Hot dogs are a staple food in the standard American kid’s diet. As parents, we all work hard to find that balance between giving them “normal” food that they’ll actually eat, and food that is healthy. We also need to have food that is readily accessible, inexpensive, and easy to serve. Well, above you can see the plate I served to my kids for dinner tonight, and I’ll give you some tips on how I made it much healthier than a normal hot dog dinner. Yes, it costs more than your typical hot dog plate, but not much more, and it’s still less than most other dinners!
First, look for hot dogs that are nitrate and preservative free. Also, some red meat is OK to eat, but turkey is generally better. I’d rather save my red meat for another meal! If you can find them low sodium, that’s even better! These are the nitrate free turkey dogs from Trader Joe’s. Also, avoid excessive browning, because that tasty burned stuff on meat is carcinogenic!
Second, make sure to use a whole grain bun. Above you see the Canyon Bakehouse bun. I’ve posted about that brand a few times, and I can’t say enough about it for flavor and health!!! They only use whole grains, which is more than what most “whole grain” breads can say for themselves! All the manufacturers have to do to call it this is add a small amount of whole grains, and leave the rest refined. Read your labels!
Regarding ketchup, mustard, and dipping sauce for the carrots, see the picture below. I approve of the ingredients in the organic ketchup from Trader Joe’s. I also like Annie’s Ranch Dressing. Mustard is pretty healthy, but make sure to read the label of your brand, to avoid chemicals and other nastiness. This one does have “natural flavors,” which can mean all sorts of things, including MSG. I don’t like that, but it’s at least mostly good! Overall, this was a healthy, easy, inexpensive weeknight dinner! By the way, the adult version of this includes nitrate free turkey or chicken sausages and whole grain mustard.