Are vegetables a bit of a challenge for your kid(s)? Or you? They are good for the body and brain, you know that. Your children have heard it many times and so have you. But, somehow, vegetables are still a challenge during meal times. Check out the following information on the importance of vegetables in our diet along with a cool recipe – “Sneaky Mac and Cheese”. Let me know what you think!
Not all Americans have easy access to fresh vegetables. But that shouldn’t stop them from eating these delicious offerings and getting their necessary vitamins and nutrients! According to the 2016 “Canned Vegetable Nutrients Study” — a dietary analysis of 24,000 Americans conducted by Dr. Marjorie Freedman (of San Jose State University) in association with the CFA — canned food carries nearly identical nutrients to its fresh-cooked counterparts. They are also a cheaper and an easier way to get recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies — which can lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers.
* 94% of American adults are not eating enough fruits and vegetables
* Adults who eat canned produce eat 17% more vegetables and 19% more fruit than those who don’t
* Adults who eat canned produce consume 7% more dietary fiber and 5% more potassium than those who don’t
* Canned produce includes low-sodium options and non-GMO veggies like Del Monte Blue Lake Cut Green Beans
These nutritional benefits affect our kids, too:
* 9 in 10 kids don’t eat enough vegetables and 6 in 10 kids don’t eat enough fruit
* Kids who eat canned produce eat 22% more vegetables and 14% more fruit than those who don’t
* Kids who eat canned produce consumed more protein, fiber, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium (but less fat)
I’m sure your kid(s) will never believe there’s a vegetable hidden in this creamy, cheesy comfort food. Wholesome, puréed white beans and carrots contribute to the sauce’s creaminess.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 15 min.
3 cups College Inn® Fat Free & Lower Sodium Chicken Broth
8 oz. dry pasta, such as whole grain elbows or rotini
1 can (14.5oz.) Del Monte® Sliced Carrots, drained
½ cup milk
1 can (15.5 oz.) white or cannellini beans, drained
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Salt and black pepper, optional
- Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan; add pasta and reduce heat to medium-high. Cook according to package directions, stirring frequently, except DO NOT DRAIN.
- Meanwhile, place carrots and milk in a blender; puree until smooth. Add beans to blender; puree until smooth, scraping down sides of blender twice. Stir pureed mixture into pasta until coated. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
- Stir in cheese and cook until cheese is melted and season to taste with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with toppings, as desired.
- Crumbled cooked bacon
- Steamed broccoli flowerets
- Chopped tomatoes
- Sliced green onions
VARIATION: To make Sneaky Mac & Cheese Muffins, prepare as recipe directs, except line 18 medium muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Spoon about 1/3 cup of prepared mac and cheese into each cup and bake at 350°F until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let me know what you think about this recipe! What ways do you try to incorporate more vegetables into your child’s (or heck, even your!) diet?
(*Disclaimer: Shared with permission by Cody Pittman – Del Monte Publicist.)