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Love it, Like it, Hate it: Boxed Mac & Cheese!

Macaroni and cheese typically isn’t what we’d call “healthy.”  But we’ve got great news for mac & cheese fans, the boxed stuff has come a long way, nutritionally speaking!  What used to be our only “love it” options are now bumped down to “like its” as newer, better-for-you varieties have hit the market – so today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on the current best and worst bets when it comes to boxed mac & cheese.

 

 

LOVE IT!

 

Banza Chickpea Mac & Cheese - GF

  • Pasta is a blend of chickpeas and pea protein
  • Varieties include Classic Cheddar and White Cheddar. Not yet available locally; only online
  • Per serving: 360 calories – 620 mg sodium – 3 grams sat fat – 36 grams carbs – 8 grams fiber – 3 grams soluble fiber – 18 grams protein

 

Modern Table Meals Homestyle Mac & Cheese - GF

  • Made with lentil rotini (green lentil flour, oat fiber), cheddar cheese sauce
  • Per serving: 390 calories – 610 mg sodium – 51 grams carb – 5 grams fiber – 24 grams protein

 

CookSimple Alfredo - GF

  • Made with bean pasta (garbanzo beans, pea protein, green lentil flour), parmesan cheese sauce
  • Per serving: 335 calories – 330 mg sodium – 20 grams carbs – 4 grams fiber – 11 grams protein

 

 

LIKE IT!

 

Annie’s Mac and Cheese with Whole Wheat Pasta

 

  • Made with 100% Whole Wheat Shell Pasta and Organic Cheddar Cheese
  • Per serving: 300 cals – 650 mg sodium – 46 grams carbs – 7 grams fiber – 12 grams protein

 

 Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Macaroni & Cheese

 

  • Made with 100% Whole Wheat Shell Pasta and Organic Cheddar Cheese
  • Per serving: 400 cals – 490 mg sodium – 50 grams carbs – 6 grams fiber – 11 grams protein

 

 Annie’s Quinoa Rice Pasta & White Cheddar - GF

 

  • Made with Quinoa and White Rice Pasta with Cheddar Cheese
  • Per serving: 320 cals – 510 mg sodium – 57 grams carbs – 4 grams fiber – 9 grams protein

 

 

HATE IT!

 

Horizon Organic Cheesy Deluxe + Annie’s Organic Mac & Cheese

  • Organic, but still just white pasta + cheese sauce

 

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Velveeta Shells & Cheese with 2% Milk

  • Made with white pasta
  • Velveeta brand has 880-980 g sodium per serving  (Kraft has 570 mg sodium per serving)

 

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Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD