Mini Mac & Cheese Bites /
Being a mom is amazing: Fulfilling and thrilling and sweet and tender. The best thing I’ve ever done. By Far.

But being a mom can also be brutal: Exhausting and exasperating and heartbreaking and painful. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. By Far.

So I’m thinking …just one day of Mother’s Day? It’s not enough. We need a whole month.

Which is why, starting today, I’m referring to May as Mother’s Month. To celebrate, I’m doing a giveaway every week for the entire month. That’s five, count them five giveaways, starting with this totally delightful cookbook and guidebook on feeding little ones.

Baby & Toddler on the Go Cookbook
It’s just the sort of resource I could have used when my own babies went from the “all liquid” diet onto solids. Breastfeeding struggles aside, there is something enviably uncomplicated about those first months when a baby’s sole nourishment is at the ready, at exactly the right temperature, no preparation required. Adding in cereals and purees, and then, gasp, “real” food, can be unnerving. With my first daughter, my worries over choking translated into food cut so tiny she could barely grasp anything with her chubby little fingers (I attribute her fine motor skills today to those early trials). Layer in the challenge of trying to get out the door with wholesome food in hand, and it can send a mom over the edge.

Baby & Toddler on the Go comes from Kim Laidlaw, a seasoned food writer, editor and mom to Poppy, one immensely charming toddler. She has real world tips and recipes so appealing, it made me want a “do-over” on the toddler years. Case in point are these Mini Mac and Cheese Bites, a recipe perfectly suited to toddlers, but just as appealing for older kids (and Mr. Mom’s Kitchen). My crew took down the whole batch in no time. They’re also terrific for stowing in the freezer and popping into school lunches.

Mac & Cheese Bites

Yield: 24 mini mac & cheese bites

Mac & Cheese Bites

These tasty bites are perfect to pop into a container and take anywhere, and they are a great size for little hands. They are also ideal vehicles for nutritious ingredients like chopped cooked chicken or vegetables. Just stir them into the mix before baking.


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) uncooked whole- wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni, reduce heat to medium, and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the pasta. You should have about 2 cups.
  3. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the milk while whisking constantly, until smooth. Continuing to whisk, slowly add the cheeses until smooth. Add the macaroni to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat, add the egg to the pasta, and mix well.
  4. Spoon the pasta mixture into about 24 of the prepared muffin cups, filling the cups to the top.
  5. Bake until crisp and browned around the edges and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing (use a small knife to help dislodge them if necessary).


STORE IT Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or seal in a zippered plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

PACK IT Thaw 2 or 3 mac & cheese bites, if necessary, then pack in a small airtight container. If you are on the go for more than 1 hour, place in a small bag with a travel ice pack.

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Recipe printed with permission from Baby & Toddler on the Go (copyright Weldon Owen and Kim Laidlaw). Mom’s Kitchen Handbook received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher.


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  1. Valerie
    05.01.2013 at 3:41 AM #

    Spread Hummus mixed with a pureed veggie on whole grain bread and cut into bite sized pieces.

  2. Valerie
    05.01.2013 at 3:42 AM #

    Hummus mixed with pureed veggie, spread on whole grain bread and cut into finger sized pieces.

  3. M.E. McClinton
    05.01.2013 at 4:28 AM #

    I keep fresh fruit & veggies on hand & prepped to start meals & then add protein & whole grains as meal time progresses. With a one & two year old it is key for me to keep it simple! These Mac & cheese bites look like a great go-to item that I know my kids would eat!

  4. Teddi
    05.01.2013 at 5:31 AM #

    Love the idea for this book. College students need healthy food on the go, too! Ripe peaches and yogurt are the BEST in the summer. My little sister just gobbles them up! How many cups of milk do you need in the Mac and Cheese recipe?

    • katiemorford
      05.01.2013 at 6:25 AM #

      Hi Teddi, The milk amount is 1/2 cup.

  5. Holly mccormick
    05.01.2013 at 6:45 AM #

    Avocado/bananas, no need to prepare, can feed your baby/toddler right out of the peel

    • katiemorford
      05.01.2013 at 6:52 AM #

      Love that, Holly.

  6. Lisa
    05.01.2013 at 8:07 AM #

    agree with the avocado just cut up and ready to eat. for slightly older ones, pearl couscous was and still is huge with our daughter.

  7. 05.01.2013 at 8:16 AM #

    my kids would flip for these little cups!! My kids always love freshly cut up veggies and apple slices with peanut butter?

  8. Cindy V.
    05.01.2013 at 9:17 AM #

    Where do I begin? I think one of my favorite ideas is sliced bananas topped with wheat germ. They are the perfect texture for my seventeen month old. Also, a scrambled egg mixed with a little avocado and shredded cheddar cheese. Mini muffins of any kind are a big hit too!

  9. Kim Brady
    05.01.2013 at 9:34 AM #

    I am a fan of scrambled eggs, veggies and grated cheese baked in a muffin tin- just like these Mac and cheese bites. Make ahead, nutritious and easily packed up… Adults love them too, just pop on an English muffin, instant breakfast sandwich.

  10. Miranda
    05.01.2013 at 11:15 AM #

    My tip is to eat with little guys. They will want whatever is on your plate, which will open them up to new tastes.

    • katiemorford
      05.01.2013 at 12:08 PM #

      Great advice!

  11. Joan
    05.01.2013 at 11:44 AM #

    Similar idea to the mac & cheese bites: create mini meatloaves by mixing lean ground beef, egg, breadcrumb, cheese, shredded vegetables like potato, carrot, spinach and shaping into balls. Bake in muffin tin and it creates mini protein-vegetable rich meals for toddlers. I got this great idea from Lisa Barnes’ The Petit Appetit Cookbook.

