Did you know it can do that? Me neither, but I thought it was fun to imagine those little dry noodles throwing a funky party inside their box when no one was looking. I hope the 'cheese' packet doesn't feel left out….I digress!
Alrighty, so I'm a realist. And, I'm a busy mama. Between the two, I realize that not everyone is making their own mac n cheese from scratch every time.
You have vowed to eat NO MORE bites of your kids' mac n cheese a million times. You are determined to introduce healthier foods to the family. You're also HUMAN and have a headache just thinking about banning their favorite boxed, yellow-orange pasta product from the house.
No worries! I've got ya covered today. Oh, and if you’re a DIY-homesteading-superwoman (my hat is OFF to you!), make sure you are signed up for my newsletter to get a constant flow of new, tasty, healthy recipes!
Ok, back to the boxed kind…baby steps! There’s no use having an extra reason for your kids to rebel or throw a tantrum. Let’s talk about some smaller steps to consider in order to first healthify your family’s favorite comfort food…
1) Dare I say it? Swap the box! Before you try to make mac n cheese from scratch, you might get more buy-in from the stakeholders (little humans in your house) if you start by choosing a different boxed variety. Rather than Kraft - which has lots of inflammatory ingredients - try Amy’s organic. They also have a gluten-free and dairy-free option if that fits your family’s needs.
2) Add veggies. This one works best when you do it gradually. You can start by adding some frozen butternut squash cubes into the boiling water with the pasta. The taste is sweet and it will break apart and enhance the color of the cheese sauce. Another great option is peas. These are small and you can start with just a few mixed in to get everyone use to the idea that green things can be expected in their food from now on. ;-)
3) Nutritional yeast. This can be found in most grocery stores or online and adds a cheesy taste to food - perfect for mixing into macaroni and cheese! Not only that, it also adds some protein and vitamin B12.
4) Sliced cherry or grape tomatoes can bolster the nutrition while giving your mac n cheese a “grilled cheese with tomato” feel.
5) Add mashed avocado into the sauce. Heck, use it in place of some of the sauce. More real food = a win! The avocado will add more healthy fats, creaminess, and …a fun color!
With these tips, you can steal a bite of your kiddo’s mac n cheese with a decent chance that you’ll actually have some real food in there!
*Warning: Results may vary. I make no promises that your particular child(ren) will be ok with any or all of these suggestions…but it’s worth a try! Try these steps one at a time for greatest chance of child consumption.
Which one do you think you’ll start with?
In good health,