Many families love the comfort of Spaghetti O’s. This homemade version is just as flavorful but more nutritious than the canned variety.
Spaghetti O’s. I haven’t met a child yet who doesn’t love these little round noodles.
I swear, that canned pasta speaks to children in the grocery store, whispering that the child must whine and beg until their mother adds it to the cart.
I think they got to my daughter.
If I were to ask her what her favorite food is, she would likely say Spaghetti O’s. I think she is trying to crush her dietitian mother – one “O” at a time. 🙂
My daughter’s love of Spaghetti O’s is great. At my house it is tradition that my kiddos pick their favorite recipes for their birthday dinner menu. Guess what my daughter requested? You got it, Spaghetti O’s. Sigh.
When the challenge for this months Recipe Redux was released, I knew it was time to tackle a healthier version of this canned pasta. Here was the challenge:
Limpin’ Along for Lunch
Ever get in a lunch rut? Need new ideas for packing your kids’ or your own lunch? Are packable noontime options dwindling? Surely you’ve met the ‘What shall I pack for lunch?” question head-on with creative ideas. Please share your healthy lunch recipe – so we can swap it into our own rotation.
The Spaghetti O recipe below has an interesting ingredient in it, one you may not be familiar with. It is a product that at first glance doesn’t look very appetizing, in fact, it looks a bit like fish food.
What in the world is this flaky food? It is called nutritional yeast and it packs a big nutrition punch. In just two tablespoons there is a whopping 6 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. Added bonuses include a ton of B vitamins and folic acid. Most brands also add Vitamin B 12, making it a great option for vegans who don’t get this vitamin from animal products.
As a warning, it can be an acquired taste. I tried sprinkling it on popcorn as many people recommend, but I did not care for it this way. Instead, I like adding it to dishes. Its unique flavor compliments certain dishes very well, Spaghetti O’s being one of them.
As for packing lunches, I feel the pain daily of coming up with healthy lunch box items that will actually get eaten. Having been a Food Service Director in an elementary school, I have witnessed day after day what goes on in lunch rooms. There is a ton of uneaten food that goes right to the trash can. I don’t want my kids food there, so creativity is a must.
Guess what plays a large roll in getting kids to eat healthy foods?
Simple as that. Make their food look appetizing and make it exciting.
There are easy ways of doing this with out going all Pinterest crazy.
- Try small containers of low fat ranch dressing for dipping veggies. The smaller the container the better, at least at my house.
- Put applesauce in squeeze pouches. Or yogurt, smoothies, and pudding.
- Cut sandwiches into a different shape than usual. Think diagonal rather than horizontal, or into 4 sections rather than 2. You could get really crazy and use a cookie cutter.
- Put some carrots in a baggie and top it with a handwritten note or joke. If they have to open the bag to read the note, they are one step closer to eating it 😉
Tomorrow take one new item you want your child to eat and find a way to make it more fun.
Give it a try. I guarantee it will make your kids smile and try a bite – or two.
My daughter will be thrilled to find her beloved little O’s in her lunch box, and I am thrilled that they are healthy and guaranteed to not end up in the trash.Tomorrows Lunch Box Just Got More Exciting: Homemade Spaghetti O' Recipe #thereciperedux… Click To Tweet
- 7 oz box Pasta Rings
- 15 oz Tomato Sauce
- 2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 TBSP Honey
- 1 TBSP Butter
- 2 TBSP Milk
- Boil pasta rings per box directions, drain and set aside
- Add butter, tomato sauce, milk, honey, nutritional yeast, and spices to a medium sized sauce pan
- Bring to simmer
- Stir pasta into sauce
- Serve immediately or put into thermos for lunch
So have you thought about it? What surprise you will put in your child’s lunch box tomorrow? Tell me about it in the comments below. And if you love this recipe, please share with friends! Check out other great lunch ideas below: