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Toddler Mac and Cheese with Pears and Broccoli

Toddler Mac and Cheese with pears and broccoli is the easiest pasta for toddlers and also works as some of the best pasta for babies. It’s ready in 15 minutes, only uses one pot, and combines fruits and vegetables!

While this is a toddler mac and cheese recipe that’s great as a cheesy pasta for toddlers, it really wins because it can appeal to the whole family, too.

Isn’t that what we all want? A 15 minute family-friendly recipe? Great for those mid week Wednesday dinners.

bowls of toddler mac and cheese with pears and broccoli in two white bowls on white counter

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This is a great, antioxidant-rich, post run meal too! A cheesy pasta for toddlers means pasta for the family.

The best thing about this toddler mac and cheese recipe is that you only need one pot, can use frozen broccoli, and it is ready in less than 20 minutes! 

Those are all the makings for a great family meal and macaroni recipe for kids. Right?

Toddler Mac and Cheese Ingredients

I promise you, this toddler mac and cheese recipe couldn’t be easier!

For example, maybe your child won’t eat broccoli or pears by themselves, but they’ll eat them in this cheesy pasta recipe. This is the best pasta recipe for picky toddlers

Pasta dishes for toddlers are so versatile and easy to spruce up with nutrients. Plus, pasta is a healthy carbohydrate and provides several nutrients.

  • 10-12 oz your choice of pasta (I used shells)
  • butter
  • milk
  • cheese (I used cheddar)
  • pears
  • broccoli (fresh or frozen works well!)
  • salt, pepper, paprika

Use your favorite cheese! You can’t go wrong with a homemade white cheddar mac and cheese. 

ingredients for toddler mac and cheese in white bowls

How To Make Cheesy Pasta For Toddlers

Cheese pasta for toddlers is typically a hit. Pasta sauce is usually hit or miss, but most kids enjoy a cheesy sauce, which is why this easy toddler mac and cheese recipe is a winner. 

We started baby led weaning with Camryn when she was around 6 months. We did a lot of avocados and sweet potatoes for baby led weaning, and then added in these baby waffles.

This would be a great baby led weaning pasta for 6 months and above.

As babies age, you can switch up the shape, texture and consistency too.

I usually serve mac n cheese for baby deconstructed, anyway, since you’re usually introducing foods slowly on a timeline.

two white bowls with homemade toddler mac and cheese with pears and broccoli

Whether you’re looking to serve pasta for 10 months baby or a macaroni recipe for a 1 year old, this is your recipe! And you can cater your cheese pasta sauce for babies however you’d like. 

Making this cheesy pasta sauce for babies is also very nutritious. They are getting some fat, which is important for brain development, calcium and Vitamin D through the milk and cheese sauce.

Plus, it’s a great flavoring for the small pasta shapes for babies. 

What Is The Best Pasta for Babies?

This baby mac and cheese works great for all kids and is a great way to use pear for baby led weaning.

While baby led weaning foods can feel scary at times, as long as you’re being safe about the foods you’re introducing, it’s a completely natural experience for babies.

I prefer using shorter pasta shapes (ie – penne, macaroni, elbows) vs. longer strands like spaghetti or linguini because they are more compact.

Personally, I feel like they are easier to chew and feel more comfortable in terms of choking. I use shells if I’m making a toddler pasta salad too. 

toddler eating a mac and cheese

According to the CDC, though, spaghetti doesn’t pose a true choking hazard and you can definitely cut it into smaller pieces. So, it’s really what you’re comfortable with!

This also works as an easy pear recipe for kids, if that’s a new food (fruit) you’re looking to introduce.

I love serving pear for kids this way, as the cooking softens the fruit and makes it much easier for babies and toddlers without teeth. 

Pears and cheese go really well together (and wine, ahem), so this toddler pasta recipe is a match made in heaven (without the wine). 

Since you’re making the sauce from cheese and milk, it’s a healthy pasta sauce for baby and for kids, without additives and preservatives in store-bought pasta sauces. 

And you can spruce it up with spices or keep it plain.

FAQ

Can you freeze cheesy pasta for toddlers?

Yes! To freeze this toddler mac and cheese, just let it cool before storing it in a freezer-friendly ziplock bag or container. You can freeze for up to 3 months. 

Keep in mind that the University of Georgia Extension states that foods that you’re planning to reheat can and should be slightly undercooked before moving to the freezer, since you will be reheating. 

When ready to reheat, just place it in a big pot on the stove and reheat until everything is cooked. You can also add more cheese if you’d like. 

Can I use vegan cheese or a cheese substitute?

Absolutely! If you live in a dairy free house, or have a dairy free baby, you can absolutely use a vegan or plant-based cheese for the same, creamy results.

Can I use fresh broccoli?

Totally. If you’re using fresh broccoli, cut into small heads and add later in the process, since it will cook quicker.

Other Pasta Recipes for Kids

All of these work great as pasta meals for toddlers!

Kid Friendly Recipes:

mac and cheese with pears and broccoli in two white bowls on white counter
Yield: 4 servings

Toddler Mac and Cheese with Pears and Broccoli

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes

This Toddler Mac and Cheese with pears is the easiest pasta for toddlers and also works as some of the best pasta for babies. It's ready in 15 minutes, only uses one pot, and combines fruits and vegetables!

Ingredients

  • 12 oz pasta (I used shells)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and mozzarella)
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli
  • 2 pears, diced
  • Salt, to season
  • Pepper, to season
  • Paprika, to season

Instructions

    1. Cook pasta according to directions. Drain (I like it slightly al dente since we’ll be heating it more shortly).
    2. While pasta is draining and cooling, add bag of frozen broccoli to pan and heat with 1 Tbsp butter.
    3. Add drained pasta back to pot and add remaining butter, ¼ cup milk, pears and 1 cup cheese of choice and diced.  I was pretty liberal with these amounts.
    4. Top with more diced pears if desired.

Notes

To freeze, let cool before storing it in a freezer-friendly ziplock bag or container. You can freeze for up to 3 months. 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 337mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 11g

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  1. This is a fantastic recipe and creative post, Sarah. My wife plans on making this when our Grandson visits next week!

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