(Family Features) - Kids heading back to school means busy schedules for mom, often leaving little time to think about planning well-balanced meals. But if you ask "The Cheesiest Kids in America" for some advice, they'll tell you that the famous blue box might be all you need for a delicious meal your kids - and the entire family - will enjoy.
A classic kid favorite, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, recently named 12 of "The Cheesiest Kids in America" whose faces will appear on more than 30 million boxes of the famed pasta nationwide this fall. Kids from across the country expressed how much they love "The Cheesiest" and how their family enjoys it together.
The following tips will help parents create quick and simple meals that deliver a nutritional benefit along with the cheesy taste kids love.
Mix it up at meal time
Bring your children to the grocery store and encourage them to select a new ingredient to add variety to the meal. For example, "The Cheesiest" kid James, 11, says everyone in his family likes to jazz up their mac 'n' cheese. "Dad adds hot sauce, Mom mixes with peas, cousin Sarah adds ketchup, I love it for the cheese!" he says.
Sneak in a nutrition boost
It's easy to add nutritious ingredients to make a meal even more delicious. Simply stir broccoli, carrots, lean chicken or ground beef into Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, and kids won't even know they're getting the vegetables and protein they need.
Cook up favorite meals together
It's easy to get kids excited about cooking when starting with a food they already like. Maybe that's why one Washington, D.C.-area mother has one of the "The Cheesiest Kids in America." "My daughter helps me prepare mac 'n' cheese, getting experience in selecting the right pan, understanding when the noodles are ready, adding ingredients - it's like a little cooking class in every box."