KIDS AND TODDLER RECIPES: MACARONI AND CHEESE



I started preparing mac and cheese from scratch ever since I read an article at Yahoo parenting about the use of banned food colors added in readymade mac and cheese, even in the popular organic brand. Since then I have been reading all the food labels diligently, especially with kids foods.  I have also be been cooking healthy foods for them along with serving healthy snacks. Luckily my kids are not into anything that is too sweet and they like fruits better.  Some of the snacks that I serve my kids are boiled eggs, boiled peanuts, sundals, fruits (apple slices served with peanut butter) etc. When it comes to chicken nuggets, I chose the ones that has whole wheat breading, and where the chicken is organic, baked, and white meat (We love the taste of EarthBound baked chicken nuggets.

Here goes the recipe for my son's favorite dinner :)

Ingredients:
1. Elbow pasta, 1 cup. (I have used whole wheat pasta here).
2. Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, peas etc., cut into bite-size pieces,  boiled or steamed, 1/2 cup.
3. Mild cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup.
4. All purpose flour, 1 tablespoon. (I have used Trader Joe's white whole wheat flour here).
5. Milk, 2% or whole, 2/3 cup.
6. Butter or oil, 1 tablespoon.
7. Any seasoning mixture like Italian etc., a pinch. I have used Kirkland's no salt organic seasoning mixture.

Preparation:
Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain, and keep aside. Meanwhile, heat a pan with a tablespoon of butter. Once the butter is melted add the flour and keep frying under low flame until the flour turns into a very light brown color. Add the milk now and keep stirring until there are no lumps and the sauce starts to thicken a little bit. Add the cheese, seasoning, salt and mix everything until the cheese is melted. Once the cheese is melted, add the cooked pasta and vegetables, mix everything well, and cook for a minute and switch off the stove.

Note:
The sauce tends to thicken a little once cooled, so if you are planning to heat it up and serve it later, make the sauce a little runny.

Variations:
1. You can also add sautéed onions and spice it up a little bit if serving this pasta for big kids.
2. Small pieces of cooked chicken or seafood like tuna fish can also be added in the end.
3. If serving for toddlers over a month to a year, just mix the pasta with some butter and a little bit of cheese and serve, which also makes this a perfect finger food.

9 comments:

Vaishali Honawar said...

You have such good kids! Mac and Cheese used to be a favorite before I went vegan and I miss it. Your version looks so delicious and it sounds healthy too-- veggies are a great idea. A very happy Valentine's Day to you, Gita.

Suja Manoj said...

Kids favorite,sounds healthy,will try this.

Poornima Nair said...

I don't know about my toddler, but I want to dig in right away! Looks delicious!

nandoos Kitchen said...

definitely kids favourite. Looking creamy and awesome.

Menaga sathia said...

so creamy n tasty macroni..yumm!!

Bhawya Sankar said...

Hi akka, it looks creamy an yummy.. mac an cheese s now ish's fav :)
Hw r u? hw s kids doing? started going to school?

Umamaheswari Anandane said...

I have not tried this on my own and it sounds great Gita. Must be doing this one for the holiday now :)

Btw, I am giving out 3 iPad apps free for toddlers and preschoolers through my blog. Hope you would like to join in HERE

Sony P said...

My butterfly loves to Mac and cheese .......... This is so tasty and creamy !

Neelam Jain said...

I love macaroni thanks for share this recipe with us.
http://kitchenplatter.com/m/