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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easy Cheesy Macaroni ~ Kiddie Meal - Treats for Tiny Tots


They say that being a parent is ridden with challenges. I guess the worst challenge in that case is to feed a fussy child. I cannot even begin to describe how painful mealtimes are at my place. My son who ate just about anything till he cut his 3rd birthday cake has now transformed himself into someone who can raise anyone's blood pressure. The term 'picky eater' in reality has a million different meanings. From eating like a bird (picking (not eating) just 4 grains per hour) to complete refusal to eat - I have dealt with a child who displays a range of excuses of how not to eat & drive mommy crazy!


My mum says that feeding me when I was his age was hardly an issue. It was a piece of cake (I wonder if she fed me just that - haha!). But then I tell her that God stopped making people like me long ago! Jokes apart, my son's pediatrician says that today's kids are not without a mind of their own. They want to eat what they want to eat! I was asked not to force him to eat what I cooked especially when he was ill and asked me to prepare whatever he liked the best. Woe is me! I have been reduced to doing just that - every single day! Ill or not, I find myself making what I think he will finish in less than an hour and I don't have to suffer through the trauma of coaxing, cajoling & yelling during mealtime. 

My aunt assured me that by the time my son turns 7 he would be a changed boy. She better be right! Or else!! 

Sigh! Anyways, here's one of those recipes which saves my sanity when I want to bang my head against the wall. Thanks to my friend Veda for brainstorming the idea/ingredients with me. Hope this recipe helps all you moms out there who are in the same boat as I am.


About the dish
Pasta with white sauce is preferred by most kids. Make it in a jiffy and watch your lil one devour it in one go (hopefully!). The goodness of cheese makes for a filling, nutritious & lip smacking meal

Easy Cheesy Macaroni
Prep time: 8-10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins | Serves 1

You Need:
  • 1/2 cup dried macaroni (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 1/2 a small onion finely chopped
  • 1 big clove of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons of pre boiled, shredded chicken or 4-5 mushrooms quartered
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/8th cup (or 2 triangles) cheddar cheese (I used Kraft cheese) (use as much as you wish)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon or just a sprinkling will do for kids aged 3 and above)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 slivers of sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano or thyme (or any dried herbs)
  • No salt required as the cheese has plenty of it!
Method
Boil 2-1/2 cups of water and add the macaroni to it. Add a pinch of salt and 2-3 drops of oil and cook for about 7 minutes or as per the instructions on the packet. The pasta should be al dente (90% cooked or else it will break). Strain & gently refresh with cold water and allow to drain. Add a couple of drops of oil so that the pasta doesn't stick to each other.

In a small bowl make a smooth lump free paste of the flour and warm milk.

Heat butter or oil in a non stick pan and fry the chopped onions till pale. Toss in the chopped garlic and fry for a couple of seconds. Add the shredded chicken & sun dried tomatoes and fry for half a minute. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted.

Add the flour and milk paste, reduce the flame and quickly stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the ground pepper, oregano and mix well. Do not overcook - the sauce should have a creamy consistency.
Add the pasta and mix gently. Serve immediately

Notes:
If you are making this for toddlers under 3 years, use onions, garlic & pepper as per the level of spice tolerance. Skip any one or all the aforesaid ingredients and replace with extra cheese.

8 comments:

  1. Yummy recipe.. I'm sure my son will love it.. I'm a new blogger... Do visit my blog.. http://kitchenserenity.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  2. love this easy mac and cheese recipe!! will surely try this week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have one question.
    If I make this in morning by 6:30 and then give my son shaun who is 4 yrs old, for his school tiffin which is at 9:30 am. is that possible that cheese will start becoming hard? I mean if the tiifin becomes cold.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Unknown: I usually never keep prepared pasta for too long - I have never tried it so I can't suggest. In my opinion it is best if you make plain pasta using butter or olive oil (or both). Just heat some oil, saute chopped garlic, add paprika or pepper pwd, salt to taste and cooked pasta and mix. It is better than cheese pasta - esp if you plan to give your son for his lunchbox.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello shireen. Try using wheat flour instead of maida. I use it while making pasta for my little one...
    I joined the blogging camp few months back. I like your blog n clicks. Do visit mine... Tummythoughts.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tummy thoughts: Thanks for your tip and thanks for visiting my blog :) welcome to the blogworld!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Shireen, tried this today. I used ham and cheddar instead of chicken and Kraft cause that was sitting in the refrigerator. Also used wheat flour instead of maida. Followed everything else like you've listed And the sauce was yum... Was hoping my son would leave some so I could get the left overs. Will make more next time. White sauce always turned out lumpy when Ive tried out before but with your method , it was creamy and yum. Thanks Shireen for yet another brilliant recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ its jus me: Thanks so much for the feedback! I am happy to know that you and your lil one loved it :) I love to eat the leftovers too, haha!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Easy Cheesy Macaroni ~ Kiddie Meal - Treats for Tiny Tots


They say that being a parent is ridden with challenges. I guess the worst challenge in that case is to feed a fussy child. I cannot even begin to describe how painful mealtimes are at my place. My son who ate just about anything till he cut his 3rd birthday cake has now transformed himself into someone who can raise anyone's blood pressure. The term 'picky eater' in reality has a million different meanings. From eating like a bird (picking (not eating) just 4 grains per hour) to complete refusal to eat - I have dealt with a child who displays a range of excuses of how not to eat & drive mommy crazy!


