Ironman training was not always about us. As the parents of four young children, our children’s health still came first. During our long training days, the kids spent the day with a babysitter, a friend or their grandparents, so planning meals ahead of time was essential. We came up with many easy solutions for having them eat healthy even though we were not at home for every meal. Sometimes this meant leftovers from the night before, other times it meant making a meal and freezing it. And other times, it meant something fun like a smoothie or a homemade ice pop! My future blogs will highlight all the ideas we used!

I always follow healthy guidelines when creating these recipe ideas, which to me means nutrient dense, low in saturated fat, and high in protein. This definition holds true in all of my upcoming blogs. But, just like most young children, no matter how healthy it is, my kids wont eat it if it’s not good.

Below is our spin on the turkey burger – a Giles family favorite for dinnertime. If you make enough, it is also lunch the next day. We used this one frequently over the past seven months because it was something all six of us could eat, it was packed with nutrients and it was simple to prepare. It was the perfect recovery dinner for us after a long workout day and it also set our bodies up nicely for the following day’s workout, and, most importantly, my kids loved it!

Nutrient-Dense Turkey Cheeseburgers

What child doesn’t like a cheeseburger? The bean puree makes the extra lean ground turkey moist and flavorful. It also adds complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Be careful not to add too much puree or else they will not form into proper patties. Serve the burgers on a multigrain roll, or potato roll (which has a little more protein than regular rolls). You may also choose to serve the burger over a bed or arugula or baby spinach rather than a roll.


  • 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • ¼ red onion diced
  • ½ can pinto beans (you can substitute cannelloni beans, red kidney beans or black beans)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup fat-free ricotta cheese


  1. Combine turkey, salt, garlic and paprika in a large bowl.
  2. In the NutriBullet combine beans, diced onion, egg whites and ricotta and blast!
  3. Combine the bean mixture and the turkey mixture.
  4. Form into patties and grill them until they’re cooked thoroughly (approx. 8 mins on each side depending on the thickness of the patty). Top with reduced fat cheese or soy cheese and serve on a bun.

**To make meal time fun, try creating a “burger bar.” Prepare a spread of toppings for the burgers such as table sliced avocado, sliced tomato, sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, organic ketchup, organic BBQ sauce, hummus and olive tapenade. Each member of your family can make their own individualized burger!

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Triathlon Coach

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