At What Age Can You Give Your Baby Mac and Cheese?According to the United States Drug Administration (USDA) it’s safe to offer your baby mac and cheese once they are about eight months old. If they can almost stand up by themselves and walk from table tops to chairs pulling themselves along, it’s fine to give them pasta. Some babies reach that stage at seven months, but the key thing to remember is this: experts say don’t offer it to them before they can hold themselves in a vertical position. If your baby is small or was born prematurely, you might want to wait a month or two longer. As always, if you just aren’t sure, ask your doctor.
Is Kraft Mac & Cheese Safe For Your Baby or Toddler?The short answer is yes! Mac and cheese is a nutritious, quick meal for your baby or toddler, and gives them plenty of nutrients to keep them going for hours. Most recipes for mac and cheese (including Kraft Dinner) call elbow macaroni, cheese, butter, milk and a little salt. If you’re concerned that your little one may choke on pieces of macaroni that are too large for them, by all means, cut up the pasta into small pieces until you’re confident they can swallow a whole piece.
Should You Worry About Additives?At one time, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese did contain certain preservatives that modern parents, concerned about giving their babies and toddlers the most wholesome food possible, might have shied away from. Fortunately, that is no longer a concern with Kraft Mac & Cheese. In 2016, Kraft Heinz (the parent company of Kraft Mac & Cheese) altered its list of ingredients for this much-loved product. It removed all dyes, preservatives and additives and put in their place natural spices like paprika and turmeric to maintain the flavour and colour. According to an article in CNN Business in March of that year, the irony was that no one – not consumers and not industry insiders – even noticed. This worldwide favourite menu staple tasted exactly the same as it always did, but it’s been even healthier for years. That means Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is now an even healthier meal for your baby or toddler than it was when it was first brought to market in 1937.
What About Allergens?Kraft Mac & Cheese, just like homemade versions, is made with cheese, butter and cow’s milk; these three ingredients are added once the macaroni is cooked. Should you worry about giving these potential allergens to your kids? The current thinking provided by the American Pediatric Association says there is no need to worry. At one time, not all that long ago, the predominant attitude in children’s nutrition circles was to avoid foods that could trigger an allergic reaction. Peanuts and peanut butter are a prime example of this attitude. But that thinking on this has changed. Most experts now recommend that parents give their children a variety of foods that once were off the menu, starting as soon as they’re ready to consume things other than mom’s milk or formula. Cow’s milk is a good example of this. Pediatricians and nutritionists these days suggest letting your little one try everything; in fact, this is a way you can help build their immunity and lowers the risk that they will develop allergies. However, this approach to letting wee ones try everything is not universally accepted. Some studies suggest waiting until your child is a year old before introducing them to potentially allergic foods, including dairy products. If you have any misgivings about preparing Kraft Mac & Cheese for your baby or toddler or making it yourself, talk to your doctor or pediatrician. They will address your concerns and offer you the latest research into any possible allergic reactions that could arise from mac and cheese.
Try These Additions To Kraft Macaroni & CheeseDoes your baby or toddler love Kraft Dinner, but do you think adding a little variety in the type you serve might be good in terms of nutrition? You’re not alone! Serving mac and cheese with certain veggies or even a wee bit of meat is perfectly fine. Here are several ways to add extra nutrition and variety to your little one’s lunchtime meal of Kraft Mac & Cheese:
Add a Little Cooked, Chopped Broccoli
Add a Little Meat
Use a Little Shredded Mozzarella In Your Mac and Cheese
Stove Top Mac & Cheese For Kids Of All Ages
- One pound of elbow macaroni.
- 4 tablespoons of butter.
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.
- 2 cups of whole milk.
- 8 ounces shredded cheese – we use cheddar.
- 1/8th of a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder. (Optional).
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Cook the pasta according to the package ingredients. Once cooked, drain and set aside. We use elbow macaroni, but other short noodle types work nicely too. You can always cut them up before serving.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan under low heat. Add flour slowly, whisking constantly. The mixture will thicken and start to bubble.
- Add the milk and seasonings. Keep whisking until the sauce is thick and smooth. If the milk is cold, turn the heat up slightly under the pan.
- Once the sauce is ready, pour it over the cooked macaroni. Stir vigorously, and serve immediately.