5 Box Macaroni and Cheese, 1 Drastically Healthier


Even the most dedicated cooks have some easy go-to ready-made products in their pantries for the nights they don't have the time (or energy) to cook from scratch. And there's no shame in it.

One popular option is macaroni and cheese. But what do you really know about the box of mac and cheese waiting on your shelf? And, the next time you're shopping, how can you make sure you're buying the best macaroni and cheese for your family?

We researched 5 popular boxes of macaroni and cheese so you don't have to do the dirty work. The results are presented below, starting with the worst offenders based on calories and fat. (Note: Nutritional info is per serving.)

5. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

  • 400 calories
  • 170 calories from fat
  • 19 grams of fat

4. Kraft Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner With Four Cheese Sauce

  • 320 calories per serving
  • 90 calories from fat
  • 10 grams of fat

3. Hamburger Helper Classic Cheeseburger Macaroni

  • 310 calories per serving
  • 110 calories from fat
  • 12.5 grams of fat

2. Wild Harvest Macaroni and Cheese White Cheddar

  • 270 calories per serving
  • 60 calories from fat
  • 4 grams of fat

1. Annie's Homegrown Bunny Pasta With Yummy Cheese

  • 270 calories per serving
  • 35 calories from fat
  • 4 grams of fat

So, the bottom line: Despite all those ads that say Kraft is the macaroni and cheese your kids want because it's the cheesiest, etc., etc., you're really better off giving them something from the Wild Harvest or Annie's Homegrown line when you consider calories and fat.

What's your favorite boxed macaroni and cheese?

Image via aMichiganMom/Flickr

cooking with kids, dinner, family meals, food, lunch, organics


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melis... melissa920

I but Kraft Rotini and Cheese Whole Grain....it's only 50% whole grain.  I wish it were 100%, but it's better than none at all.  That Annie's brand doesn't taste good, it's kind of chalky or grainy.

AnasM... AnasMommy7

Annies is the only one I get since it's organic.

moder... modernmom2010

what about Velveeta shells and cheese? lol I'm assuming that one was probably worse than all of those, but oh so good!

Nellyo Nellyo

Annies tastes AWFUL. The above commenter is totally right, its grainy and chalky. Kraft can be prepared with skim milk instead of 2% and it cuts back the calorie intake.

We rarely have Kraft Mac n Cheese, so I dont see the harm in using that brand.

babonwy babonwy

I Love annies mac and cheese!

I don't think its chalky at all....I personally think its better then Krafts brand...to me Kraft tastes like crap, it isn't flavorful at all to me, just bland...yuck.

madfoot madfoot

I love Annie's too! they use cheddar instead of ?? cheese.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

I buy Annie's Organic, but not the silly bunny shapes.  Shells with white cheddar.

frysh... fryshannon34

Velveeta shells and cheese is my favorite

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Oh man, I just read the comments.....Velveeta..........baaaaaaaarf.......

cafemama cafemama

I don't understand how the calories from fat can be so different between Annie's and Kraft. Is it because they use different preparations to calculate the nutritional info? I'd be curious if they both use the same kind of milk and the same kind of butter in their calculations. Because really it's just pasta and a packet of powdered cheese in both cases...

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