Fresh roma tomatoes

If you haven’t taken a look at a salsa nutrition label lately, you might be surprised by what you find. Salsa is very low in calories (often under 20 calories per serving), and high in vitamins due to being made of fruits and vegetables. That makes it ideal not only as a snack, but as a flavorful and diet-friendly addition to many recipes.

But many recipes using salsa aren’t likely to be a hit with kids. How can you incorporate the health benefits of salsa into something that your little ones will eat? Here are three tasty ideas:

  1. Better Chicken Fingers and Tots

    Classic mild salsa dip, with its tomato base and subtle flavors, is actually a great substitute for ketchup (which often has quite a bit of sugar and about twice as many calories). Try baking, rather than frying, some lightly breaded chicken and pairing with potatoes roasted with a little bit of olive oil. Dip in salsa and enjoy this upgraded version of chicken fingers and tater tots.

  2. Fresh and Healthy Pizza

    Kids will eat just about anything in pizza form. Switch out heavy pizza sauce for a yummy salsa (roasted garlic salsa is a great choice, depending on how adventurous your kids are), then top with a low-fat cheese and your favorite toppings. You can even add some fresh Roma tomatoes, sliced, on top of the cheese for an extra helping of veggies.

  3. Veggie-Heavy Mac ‘n’ Cheese

    A gooey cheese sauce will cover almost anything — including the vegetables so many kids don’t want to eat. First, cut calories and improve the nutritional value of your mac ‘n’ cheese by switching out half the noodles for cauliflower florets (or broccoli, if your kids can handle a little visible green). Then, stir a generous amount of salsa into the sauce to add flavor and some extra veggies.

Do you think these ideas would encourage your kids to eat healthier food? Share your favorite recipes using salsa and discuss in the comments.

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