Healthy Makeovers to Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Recipes

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Are you tired of cooking the same recipes? NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital has some healthy makeovers of some kid (and parent) friendly recipes to share!

COVID has changed a lot about our lives, but it is so important to stay on top of your health, especially for regular preventative care like annuals,” says Dr. Meera Garcia, division chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital. “For new moms and moms to be, eating healthy is the key to improving your mood and lowering stress.”

To help out parents, Chef Emilie Berner, from the Chef Peter X. Kelly Teaching Kitchen at NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, creates kid makeovers of some family-friendly food! 

Cooking demonstration classes are offered to the community, including breastfeeding mothers, patients who’ve had weight loss surgery, cancer survivors, and people with heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. For a list of upcoming events log on to

Herb Chicken Marinade {Makes 2 cups}


  • 1 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (or other acidic liquid such as balsamic vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 minced shallot or 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and/or thyme)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender to combine. I like to leave it a little chunky with pieces of herbs still visible.

Breaded & Baked Chicken “Nuggets” {Serves 3-4}


  • 2 cups of herb chicken marinade 
  • 6-8 chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup panko or other plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat preferable)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 eggs


  1. If chicken tenders vary in thickness, you’ll want to make them uniform for even cooking. Place each tender on a clean cutting board and securely cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat tenderizer, the flat side of a large knife, or the bottom of a small pan, pound the thick portions of the chicken until uniform thickness.
  2. Place chicken in a large bowl or Ziplock bag with marinade. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400º F.
  4. In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cayenne, salt, pepper, dried parsley, garlic powder, and oregano. Mix to combine. In a separate bowl, crack eggs and whisk to scramble. Spread flour on a large plate.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade and allow excess moisture to drip away. Coat chicken in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg (letting excess drip off). Dredge in breadcrumb mixture, turning twice and patting to adhere.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set a cooling rack in the baking sheet, and coat lightly with vegetable or olive oil spray. Place breaded chicken on the cooling rack in the baking sheet. Bake 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Homemade BBQ Sauce {Makes 2 cups}


  • 16 oz. ketchup
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke or 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a medium bowl, combine ketchup and garlic. 
  2. Whisk honey into ketchup and garlic mixture. Slowly add liquid smoke to taste. It won’t take much to get the smoky flavor, so make sure you only add a little bit at a time. Or use smoked paprika if you prefer. 
  3. Add lime juice, and if you like, add the spicy cayenne. Whisk the sauce to combine all the ingredients and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed, taste again, and serve when satisfied.
  4. Let stand 20 minutes before enjoying so the flavors can combine.

Cookie Dough Makeover: The Complete Energy Bit {Makes about 15 bite-sized balls}


  • 2/3 cup creamy almond butter (sunflower seed butter or peanut butter works too)
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients using your hands to incorporate the ingredients.
  2. Roll into balls, the warmth of your hands and patience will bring these together. 
  3. Store in the fridge for up to a week. 

Eat and enjoy!