Wellness for the Family: Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, so this week we’re focusing on kids and food.
Michelle Dunaway and Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, join us with some helpful tips to motivate your child to choose a healthy diet.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 medium butternut squash (3-4 cups uncooked cubed)
- 2 cups shell pasta or pasta of choice
- 7oz low-fat milk or milk substitute
- 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the butternut squash in half lengthways. Scoop out the seeds and place the two halves of squash flesh side up on a baking tray. You can also use pre-cut cubed butternut squash. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft and has fully cooked through.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Once the squash has cooked, spoon out the flesh straight into a blender or food processor. Add the milk, cheese and butter and process until all the ingredients have combined to a sauce consistency. If it seems too thick then add a little extra milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta and mix it with the butternut squash sauce. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Option: Add cheeseburger mixture to make it a Butternut Squash Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese.
Cheeseburger Optional Stir-In
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef (95% lean)
- ¾ cup onion, diced
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tsp. yellow mustard
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp. dill pickles, finely chopped (optional)
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat; add beef, onion and black pepper. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until meat is crumbled and no longer pink, stirring occasionally; drain.
- Sprinkle flour over cooked beef; stir to combine. Add undrained tomatoes, ketchup, pickles and mustard to skillet; mix until blended.
- If desired, some of this can be added into the butternut mac and cheese in desired amount and ratio, according to preferences. It also can be served alone or on a bun. Enjoy!
For more health and wellness tips, click here.