The cheesier it’s the the more he loves it. I love it myself, but the cheesier it is, the more fattening it becomes, too. Here are some suggestions to create that family classic somewhat better for your kids.
Add variety to the cheese. Macaroni and cheese is nothing unless it is dripping cheese from both ends of the noodle. However, the cheese your mother chose doesn’t have to be the exact same cheese that you use. The light version has a third of the fat and melts much better than regular cheese. This cheese works well in the event that you prepare your macaroni and cheese in a pot on the stovetop. If you are a person that bakes your macaroni and cheese like a casserole, you can substitute fat-free sharp cheddar for the full fat version and use skim milk to make it more creamy.
How about making that side dish the main meal? Macaroni and cheese can become the whole meal if you add some protein. This transforms your dish to cheesy beef and macaroni. The beef will help fill your kids up faster and will give them the protein their body needs. For a weekend lunch, add chunks of ham to their macaroni and cheese for a fast meal. The beef breaks up the monotony of just having the identical dish all of the time. Chunks of boneless chicken breasts may also work as well as the ham if your child prefers chicken. Hotdogs also work with macaroni and cheese but because of the nitrites they contain, don’t use them as frequently as you use the ham and chicken.
There are so many more healthy alternatives to the normal macaroni pasta noodle. Now, grocery stores offer a whole wheat or multigrain pasta that is derived from wheat flour rather than white. The pasta is brownish in color but when you add the cheese, nobody will know the difference. If brown pasta does not do it for you, Barilla® makes pasta called Barilla Plus® that has added nutrients to make it more nutritious for the eater. The pasta stays the natural yellow color. Dreamfields® has macaroni noodles which contain only five grams of digestible carbohydrates. That means nothing to your children, but to you it means they won’t get fat from consuming that specific brand.
Add some color to their macaroni and cheese. Chop a tomato and stir it into the macaroni and cheese before serving it. The red makes a bold statement in the sea of yellow. Tomatoes contain antioxidants which are great for your body. If your children prefer hot foods, add a few crushed red peppers or diced green and red peppers for their macaroni and cheese for a bolder flavor. If you do not have any peppers or tomatoes on hand, use a cup of salsa in the macaroni and cheese in a pinch.
Your child would jump at the chance to be served macaroni and cheese for breakfast. Add a few pieces of turkey bacon or reduced fat bacon to your own plate. Crumble the bacon on top of the macaroni and cheese and serve. If bacon isn’t your kid’s favorite, add sausage crumbles. It’s unconventional, but it is going to taste good.