Cooking for kids is always a challenge. While your kiddos may think that eating junk food or the same thing over and over again is a viable option, we know it isn’t. Kids are growing and forming the foundation habits of their life. We need to encourage them to eat healthy and choose wisely when selecting foods. This doesn’t mean that they can’t eat the food they like once in awhile, but rather than serving traditional mac & cheese, you many need to become a bit inventive to get those pesky vegetables and health benefits in!
This past week, my friend was in a bind and I offered to babysit and feed dinner to her four kids for her. Add in my 3, I was having a dinner party for 7 kids! I wanted to make something ahead of time so that when the kids arrived I would be able to hang out with them, but I also needed something that was healthy and kid approved.
I decided my best option was mac & cheese. My kids are huge noodle lovers and I hoped hers were too. I found a delicious recipe online and adapted it to include vegetables and meat that I had in my fridge. It was a huge hit and the kids gobbled it up. This is a great recipe for a family affair or birthday party! It also works great in a smaller batch for a quick week night meal.
Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- 3 Tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 2 1/4 cups
- 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
- 8 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup broccoli
- 1/4 tsp of parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Heat the oven to 350 F
Step 2: Cook pasta as directed on package
Step 4: Make a roux. Begin by melting 3 Tbsp of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, mix in flour. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk, 1/2 cup of broccoli, 1/4 cup of bacon, parsley and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.
Step 5: Once sauce thickens up, add 2 cups of cheddar cheese. Cook until melted.
Step 6: Pour cheesy mixture over cooked noodles and mix well.
Step 7: Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and transfer the pasta mixture into the pan. Top with cheese and bake in oven for 5 minutes.
Step 8: Serve and enjoy!