Looking for ways to sneak veggies past your kids' picky palates? Kraft thinks it has a new solution, by way of a new "veggie" version of its beloved, blue-box macaroni and cheese.
The box claims that one 1-cup serving provides "1/2 serving" of vegetables and notes, in small type, that "1/2 serving" is actually 1/4 cup of vegetables; the USDA recommends five servings, or 2 1/2 cups, of veggies a day, it says. Something called "enriched cauliflower pasta product" appears as the first ingredient.
Another upside: One cup offers 3 total grams of fiber, versus 1 gram in the regular Kraft Macaroni & Cheese dinner, and slightly less sodium.
The downside: Kids could tell the difference.
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We made two bowls -- regular and veggie -- and served them to two pint-size, die-hard Kraft mac 'n' cheese fans. Immediately the veggie one smelled different -- sort of like broccoli, noted the 6- and 8-year-old taste-testers. The veggie pasta looked the same, but it wasn't nearly as creamy or as cheesy as the regular version.
The flavor got two immediate thumbs-down: "It tasted kind of plain," one of the kids said.
The verdict? Extremely picky kids will sniff this out in a second, but for most kids, it's a great way to add a bit more goodness into their everyday diet. It's still no substitute for fresh fruits and veggies, but it might make moms feel better. Next time, maybe we'll try mixing the two together and will fool them yet!
Available at most grocery stores for about $1.49 for a 5.5-ounce box.
-- Stephanie Allmon and Jenny Davis