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Veggie Filled Mac N’ Cheese | Kids love it!

Is there any more of a ‘kid friendly’ meal than Mac N’ Cheese. We’ve never met a kid that doesn’t love it! Paediatric Nutritionist Shelley Judge from Good Little Eaters puts that mainly down to the plain cheesy flavour of a traditional Mac N’ Cheese recipe. According to Shelley there is a very good reason to why kids are attracted more to plain foods. Their taste buds simply haven’t developed like us adults just yet!

Are there foods you used to hate that you love now? Olives is a common one! Well that is because in the formative years our taste buds change and develop a lot to handle new and exciting flavours. The good news is….it’s not your cooking that is making your kid’s picky eaters!

But plain doesn’t have to mean no veggies. That is why Shelley packed this dish with veggies but kept that same cheesy texture and taste! This way you know your kids are eating something they love and still getting a nourishing dose of vegetables in their diet! Win Win! Read on for the full recipe and instructions.

The Nitty Gritty

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 brown onion sliced
  • 400 g cauliflower roughly chopped
  • 400 g butternut pumpkin peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 100 g cream cheese
  • 2 cups cheddar grated
  • 2 cups milk
  • 500 g Elbow Macaroni pasta cooked


  • Add the brown onion, cauliflower, butter nut pumpkin and carrot to a large pot on high heat. Cover with water and bring to the boil for 10mins or until veggies are tender. Drain the water and place the veggies in a blender or food processor. Blend on high for 1-2mins until smooth.
  • Add the puree back to the pot on a low heat and stir through the cream cheese, milk and 1.5 cups chedder until the cheese begins to melt.
  • Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
  • Stir the cooked pasta through the creamy sauce and then place in a large baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Place under the grill for 5mins until melted.

About Good Little Eaters

Good Little Eaters is your go-to destination for kids’ nutrition, made fun, easy and simple (just like meal time should be!) Grow healthy kids with a good relationship with all foods – because life’s too short to cut out cake. 

Looking for more quick and healthy recipes?

  • This simple to prepare chicken pizza recipe requires ingredients you probably have on hand and will be ready in just 20 minutes.
  • If you are time poor but you still want to eat well, then this beef and broccoli slow cooker recipe that you can freeze and use when you need it is the way forward! 
  • These easy zucchini slice muffins can be whipped up in 20 minutes, the kids can help grate, mix, measure and pour for a great mid afternoon snack or lunch box filler that kids love!
Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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