Sometimes resorting to clandestine methods is the best way to get your kid to eat her veggies.
Most kids will scarf down macaroni and cheese. That is precisely what makes it the best vehicle to trick them into eating veggies! I don’t support lying to your children but a little covert kitchen action never hurt anyone. In this case, it might actually benefit the wee ones.
I had heard about people adding vegetable puree to macaroni and cheese so our babysitter and I started experimenting. Most recipes for homemade macaroni and cheese are oven baked and we just usually don’t have the extra time. And, in the 90 degree heat of the summer I do everything I can to keep my oven turned off.
If your kids aren’t suspicious of green, you can also try mixing in pureed spinach to create Green Monster Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Sweet breads like zucchini bread are another clever place to hide some of the good stuff.
Sneaky Stove Top Mac ‘n’ Cheese (with pureed squash and carrots)
1/2 lb elbow macaroni (about 2 cups uncooked)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1/2 cup pureed butternut squash
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cook the macaroni according to packaging directions, keeping it al dente, or a little firm. Drain the pasta and set aside. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and continue cooking for a minute. Pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Stir over medium heat until the sauce thickens. Turn heat to low and stir in pureed vegetables, salt and nutmeg until combined. Stir in cheeses and continue to stir until melted and smooth. Stir the pasta into the sauce and serve warm.
– You can substitute other pureed veggies.
– If you don’t have time to cook and puree veggies, try frozen, pureed squash
– You can freeze portions for little ones in muffin cups. Line the muffin cups with parchment and fill with mac ‘n’ cheese. When frozen, transfer the “pucks” to a ziplock bag. Remove as needed, thaw and warm.