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CH Is for Cheesy Mac Bites

Snacks that start with CH - Cheesy Mac Bites

It’s a kid favorite with a twist!

Kids love macaroni and cheese, and this is a really fun (and wholesome) way to make and eat this always-popular lunchtime classic!

We try to keep things natural and healthy in our ABC Snacks recipes, and this one is no different. We even added a surprise ingredient to make this recipe healthier and to add a seasonal twist.

And Jackson agreed that adding a little bit of pureed pumpkin to these Cheesy Mac Bites made them even yummier.

So if you’re in the mood for some old-fashioned comfort food that is healthy and delicious all at the same time, this recipe is for you. I hope you’ll enjoy these Cheesy Mac Bites just as much as Jackson did!

Mom and preschooler measuring flour Mom and preschooler whisking cheese

Cheesy Mac Bites

Print Recipe

Here’s what you’ll need to make eighteen Cheesy Mac Bites:

  • ½ pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ can pureed pumpkin

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized pan, combine butter and flour over medium heat. Whisk until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Slowly add milk and bring to a simmer. Add 1 ½ cups of cheese, cream cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until smooth and creamy. Remove from heat.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, cheese sauce, and pumpkin until thoroughly mixed.
  6. Spoon mac and cheese into muffin tins. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes before gently removing the bites from muffin tin.

Adapted from Chef In Training

Pouring cheese sauce on noodles Young boy adding pumpkin to snack Putting mac bites in muffin tin

Teaching Tips

Preschooler enjoying snack

What’s your child’s favorite comfort food? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Want More Snacks that Start with CH?

For snacks that start with CH and many more, get the entire series of ABC Snacks Cookbooks with more than 40 snack recipes for your preschoolers!

Free ABC Snacks Cookbook

Photo credit: Rachel Neumann

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Leave a Comment

Liz

says:

I just made these with my preschooler last week, and she enjoyed helping me. I wrote “ch” in large letters on the back of the recipe, and while the pasta was cooking, we took shredded cheese and arranged them on the letters. It was fun and delicious!

Ashlee

says:

I adore this idea! My kids are huge fans of anything with cheese, their favorite being grilled cheese.

Jessica Tremblay

says:

We love to involve cooking into our learning!

Christina

says:

Love these type of ideas!

Andrea Gregg

says:

Sounds good. I would never have thought of pumpkin!

Julie S

says:

I love ideas to make learning fun, tactile, and meaningful! My son is now learning the consonant teams and loves saying “ch-ch-ch” when he sees or hears it. Great idea!!

Rebecca

says:

Oh I wish I could have dairy right now I think both my beginning reader and the baby would love these. (Can’t have the dairy for the baby). And I agree with using the ham in it. :) Thanks for the cookbooks!!

Anne J

says:

Mixing in some chopped ham or even bacon (!) can add a little extra protein and fat and boost it even more (for the meat eaters, anyway)! Yum!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Anne,
My family would completely agree! They very much prefer their mac n cheese with ham or bacon. :D

Glenda

says:

I am looking forward to trying this recipe. I never thought of using muffin tins.

Raquel O.

says:

Delightful pictures and great recipe. I LOVE to cook with my kids. So many skills being learned and good food as a result. Thank you for sharing.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Raquel,
I agree. I cook a lot with my kids as well, and an additional wonderful result is that by the time they are young teens they can cook a whole dinner without any help at all!

Stacey W.

says:

Pumpkin and mac and cheese, it’s a winning combination. Thanks for the recipe!

Leanne H

says:

I never thought to use cream cheese and pumpkin in Mac N Cheese, let alone in a muffin tin! My daughter, who says she doesn’t like eggs, always eats egg muffins when I make them in a muffin tin.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Leanne,
Isn’t it funny how presenting the food differently can make all the difference?!?

I’m personally not a fan of pumpkin, but I do know that pureed butternut squash is wonderful in Mac n Cheese.

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