12 Healthy Updates To Your Favorite Childhood Foods, From Chicken Nuggets To Pizza Bagels

We’re not afraid to admit that as kids, we weren’t the foodies we now consider ourselves to be — but that doesn’t mean that our favorite childhood foods weren’t delicious. We definitely turned our noses up at salads and failed to realize the magnificence of Brussels sprouts until later in life, favoring kids’ menu classics like pizza, chicken nuggets, and grilled cheese. Whenever we need a little comforting, we turn back to the foods that defined our youth — but we prefer to do so in a way that’s a little healthier.

Now that we know a few things about nutrition, we’re all for making the most of our favorite childhood foods. Flip through to see how to put a healthy twist on these 12 delicious dishes.

Image: Half-Baked Harvest

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

There may be no other dish as universally loved as mac and cheese, whether you’re a kid or an adult. Love and Lemons adds some cauliflower to make it way healthier than classic Kraft.

Image: Love and Lemons

Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips

Chicken tenders are basically the Holy Grail of the kids’ menu, but Oh She Glows recreates the same crispy taste using tofu for a meatless meal.

Image: Oh She Glows

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

It may not be the sugar-filled, artificially-colored yogurt of your childhood, but The Kitchn’s homemade fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt still makes a sweet treat — or healthy snack.

Image: The Kitchn

Lentil Mushroom Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a dinnertime favorite for diners of all ages. Cookie and Kate swaps out ground beef for lentils and mushrooms for a healthier, protein-filled take on the Italian dish.

Image: Cookie and Kate

Grilled Beet Burgers

Hamburgers and cheeseburgers are a Happy Meal and BBQ go-to, but they’re not the most health-conscious choice. Green Kitchen Stories makes hearty veggie burgers with vibrant beets, oats, and feta for a meal that’s as hearty as it is healthy.

Image: Green Kitchen Stories

Oatmeal Pancakes

There’s nothing like a hot batch of pancakes for breakfast, whether you’re a kid or an adult. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s oat-filled version, however, is decidedly better for us than the Bisquick of our youths.

Image: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Baked Parsnip Fries

We have always loved French fries. Luckily, Love and Lemons has recreated the fry simply by baking parsnips with a little salt and olive oil.

Image: Love and Lemons

Easy One-Bite Pizzas With Loaded Pizza Sauce

Oh, pizza bagels: they’re not great bagels, and they’re not great pizza — yet somehow we loved them all the same. Oh She Glows uses soft tortilla wraps to make bite-sized pizzas that are both delicious and diet-friendly.

Image: Oh She Glows

Non-Dairy Chocolate Pudding

Pudding cups were our favorite lunchtime staple, but we’d rather not think about all the extra preservatives that came with them. A Beautiful Mess redefines the dessert with a vegan twist.

Image: A Beautiful Mess

Balsamic Roasted Broccoli & Red Pepper Grilled Cheese

White bread, butter, and Kraft American singles were all we needed as kids. But now that we know the beauty of gourmet grilled cheese, Cookie and Kate’s veggie-filled version takes the cake.

Image: Cookie and Kate

Vegan Tofu and Vegetable Pot Pie

We looked forward to dinnertime when this comfort food was on the table. The Kitchn recreates our favorite pot pies with extra veggies and tofu for a vegan meal.

Image: The Kitchn

Parmesan Zucchini Chicken Nuggets

Finally, the ultimate kid-friendly food: chicken nuggets. Half-Baked Harvest miraculously adds some vegetables to this mouthwatering dish to make it way healthier than Dino Nuggets — and somehow even more delicious.

Image: Half-Baked Harvest