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Old 04-30-2009, 09:29 AM   #1
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french fry substitute

Concern is my 14-yr old grandson who weighs in @ 250#.

His dad (my son) who has custody, often serves baked french fries (from freezer bag) for dinner becuz it is a quick and cheap fix after working all day. My question is, does anyone know of a healthy, tasty alternative that is a quick fix (the other son will not eat any veggie other than corn) to serve as an alternative?

I've suggested high-fiber brown rice but it takes a while to fix. Also, frozen sweet potato fries R expensive & still have a lot of fat, tho I believe they have more fiber.

I'm not even sure if I'm on the right board here.

 
Old 04-30-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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Re: french fry substitute

If he is willing to bake things in the oven, just put plain sweet potatoes in the oven.

Brown rice can take a while to cook, but it takes very little effort with a rice cooker.

But sweet potatoes or brown rice is not a complete meal. Some type of protein food like beans, meat (e.g. fish, chicken, turkey, or lean other meats, not "meat" that is mostly fat like bacon or most hamburgers or hot dogs), tofu, or eggs, plus vegetables (a variety, not just corn) would round out the meal better.

 
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:05 AM   #3
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Re: french fry substitute

Good idea but I think sw potatoes take about 45 min. to bake, as opposed to about 18 min. for FF. Don't know if U can cut 'm up (sw potatoes) B4 baking, would prob'ly have to toss 'em w/some olive oil first. Problem is son would still have to fix FF for the 12-yr-old who absolutely will not eat any other veggie besides corn. Maybe he could time it so both types of taters would come out of oven at same time. I foresee potato fights over the FF's.

Son leans heavily on Hamburger Helper too, another quick, cheap, FATTENING fix. Still trying to convert him to low(er) fat shredded cheese (which he puts on top of the lasagna HH. It's a process. He appreciates my input to a point but I know some days he feels it's criticism. He really is a good dad.

Overweight grandson also suffers from being academically challenged which makes it hard 4 him to understand he is putting his life in peril. Like a lot of overweight kids, he just doesn't want to think about it.

TKU for your response. I never know which suggestions my son will adopt. Switching to skim milk was a biggie.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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Re: french fry substitute

If the son insists on the Hamburger Helper (my hubby likes this too), why not have his dad use ground turkey breast instead of the hamburger meat? It cuts the calories and fat WAY down...although the sodium content is still rather high, but it's still a change in the right direction, and I bet the boys will never know the difference. The low-fat shredded cheese is a good idea, too...keep pushing that on them. I've converted my hubby to nearly low-fat everything in our house, and he really hasn't complained too much. For the most part, he can't tell the difference between the full-fat version and the low-fat version.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: french fry substitute

I tried sending you a PM yesterday, but something must be wrong with how I'm doing it because no one ever seems to get them.

I was just curious if instead of your son always making hamburger helper and french fries, if he could maybe buy those stouffer meals where it's pasta, meat of some kind and veggies? They only take a few minutes to cook (faster than hamburger helper) and they at least have a variety of foods in them.

I totally understand not liking veggies all that well, as I don't like fruits a whole lot. Does your grandson like salads? My brother was always really
picky when he was younger, but now he will try (and likes) nearly everything. So there is hope.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #6
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Re: french fry substitute

At 250#, hope is running out fast.

I received your message, but was at a loss as how to reply. Maybe the others U e-mailed had the same problem. There was no "box" like the one I'm writing in now that came up. Maybe I'm supp. to reply to you through your e-mail address using my Outlook Express?

The Stouffer's might work if it has large enuf portions; Maybe my son could add an additional veggie side. In our area, Stouffer's is pretty expensive, tho I've not checked it out in a while.

Adding fruit won't work becuz Matt duzn't consider a piece of fruit as being part of a meal, (e.g., unsw. applesauce or pineapple) tho he'll eat fruit as a snack if there's nothing else. Anyway, I'm making a list of everyone's suggestions and will "casually" introduce them at intervals. Thank you.

One thing they did like was to order pizza the way I do: with half the cheese & twice the sauce, which is rich in anti-oxidants. OC, they don't order out much & as far as I know there is no frozen "lite" pizza. My son buys a lot of 'Jack's" and "Tony's" frozen pizzas, (cheap & fast) which I'm sure R hi-fat and calorie laden.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 04:43 PM   #7
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Re: french fry substitute

I agree. I like to make meatloaf w/2/3 ground turkey or chicken and 1/3 lean ground beef--my hubby loves it. The 12-yr old would notice right away, but maybe son could start w/a half&half combination in the HH. Good idea. I also thought about him not adding in all of the uncooked pasta, but that would go over like a lead balloon. I think he already adds in mushrooms, which is good.

 
Old 05-03-2009, 01:36 PM   #8
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Re: french fry substitute

I LOVE sweet potato fries and make them pretty often! My grocery store sells precut raw sweet potatoes that make it easy. If you don't have these available, it's not too hard to make them from a whole potato.

Just peel the sweet potato and cut into small strips, like a french fry size. If it's too hard to cut it, try microwaving it to soften a little bit. I like to microwave the pieces for 7-8 minutes to reduce baking time anyway. I do this in a plastic bag (vented) to steam them. Next, I brush them with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle them with a light dusting of sea salt. Then I bake them at the lowest baking rack at 400 degrees until they start to brown. They are good! Sweet potatoes are healthier than a regular potato and they have plenty of flavor.

I love to cook them with lean hamburgers that I grill. I buy ground sirloin, which is lower in fat than regular ground beef. It's also much juicier than the lean ground beef and has more flavor. I just separate the meat into a good serving size (1/4 pound or less), grill them on the George Foreman grill (which also gets rid of some more of the fat) and then use a whole wheat bun. I use toppings that are good for you, like lettuce and tomato, sometimes some avocado. I don't use mayonaise or anything fattening and just use a little bit of mustard and ketchup. The ground sirloin is a great option for any meat recipe! Ground turkey is also a good option, but I often crave that beef flavor. I eat chicken breast most days for my source of meat, but I love to treat myself to a lean steak or lean beef of some sort about once a week.

You can substitute in lower calorie, lower fat items to make a healthy version of a loved recipe. I don't give up my favorite foods and just try to make them healthier. I avoid too many prepared meals because they tend to make me bloated and sometimes aren't as satisfying. When I do want a frozen meal, I usually buy the Kashi brand. They make awesome pizzas!

 
Old 05-06-2009, 11:23 AM   #9
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Re: french fry substitute

Some really good ideas on the sweet potato "fries", thank U.

I, too, have had a lot of success in making recipes healthier. Prevention mag has some awesome recipes--I can't always get some of the ingredients so I substitute & they come out fine.

 
Old 05-06-2009, 06:45 PM   #10
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Re: french fry substitute

At burger king I like to get the apple fries. they are a good sub for me

 
Old 05-07-2009, 10:52 AM   #11
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Re: french fry substitute

Burger King has apple fries?? Gotta check that out. We were all at BK last night, (had no choice due to tight schedule) and used our coupons (3 adults & 2 "borderline" adults ate for $15). We all had small fries, but like I said, it was late & not much choice in the matter. Since I didn't know about the apple fries 'til this a.m., I didn't check out the menu. But I will if the situation should happen again.

 
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