Here Comes Honey Boo Boo … and a Healthy Makeover Version of her Favorite Sketti Dinner

There’s been a lot of hype lately over the hit TLC show, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. This popular reality show stars Alana (AKA Honey Boo Boo), a spirited seven-year old beauty pageant contestant and her family, Mama June, Sugar Bear (her dad), and her three siblings.

We’re not fans of the show per se, but we’ve watched some clips, and today, we even used the Honey Boo Boo Nickname Generator to find out our Honey Boo Boo “names.” In case you’re wondering, you can now refer to Liz as Lavender Wonderful and Janice as Jayla Bootyboo. But all kidding aside, we WORRY about this family. Their diet, from what we’ve seen, is filled with processed foods — salty, starchy snacks and sugary beverages — and sorely lacks fresh fruits and vegetables. As for the family’s favorite meal, it’s a dish called Sketti, a mixture of cooked spaghetti, ketchup, and butter or margarine.


If you read this blog, you know we’re not judgmental. It’s always been our goal to help families eat a healtheir diet, and you’ve probably heard us say that while it’s impossible to be perfect, it’s absolutely possible to be better. For example, if your family eats a B-minus diet, bring it to a B-plus or even better. By doing so, you’ll make a positive impact on the short and long term health of everyone at your table. So long story short, when we saw this video, we decided to do what we love best: create a healthier, more nutritious, and equally delicious version of Sketti.

Mama June, if you’re out there, we hope you’ll give this recipe a try 🙂 We are confident that through good nutrition, Honey Boo Boo will be a stronger, happier, and healthier child … and a better pageant competitor.

By using everyday, inexpensive ingredients (i.e. nothing weird or hard to find) like whole wheat blend pasta, pre-shredded carrots, tomato sauce versus ketchup, and a healthier “butter” spread, we cut fat and calories dramatically while boosting fiber and vitamin A (read on for our before/after analysis).

Saucy Sketti with Carrots

Makes 6 Servings

All children need great quality calories — lean protein, whole grains, fruits, veggies — to sustain them throughout the day. After all, it’s hard to hold your head high … especially when you’re wearing a tiara … without filling your belly first with sensible meals and snacks! For this spaghetti dish, we suggest serving a giant colorful salad on the side.

  • One 14.5 ounce box dried whole wheat blend spaghetti
  • One 10-ounce bag matchstick carrots
  • 1/4 cup soft buttery spread
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the pasta and carrots and stir a few times. Cook at a low boil until the pasta is done and the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.

2. Return the saucepan to the stove and place over medium heat. Add the tomato sauce, buttery spread, and brown sugar and stir to combine. Continue to stir until the spread melts and the ingredients are well blended. Stir the spaghetti and carrots into the tomato mixture until well combined. Serve in individual bowls, and top with Parmesan cheese as desired.

“AFTER” Nutrition Information per Serving: 380 calories, 10g fat (1g saturated), 490mg sodium, 58g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 14g protein, 80% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 20% iron
“BEFORE” Nutrition Information per Serving: 520 calories, 24g fat (4.5g saturated), 510mg sodium, 65g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 11g protein, 25% vitamin A, 15% iron

Print Recipe

Yes, even The Meal Makeover Moms let their hair down once in a while. Here’s an action shot as we check if the spaghetti is done.

9 responses to “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo … and a Healthy Makeover Version of her Favorite Sketti Dinner”

  1. Killian says:

    Why on earth would you add brown sugar to any “healthy” meal? There is no need for sugar in a pasta dish.

    She could cut down on the cost and the preservatives by replacing the jar of “sauce” with a can of crushed tomatoes.

    And since when did chemical substitutes become “better” for us than a simple tablespoon of real butter, a dairy food?

    If their dish was a D-, this “replacement” didn’t go much higher than a C.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks for your feedback. Our goal was to make changes to the recipe but to still keep it familiar to the family. We considered honey but opted for two tablespoons brown sugar (1 tsp per person) to keep it a wee bit on the sweet side. And we felt comfy w/ the Olivio (again, a small amount) to keep some familiar flavors there too. The whole grain blend pasta, we suspect, is a pretty big change for folks who typically eat white pasta … and the added carrots are also a big leap. Your points are well taken. Just wanted you to know the thinking behind our changes. In the end, we tried to put ourselves into the shoes of the family.

  2. Kate says:

    I had roommates in College who made the ketchup version of spaghetti. I was shocked but I guess others have done it too. I love that you added carrots – I’ll have to try this!!

  3. Judy Doherty says:

    Love the action shot of the spaghetti! I think you did a great job with this makeover! It was nice to see you again at FNCE.

  4. danaaz says:

    When i was growing up we called dinners like that “white trash dinner”. Which we had from time to time. when we would run out of items for dinner and had to use substrates.

  5. marie says:

    Wow Liz and Janice,
    You handled this ‘delicate’ subject with grace. Love your blog and will try this recipe…yum!

  6. Aggie says:

    Oh ladies, this is absolutely why I love you! Great makeover! I heard about this sketti on the radio & I was a little grossed out. Love the hint of brown sugar to get the ketchup taste, you guys are great.

  7. ash says:

    I think I’ll try this and use gluten free spaghetti/real butter and tomato paste + water instead of sauce (corn allergy makes most tomato sauce unsafe for us). Thanks! Love your blog! 🙂

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