salt until well combined.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Taste, then adjust with additional salt as needed.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Jess' Baked Chicken Reuben

This recipe is a healthier twist on the classic Reuben sandwich. Instead of using corned beef, this recipe uses chicken breast, which is a leaner protein source. Sauerkraut adds a tangy flavor and is a good source of fiber and probiotics. Swiss cheese and thousand island salad dressing add creaminess and flavor. Serve with a side of vegetables or a salad for a well-rounded meal. 


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) can sauerkraut, drained and pressed
  • 4 slices Swiss Cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups thousand island salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (165ºC)
  2. Place chicken in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and
  3. Place sauerkraut over chicken and top with cheese slices. 

  4. Pour dressing over all and cover dish with aluminum foil. 

  5. Bake in preheated oven for 90 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly at 
165ºF (75ºC). 

  6. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve! 

Sandra's Lettuce Roll Ups

Alt: Lettuce leaves on a table. Image courtesy of Unsplash, by Jef Wright.These lettuce roll-ups are a fun and easy way to add more vegetables to your meal. The combination of crunchy vegetables and breadsticks is satisfying and delicious. You can customize the fillings with your favorite vegetables, such as sliced cucumber, bell pepper, or avocado.


  • 8 leaves iceberg lettuce
  • 8 leaves curly endive lettuce
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 2 ribs celery, cut to thin sticks
  • 4 Italian grissini (thin breadsticks), broken into lengths to match vegetables
  • 1/2 jicama, cut into thin sticks


  1. Lay iceberg lettuce leaf flat on a clean surface.
  2. Top with 1 curly endive lettuce leaf. 

  3. Add a few sticks each of carrot, celery, grissini, and jicama. 

  4. Gently roll up and secure with toothpicks. 

  5. Repeat for each lettuce roll-up. 

  6. Serve and enjoy! 

Laura's White Chicken Chili

This white chicken chili recipe is a healthy and comforting meal that's easy to make. The recipe uses white beans, which are a good source of protein, fiber, and other important nutrients. Salsa verde adds a spicy kick and is a convenient ingredient that saves time. Frozen cauliflower and broccoli add extra fiber and nutrients.


  • 1 lb dried white beans (or 2 cans of canned white beans, rinsed)
  • 1 package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, salted
  • 1 bottle of Salsa Verde (or you can make your own!)
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (or water)
  • Frozen cauliflower & broccoli


  1. If you are using dried beans, soak the beans in water overnight. The next morning, rinse the beans and put them at the bottom of the slow cooker. (If you are using canned beans, they are already cooked so you can add them at the end of the recipe).
  2. Add 2 cups of chicken broth or water to the slow cooker. 

  3. Place the chicken in a single layer over the beans. 

    Sprinkle the cumin and chili powder over the chicken.
  4. Cover the chicken with the Salsa Verde. 

  5. Add the frozen veggies and cover. 

    Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the chicken shreds easily 
with a fork.
  6. Mix everything together. The veggies should easily chop up and 
become part of the sauce. 

  7. If you are using canned beans, add them during the last half hour of cooking. 

  8. Add any toppings of choice. Serve and enjoy!

Caleb’s Banana Berry Overnight Oats

Alt: Rolled oats and a small spoon up close on a table. Image courtesy of Unsplash, by Melissa Di Rocco.Overnight Oats is a nutritious and easy breakfast recipe that is perfect for those busy mornings! Rolled oats are an excellent source of fiber and can keep you feeling full throughout the morning. It also includes chia, hemp, and flax seeds, which provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Non-fat Greek yogurt adds creaminess and additional protein, while the fruit adds a burst of fresh flavor and nutrition.


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened oat milk (or milk product of choice)
  • 1/4 cup non-fat greek yogurt of choice (vanilla is preferred)
  • 1/2 tablespoon each chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Blueberries (or berries of choice)


  1. In a mason jar or bowl, combine oats, oat milk, and greek yogurt. Stir until well combined and the oats are completely soaking.
  2. Add chia, hemp, and flax seeds, salt, sweetener, and vanilla extract to the jar. Stir until well mixed. 

  3. Cover and store in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight (oats will last up to 4 days in the fridge). 

  4. When ready to eat, remove from the fridge and cut one banana into medium-thin slices. 
Rinse berries, if applicable.
  5. Add banana and berries to the oats and stir until well mixed.
  6. Enjoy! (Note: You can customize this recipe by using your favorite milk, yogurt, or fruits.)

Maria's Avocado Chia Dip

This avocado chia dip is a tasty and healthy snack that's perfect for dipping vegetables or crackers. Edamame adds protein and fiber, while avocado provides healthy fats and vitamins. Chia seeds add extra fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Serve as a snack or appetizer.


  • 1/2 cup frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cook and drain edamame according to package instructions, or until tender.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, puree edamame until smooth. 

  3. In a large bowl, mash avocado until mostly smooth. 

  4. Stir in pureed edamame and all remaining ingredients. 

  5. Mash until the mixture is well combined and to desired texture. 

  6. Season with additional oil if desired, serve, and enjoy! 

Mitzy’s Butternut Squash Soup

Alt: A dish of butternut squash soup, on a wooden table. Image courtesy of Unsplash, by Jezebel Rose.Butternut squash soup is a comforting and nutritious meal that's perfect for cold days. This recipe uses chicken or vegetable stock, which adds flavor and nutrients. Spices such as garlic powder, celery salt, ginger, and nutmeg add warmth and flavor. For a creamier texture, you can add light or heavy cream, although this is optional. This soup is also great for meal prepping and can be stored in the fridge or freezer for future meals. It's a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal!


  • 1 medium to large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 lbs) halved and seeded
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Garlic powder
  • Celery salt
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Light or heavy cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (205ºC).
  2. Place squash cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until the flesh of the squash can easily be pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.
  3. Let cool, then scoop out the pulp with a spoon and discard the skin.
  4. Stir the squash and 4 cups of stock into a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon, for 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Return mixture to the pot and stir in the remaining stock. 

  6. Season to taste with garlic powder, celery salt, ginger & nutmeg. If desired, stir in cream to reach desired consistency.
Heat through and ladle into bowls. If desired, garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro, croutons or roasted squash seeds. 

Alt: a top down shot of a family sharing a meal. Photo courtesy of Unsplash, by Luisa Brimble.It's important to prioritize healthy and nutritious meals for you and your family's overall wellbeing. In summary, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a balanced diet consisting of various fruits, vegetables, protein sources, whole grains, low or non-fat dairy products, and oils. By incorporating some of the recipes shared by the Fit & Fun team, you can ensure that your family is getting the proper nutrition they need while also enjoying delicious meals. Share this post with your family and friends, and comment below if you tried any of these recipes! 

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