My mum says that feeding me when I was his age was hardly an issue. It was a piece of cake (I wonder if she fed me just that - haha!). But then I tell her that God stopped making people like me long ago! Jokes apart, my son's pediatrician says that today's kids are not without a mind of their own. They want to eat what they want to eat! I was asked not to force him to eat what I cooked especially when he was ill and asked me to prepare whatever he liked the best. Woe is me! I have been reduced to doing just that - every single day! Ill or not, I find myself making what I think he will finish in less than an hour and I don't have to suffer through the trauma of coaxing, cajoling & yelling during mealtime. 

My aunt assured me that by the time my son turns 7 he would be a changed boy. She better be right! Or else!! 

Sigh! Anyways, here's one of those recipes which saves my sanity when I want to bang my head against the wall. Thanks to my friend Veda for brainstorming the idea/ingredients with me. Hope this recipe helps all you moms out there who are in the same boat as I am.


About the dish
Pasta with white sauce is preferred by most kids. Make it in a jiffy and watch your lil one devour it in one go (hopefully!). The goodness of cheese makes for a filling, nutritious & lip smacking meal

Easy Cheesy Macaroni
Prep time: 8-10 mins | Cook time: 5 mins | Serves 1

You Need:
  • 1/2 cup dried macaroni (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 1/2 a small onion finely chopped
  • 1 big clove of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons of pre boiled, shredded chicken or 4-5 mushrooms quartered
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/8th cup (or 2 triangles) cheddar cheese (I used Kraft cheese) (use as much as you wish)
  • freshly ground pepper to taste (1/4 teaspoon or just a sprinkling will do for kids aged 3 and above)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 slivers of sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano or thyme (or any dried herbs)
  • No salt required as the cheese has plenty of it!
Method
Boil 2-1/2 cups of water and add the macaroni to it. Add a pinch of salt and 2-3 drops of oil and cook for about 7 minutes or as per the instructions on the packet. The pasta should be al dente (90% cooked or else it will break). Strain & gently refresh with cold water and allow to drain. Add a couple of drops of oil so that the pasta doesn't stick to each other.

In a small bowl make a smooth lump free paste of the flour and warm milk.

Heat butter or oil in a non stick pan and fry the chopped onions till pale. Toss in the chopped garlic and fry for a couple of seconds. Add the shredded chicken & sun dried tomatoes and fry for half a minute. Add the grated cheese and stir until melted.

Add the flour and milk paste, reduce the flame and quickly stir to avoid lumps. Toss in the ground pepper, oregano and mix well. Do not overcook - the sauce should have a creamy consistency.
Add the pasta and mix gently. Serve immediately

Notes:
If you are making this for toddlers under 3 years, use onions, garlic & pepper as per the level of spice tolerance. Skip any one or all the aforesaid ingredients and replace with extra cheese.

8 comments:

  1. Yummy recipe.. I'm sure my son will love it.. I'm a new blogger... Do visit my blog.. http://kitchenserenity.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  2. love this easy mac and cheese recipe!! will surely try this week.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have one question.
    If I make this in morning by 6:30 and then give my son shaun who is 4 yrs old, for his school tiffin which is at 9:30 am. is that possible that cheese will start becoming hard? I mean if the tiifin becomes cold.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Unknown: I usually never keep prepared pasta for too long - I have never tried it so I can't suggest. In my opinion it is best if you make plain pasta using butter or olive oil (or both). Just heat some oil, saute chopped garlic, add paprika or pepper pwd, salt to taste and cooked pasta and mix. It is better than cheese pasta - esp if you plan to give your son for his lunchbox.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello shireen. Try using wheat flour instead of maida. I use it while making pasta for my little one...
    I joined the blogging camp few months back. I like your blog n clicks. Do visit mine... Tummythoughts.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Tummy thoughts: Thanks for your tip and thanks for visiting my blog :) welcome to the blogworld!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Shireen, tried this today. I used ham and cheddar instead of chicken and Kraft cause that was sitting in the refrigerator. Also used wheat flour instead of maida. Followed everything else like you've listed And the sauce was yum... Was hoping my son would leave some so I could get the left overs. Will make more next time. White sauce always turned out lumpy when Ive tried out before but with your method , it was creamy and yum. Thanks Shireen for yet another brilliant recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @ its jus me: Thanks so much for the feedback! I am happy to know that you and your lil one loved it :) I love to eat the leftovers too, haha!

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say about this post!

If you are unable to post a comment, please write to me at ruchikrandhap@gmail.com

Last but not the least, my name is Shireen & not Ruchik :-)