    05.01.2013 at 12:44 PM #

    I love mini muffins! Never done them with Mac… Looks delish!

  13. Barbara
    05.01.2013 at 9:55 PM #

    I always have cooked pasta in the fridge. Add homemade marinara sauce…perfect lunch.

  14. Christina
    05.02.2013 at 10:12 AM #

    I always ate with my kids so they could see that I was eating healthy food too. And I would mash up as much as my food as I could so they would eat it. I also loved freeze dried fruit from Trader Joes – it was easy for the babies to eat, it gets mushy and dissolves in their mouths and there is no added sugar.

  15. Emily
    05.02.2013 at 11:13 AM #

    My toddler loves to eat a frozen vegetable mix that contains diced carrots, corn and peas. It was a great way to add variety to finger foods when she was at that stage and only took a minute to make.

  16. 05.02.2013 at 7:56 PM #

    Taco lunch: beans, meat, cheese and rice

    Easy for lil’ hands to eat!

  17. Amanda
    05.03.2013 at 2:36 PM #

    My daughter is so easy to feed… At home… I’m always looking for easier ways to feed her.
    Now that she is bigger (9mo) sitting in the carseat to eat and then out to finish a bottle is quite the hassle now. I’m always thinking of things to try for her now that summer is upon us and she is a mover and a shaker. We love hand held foods that are easily mash-able/ chew-able and portable too!! Banana slivers, and other fruits you can cut into holdable strips! I am so excited as she is able to eat more solids to try the things in that cookbook and I’m a big believer in the easier it is to transport the better. So anything that you bake in a mini muffin tin is key! We love to freeze baby food discs in the mini muffin tin for her to chew on… Good for teething and good for portable meals! I’ve packs and its super portable !

  18. Samantha F.
    05.03.2013 at 5:26 PM #

    Mini quiche! :o)

  19. Amy
    05.04.2013 at 11:02 AM #

    I could seriously use this with 5 kids.
    We just do fruit, chips, sandwiches or burritos

  20. Carolsue
    05.04.2013 at 4:31 PM #

    My toddler will eat just about anything. He particularly likes asparagus & bacon wrapped around chicken pieces!

  21. 05.06.2013 at 9:39 AM #

    I always have fruit on hand, but also cook pinweel pasta in addition to regular spaghetti noodles so that my little one has something easy to grab on to but can also eat what we’re eating.

  22. Mary S
    05.07.2013 at 9:29 AM #

    My 2yr. toddler likes to be a big girl and take over mommy’s plate. Many things are chewed then spit out, but she is learning a lot about variety! She loves to chew on the chicken leg bone (stripped of the small hazards) and the T-bone when we have that cut of beef. Red kidney beans are a nice finger food (recognizing it’s better to use my home made crockpot beans over canned beans w/ all the sodium and BPA.) Scrambled eggs remain a favorite along with a crust-free bite of my toast. Feeding on the go healthfully is always a struggle. This cook book sounds like a perfect resource for this busy mom with a healthy concern for clean food. Thanks for this great recipe! My big boys will certainly enjoy it as well!

  23. annie cobb
    05.07.2013 at 10:11 AM #

    I am a fan of making roasted apple sauce for my 7 month old. I just cut out the core and roast apples and then throw them in the cuisinart with a bit of cinnamon and cardamom. She eats this plain or with a little oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. Im also a fan of roasted sweet potato- so easy and takes no time. I mash it up and have dinner for her or throw it in the cuisinart with lentils and some fresh herbs.

  24. jennifer
    05.07.2013 at 10:47 AM #

    for foods on the go for my 10 month old i never leave home without cheerios and fruit. i love avocados and bannanas and so does he. for my toddler i like to cut up different fruit and put it in different containers so she feels like she is having a picnic wherever we go. i sometimes freeze yogurt as she likes it frozen or cold depending on how long it has been out. cheese and crackers are also another easy travel food but she is also at a stage where she will eat whatever i do or least try it.

  25. Kim Wheeler
    05.07.2013 at 12:09 PM #

    I make a big smoothie and freeze them in silicone freeze pops for my son! Fresh fruit, milk and greens!

  26. 05.07.2013 at 1:03 PM #

    On road trips in France with our little ones we’d travel with a baguette, a hunk of cheese, a bag of apples and a pocket knife. The girls loved chewing on the ends of the baguette, especially when they were teething.

    • katiemorford
      05.07.2013 at 1:04 PM #

      Better than a teething ring any day!

  27. Adrienne
    05.08.2013 at 9:44 AM #

    We love yogurt, cut up bananas, hummus and pita chips. PBJ is also a winner any day.

  28. 05.08.2013 at 10:31 AM #

    another book I need to get my hands on!

  29. Kaeli hines
    05.08.2013 at 3:43 PM #

    We add carrots and other veggies to apple muffins

  30. Darlene Owen
    05.08.2013 at 4:47 PM #

    Whenever my grandchildren come for dinner, i fix food for everyone, but the main dish i fix for my grandchildren is homemade mac and cheese, they love it.

  31. alisa
    05.08.2013 at 4:54 PM #

    smashed bananas in milk! 🙂

  32. Gianna
    05.08.2013 at 6:55 PM #

    I make arrowroot biscuits.

  33. Tiffany
    03.19.2014 at 5:53 AM #

    My fourth child is now a toddler. Toddlers are the most adventurous eaters! My advice is try everything now. My other kids got more picky as they got older and new foods generally are a hassle although i still offer them. Take advantage while they are little and willing.

    • katiemorford
      03.19.2014 at 8:17 AM #

      Good advice…try and keep trying!

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