Monday, September 21, 2009

Brand Comparison of Macaroni & Cheese

I admit that when it comes to certain foods I'm a bit of a brand snob. You know as well as I do that some brands are just better than others. Macaroni and Cheese is a staple at my house with 4 kids. The blue box,Kraft macaroni and cheese, is the only brand for my kids. They love it and they can tell when I have switched brands. In attempts to either save some money or improve our diet I have recently bought 2 different brands of Mac and cheese in addition to Kraft. Here are our opinions.

Our #1 pick is still Kraft macaroni and Cheese. The reason, everyone in the house loves it. It has great cheesy flavor. My complaint is sometimes it can be grainy.

Our#2 pick is Great Value Thick & Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. This Wal Mart brand is a very close 2nd. This one may actually be my 1st choice but, my oldest does not like it. Maybe it is because she has more refined tastebuds. The other kids noticed a difference but were still willing to eat it. It is very creamy and I love how big the noodles get. It is made with real cheddar cheese and no artificial flavors. The price is great too. At my Wal Mart it was around 60 cents a box while the Kraft box is around $1.

Our #3 pick is Annie's Homegrown. I think if we had tried other brands this one would still be at the bottom. It sounds and looks good reading the box but unfortunately it also tasted like the box. Not even my 18 month old would have more than a bite. It was grainy and did not taste right. It is made with organic pasta and has no artificial anything. Sorry Annie's, I can't even think of a pro other than I used a coupon to get it so I didn't pay full price.

Here is how they compare nutritionally.
1 serving for all 3 was approximately 1 Cup prepared pasta.
The numbers below are before you add the milk and butter. So, just what is in the box.
Kraft, GV, Annie's
Calories: 260, 250, 270
Fat Calories: 30, 20, 35
Total Fat 3.5 g, 2g, 4g
Sat. Fat 2g, 1g, 2g

Great Value actually looks to be the healthier one too. Funny thing is, I bought Annie's because it was organic. For some reason I thought organic meant better for you. In this case it doesn't appear to be.
I would love to learn how to make homemade macaroni and cheese so, please email me your amazing homemade recipes:

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