Guest Blogger: Nutrition Nanny, Christina Marie

This yummy
recipe is a kid classic revamped to provide your child with the nutrients their
little bodies crave. Kid tested Nanny/Family Approved!

Turkey/Veggie Meat Loaf Cups

Preheat oven to
400 degrees and spray cupcake tin. Recipe yields 20 mini meat loafs.
What you
2 cups of
grated zucchini
1.5 cups of
diced onion
1 pound of lean
ground turkey
1/2 cup of
uncooked couscous
1 egg
2 tablespoons
of pesto
1/2 to 1 cup of
marinara sauce (depends on how much sauce you prefer)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
to taste
Chop garlic and
place in a sauté pan with olive oil. Pour in all veggies and sauté for 1 to 2
minutes or until lightly brown. 
Transfer veggies into food processor and lightly pulse them until broken
down. DON’T liquefy veggies. Place pulsed veggies into a bowl and mix in ground
turkey, couscous, egg, pesto and a pinch of salt and pepper until combined.
Fill each muffin cup 3/4ths of the way. Top each cup with sauce. Bake for about
25 minutes. Let cool before serving. 
Freeze the
leftover mini loafs individually for later use!
Health 411: Using ground turkey or even ground
chicken cuts down the fat of a typical meat loaf recipe. Additionally, adding
the veggies and marinara sauce instead of ketchup, or barbeque sauce eliminates
the high sugar content many other meat loaf recipes call for.

An Italian
classic from my childhood…Mangia Mangia!
Yields about ½
cup of pesto sauce
What you
2 cups of fresh
basil washed and de-stemmed
1/4 cup of
fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of
olive oil

1/4 cup of pine

1/2 teaspoon of
salt and pepper
3 garlic clove
First place the
garlic into the food processor and pulse until minced. Then add the basil
leaves, pine nuts and salt and pepper into the food processor. While processor
is running on low pour the olive oil slowly through the feed tube until
ingredients are pureed. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula and stir in
Parmesan cheese. Bottle and store pesto sauce in refrigerator until ready to
use. Also you can freeze pesto sauce in ice tray to use for meal in a pinch.
Use pesto sauce
over whole-wheat pasta or add it to a chicken or meat dish to give the meal a
boost of flavor. Also be inventive with the recipe. You could substitute
almonds for pine nuts or use 3/4ths basil 1/4th mint. I’ve also used half basil
half spinach. If your child has nut allergies use sunflower seeds to substitute
for pine nuts. Get creative and have fun! 
Fresh Basil or
basil oil is not only yummy and fragrant… it’s good for you too! Basil is known
to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
Additionally, it contains high levels of magnesium, which is good for blood
circulation. Basil can be used to treat constipation, the flu, bronchitis,
sinus infections, stomach indigestion and asthma.  

Christina Marie, has been a career nanny for the last three years and previously wrote articles for the Arizona Daily Star and the University of Arizona’s student run website She comes from a culinary family of restaurant entrepreneurs and master chefs and cooking has always been an important aspect of her life. During her college years at the University of Arizona, she realized pizza was not going to be her go to meal, considering, her pallet was attuned to fine foods. Keeping in mind that college students are on a budget she got creative in the kitchen and experimented and re-created healthy versions of fare she grew up eating. Since becoming a nanny she realizes the importance of kids eating healthy meals and snacks. She prides herself on balancing nutrient enriched foods that are tasty and healthy for kids and are not time consuming to create. Ms. Marie holds a Bachelors Degree in journalism and is currently working on a children’s book about a sassy little girls adventures and mishaps. Please stay tuned to see her weekly contributions on healthy tot eats on this blog.