Pasta and cheese seem to make the perfect combination for a quick, hot meal that kids love. One cup of macaroni and cheese from a packaged mix packs an estimated 260 calories and counts for two grains and one-half milk portion [source: U.S Department of Agriculture]. Many store-bought macaroni and cheese brands do offer a healthier alternative preparation. Brands are also offering whole-wheat pasta options.
If you want to take it a step further and make your own at home, use whole-wheat pasta, but vary the shapes -- elbow, bow tie or corkscrew -- for a different look [source: Zied]. For a creamy, at-home macaroni and cheese, Zied recommends mixing low-fat American cheese or mozzarella and skim milk into the hot noodles.