Sometimes you just want to take a break from being an adult, relax, and enjoy a throwback food that brings you back to simpler times.
Here are some awesome, healthier alternatives to the foods your inner child is craving hard. They’re prepared with mostly whole foods, fewer processed ingredients, and less added sugar. And since they’re all homemade, you can actually control what you’re putting into there.
This simple recipe is a great alternative to the fried options you see in restaurants and freezer meals, and it calls for just cornflakes, sliced boneless chicken breasts or thighs, and a quarter-cup of honey mustard. Get the recipe here.
Nothing is more comforting than a steaming bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese. This homemade version uses less butter and salt, includes veggies, and you can always mix in lower-fat cheese along with the regular kind if you want an even lighter version. Get the recipe here.
This sloppy joe is easy to make and uses extra-lean ground beef. Get the recipe here.
Yes, adults can eat cute-shaped breakfasts, too. This recipe calls for whole wheat flour and uses egg whites and banana for texture. Get the recipe here.
Pizza pockets are EVERYTHING. And this copycat recipe is made with whole wheat flour and a from-scratch pizza sauce that’s prepared with fresh tomatoes, basil, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Get the recipe here.
These are made with bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, pepper, egg, and reduced-fat mozzarella string cheese. Get the recipe here.
This sneaky take on the Tater Tot is actually hiding sweet potatoes, broccoli, and rolled oats. Get the recipe here.
This recipe uses whole wheat pastry flour for its texture and nutritional yeast to get its cheesy flavor. Get the recipe here.
Try this delicious, melty grilled cheese, which substitutes cauliflower for bread and packs lots of protein. Get the recipe here.
Hamburger Helper is great and will always have a special place in our hearts, but this protein-packed quinoa skillet can satisfy that craving with whole, unprocessed ingredients. Get the recipe here.
Think of this as a remixed ham and cheese sandwich. Oh, and the crust is hiding vegetables. Get the recipe here.
If you can get your hands on three mangos and a blender or food processor, you’ll have everything you need for this healthier version of Fruit Roll-Ups. Get the recipe here.
OK, so it’s hard to make these healthy, but you can cut down on the fat by using Pillsbury reduced-fat crescent rolls and Hebrew National 97% fat-free hot dogs. Get the recipe here.
Give the beer batter a rest. This version calls for a little flour, three eggs, multigrain cracker chips, simple seasonings, and voilà! Get the recipe here.
This grown-up version calls for homemade pecan butter (or any nut butter of your choice) and blueberry jam from scratch. That way you skip all the processed ingredients and get straight to the good stuff. Get the recipe here.
Because POP-TARTS. This DIY version is way lower in sugar and made with fresh fruit. Get the recipe here.
These copycat snacks are a part of Bon Appétit’s “Junk Food Makeover” series and are made with better-for-you ingredients like coconut oil, applesauce, and chia seeds. Get the recipe here.
This hearty recipe — made with lean turkey breast, shredded zucchini, pepper jack cheese, panko breadcrumbs, and tomato sauce — is probably even better than what mom used to make. Get the recipe here.
This thick and homey soup has all the creamy flavor as your favorite pot pie; pie crust optional (but not really because come on). Get the recipe here.