Monday Munchies: Super Healthy Kids – Mac n’ Cheese

Super Healthy Kids plate

I’ve been reading and researching a lot about healthy foods to feed the trio.  One site that I’ve found that is full of great ideas and suggestions is Super Healthy Kids.  These plates are from the site and encourage a higher consumption of fruits and veggies versus the grains/protein/dairy components.  I cheated a little on the trio’s lunch plates – the top section of the plate is reserved for dairy, but I put the yogurt on the bottom so they could dip their fruit, and added pureed squash in the dairy section.

Bo was really into these new Healthy Kids Plates and we talked about being healthy so he can grow up to be big and strong.  His response is always, “Like Daddy!” when we have this conversation. Bo loves to sing a song about eating like a rainbow, but actually convincing him (and the girls) to do so is a different story.  I try to provide healthy options at every meal, but honestly, they just don’t always want to eat it.  With Clara and Anna (Anna especially) I’ve been so concerned about weight gain that I’ve been more willing to give them foods that aren’t as healthy – just so they will eat something.  For example, Clara will not eat fresh fruit at all anymore.  My best guess is that it is a texture issue.  That didn’t stop me from loading her plate up with it and hoping that today might be the magic day that she tries a strawberry and likes it, but I still worry that she needs more food so a second helping of mac n’ cheese it is…

I am embracing more and more the idea of eating more whole foods and less processed and packaged foods.   Any suggestions or great websites with more ideas for embracing healthier food choices that are also kid friendly would be greatly appreciated! I am always looking for new ideas.

Besides the Super Healthy Kids site, I’ve also found some great information on Kitchen Stewardship.

One thing that I know all three of my kids will always eat is mac n’ cheese.  It doesn’t matter if it is homemade, from a restaurant, or from the blue box – I know they’ll eat it.  I adapted this recipe from Super Healthy Kids – Healthier Macaroni and Cheese.

Mac n’ Cheese

  • 3 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 3 TBL flour
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup squash puree (I used butternut squash)
  • 1/2 cup cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
  • 3 cups macaroni noodles (I prefer Barilla plus)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (optional)

Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions.  In a sauce pan, stir olive oil and flour constantly till thickens. Add evaporated milk, puree, and cheese.  Stir all ingredients over medium heat until sauce thickens. Combine. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken up.  Top with bread crumbs or panko crumbs if desired.

Each Monday, I’ll showcase a family and kid-friendly recipe to share with your family.  Please let me know if you try one of my recipes! Enjoy!

P.S. Loved all of the comments and advice about laundry! Thanks!!

4 thoughts on “Monday Munchies: Super Healthy Kids – Mac n’ Cheese

  1. Great topic! I probably won’t attempt the mac n cheese recipe. My girl is funny – she’s actually a pretty healthy eater, but mac n cheese has to “look right” for her to eat it – I modify the organic box mix by adding real cheese and a vegetable – either broccoli or peas.

    Have you tried fruit / veggie smoothies? BabyHope never liked them (and for heaven’s sake doesn’t really even like a milkshake!), but they seemed like a great way to mix in fruits, veggies, whatever in an appealing way. I know other moms who do a smoothie a day.

    The easiest way for me to provide healthy foods is to leave the junk at the grocery store. I do my best – I’m certainly not perfect. I do tend to have some prepackaged crackers in the house (single serving size) for car / on the go snacks.

    She goes in phases, too. Right now, it’s raw carrots – no kidding, she went through two bags of baby carrots last week! And tomatoes. Today I let her walk through the store with me – she picked a sweet potato, a mango, pineapple, and blackberries. Oh, and pirates booty – I never buy the stuff, but I gave in today.

    “Green pasta” is one of her favorites – spinach pesto – it’s super easy – a martha stewart everyday food recipe. I do it with whole wheat penne. She begs for it!

  2. When I would babysit one of my favorite things to make was pizza quesadillas. Just take a whole wheat. spinach, etc tortilla put in mozzarella cheese and you can “sneak in” some other veggies and meat since they can’t see them. Cook like a regular quesafilla. Dip them in marinara sauce…I always add pureed carrots to my sauce. Adults like this too 🙂

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