It is no secret that kids love macaroni and cheese and most adults can remember fondly eating it straight out of the pan as a kid. The boxed variety has long been a staple in households with kids,making it to the dinner table on a regular basis, however the actually nutritional value of mac and cheese as a meal leaves a lot to be desired.
Not wanting to deprive my kids of a childhood classic, I found a better way to make macaroni and cheese so we were all happy, and this version is a whole meal in one. It has the whole grains in the noodles, protein and calcium in the milk and real cheddar cheese, and squash makes a star appearance! Best of all, the kids LOVE it!
Mac & Cheese
whole wheat noodles
¼ cup butter
1 onion diced (my kids prefer no onions)
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
½ cup pureed squash
½ cup pureed zucchini/cauliflower or carrots (light or orange coloured vegetables hide nicely in the cheese sauce!)
Cook noodles as directed on package.
In a separate pan or skillet, melt butter and add onion, cooking until soft. Add flour and mix into melted butter. Slowly pour in milk and stir often as milk heats up and flour dissolves. Add cheddar cheese, and pureed vegetables, stirring until mix comes to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly to thicken. If too thick add more milk.
Add only what you need to for noodles, and unless you are feeding a dozen kids, you will have left over sauce. It freezes really well and makes the next batch of healthy Mac & Cheese super simple!
Let me know if your kids loved it!