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Old Fashioned Mac and Cheese
Calcium the Organic Way

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Homemade Organic Baked Mac and Cheese

(Family Features) - Growing bodies need calcium. Kids love macaroni and cheese. See an equation here? It's is easy to make this family pleasing entree with organic ingredients. Plus, it features a whopping dose of that bone building, miraculous mineral: calcium.

"Little kids need about 500 mg (of calcium) per day, bigger ones about 800 mg and teens need 1,300 mg to fuel those growing bones," said Sara Tedeschi, Organic Valley's community nutrition educator. "There's no better way to get calcium than from organic dairy foods."

Milk drinkers will get 300 mg of calcium for every cup. Not all kids are milk drinkers, but most love cheese and other dairy foods. Nurturing the strong bones that are formed during the growing years will help prevent osteoporosis later in life. And, adults - especially women - need 1,000 mg of calcium per day.

Macaroni and cheese come together for a calcium-rich entrée that pleases the palate, the soul and the kid in all of us.

Getting Calcium into Kids

  • Cheese, Please: A 1.5-ounce serving of cheddar cheese has 300 mg of calcium. Offer a snack of cheddar cubes or try Organic Valley Stringles.
  • Juicy News: 1 cup of Organic Valley Organic "With Calcium" Orange Juice contains 300 mg of calcium.
  • Yummy Yogurt: An 8-ounce serving of yogurt contains 300 mg of calcium.
  • Green Goddess: Dark green vegetables like broccoli contain calcium. Serve broccoli "trees" with a tangy dip made with Organic Valley Lowfat Sour Cream or Cottage Cheese.
  • Soup It Up: Make soups with milk for a calcium boost.
  • Jump for Joy: Combine a calcium-rich diet with plenty of exercise. It takes both to build strong bones.

For more delicious, organic recipes, visit www.organicvalley.coop.

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Homemade Organic Baked Mac and Cheese

  • 5 tablespoons Organic Valley Cultured Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup homemade bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Organic Valley Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 pound organic dry pasta in elbow or other small tubular shape
  • 4 tablespoons organic flour
  • 4 cups Organic Valley Whole Milk
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 6 cups (24 ounces) grated Organic Valley Sharp and/or Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and combine with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Set aside.
    2. Cook pasta per package directions, drain, and return to pot.
    3. In large heavy saucepan, melt remaining butter over low to medium heat. Add flour and whisk until golden. Add milk; continue whisking and cooking until sauce thickens slightly. Add dry mustard and grated cheese, whisking until cheese melts into sauce. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
    4. Pour sauce over pasta and stir to combine well. Transfer macaroni to a 4-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.
    5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until lightly golden and bubbling.
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Serves: 6 to 8

SOURCE: Organic Valley

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