Instead of sour cream...
"[Use] Greek yogurt. It's awesome on Mexican food, floated on soups, plopped on a raspberry crepe or dropped into a smoothie. Protein, great texture and low to no fat," says writer Gina Pogol.
Instead of pastry...
Pastry's good, but it's the filling we're after. "I use filo dough, which is paper thin, to do the job instead," says Pogol. "I place a few layers (four to five) on a tray, then spread a filling over it that I make by sautéing chopped apples, nuts, brown sugar, raisins and butter. [Then] I roll it up and bake it until it's nicely browned."
Instead of peanut butter...
"Use almond butter. It's great if you are allergic to peanuts and also healthier for you because of the higher level of heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fats," says Erin Macdonald, R.D., nutritionist, mom of four and cofounder of U Rock Girl!.
Recipes with almond butter >>
If you do use peanut butter, make sure it's the natural kind, says Marie-Josee Shaar, P.T., MAPP, author of Smarts and Stamina: The Busy Person's Guide to Optimal Health and Performance.
Instead of deli meats...
Sandwiches are an American classic, but you can make yours healthier with smarter filling choices. "Replace lunch meats with rotisserie chicken -- fewer preservatives and a more natural option," says Shaar.
5 Quick & healthy dinners with rotisserie chicken >>
Instead of white rice...
Rice is fine, but brown rice is way better. "Use precooked brown or wild rice in ready-to-use packs instead of less-healthful starches. Mix it with a little Greek yogurt or low-fat soft cream cheese and add your favorite spices. Stuff bell peppers with the mixture and bake them. Super-easy, and my family demands them at least once a week," says Pogol.
Also try Brown Rice & Feta Cheese, a tasty side dish >>
More tips for healthy meals
Healthy meal planning on a budget
Healthy eating habits for busy families
5 Easy (but healthy!) family meal ideas