Recently my local mom’s group started e-mailing toddler table food ideas back and forth, as, not much to our surprise, our little tikes have begun to be quite picky. Cheese? Absolutely. Bread? The best! But other than that, we are finding it difficult to get much into them. As we bounced ideas off one another, more and more of us had increased success. We talked about different ways we have started to incorporate vegetables, and this recipe is a go-to of mine for sure! These are awesome to send with older kids for lunch, to keep at home as a snack for yourself, or to break apart for smaller children to practice self-feeding (as we have done).
Spinach Mac & Cheese Cups: Makes approximately 12 cups
(Recipe courtesy of Emilybites.com, though a few small changes made)
4 cups cooked whole wheat macaroni
2 tbls. butter
2 tbls. flour (use whole wheat if you’d like)
1.5 cups milk
Pinch of garlic powder
8 ounces shredded cheese (I used white cheddar)
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400, and lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray (or instead use muffin liners as I did) and set aside.
- In a small sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, and mix together with butter until thick. Stir in milk and garlic powder, and raise the heat until mixture has tiny bubbles around edge (just before boiling). Remove from heat, add cheese, whisk until smooth.
- Mix in eggs until combined.
- In a large bowl, combine spinach, cooked macaroni, cheese sauce, and salt and pepper if desired.
- Spoon mixture evenly into muffin tins, and bake 10-15 minutes until tops are slightly golden. Cool in tins for 5 minutes.
***Once completely cooled, I gave some to a friend, stored a few in the fridge, and froze the rest in ziploc bags and thawed at room temperature when needed.