Thursday, October 3, 2013

Annie's Homegrown Microwaveable Mac and Cheese Review - Juggling Real Food and Real Life

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned  complimentary from Influenster in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

When people find out that my family eats Real Food, I always get asked, "What do you eat?" I share a lot about how I like to cook homemade meals for my family. That is completely true. Sorry, no scandal here. I cook and my husband is constantly doing dishes because of all my cooking. You would probably laugh to see the two of us in our tiny kitchen. I'm cooking away and he follows behind me cleaning up. We bump into each other like crazy which is kind of OK because I still think the man I married is kind of cute. TMI? He drives me nuts when he doesn't KNOW that I was still using that spoon or bowl. Of course, I can't complain too much because the man does do dishes. I certainly don't want that to stop!

So.........that's a normal day when I have time to prepare meals sometime during my day. This precise execution only happens when I have time to meal plan. What happens when I go out of town and don't have time to plan and shop? Well......we usually have to scramble. And I mean scramble eggs. Scrambled eggs and whole wheat toast is the quickest Real Food meal of all time. Breakfast is always my go-to for when the planning comes unglued.

Enter the teenager..................Many of you have asked about what he eats and how he is adapting to our Real Food lifestyle? He probably is the one who has had to adapt the most. Most of his life has been spent eating fast and processed food. He didn't have the great beginning like I talked about in my last post. Add in that he is a bit of a picky eater and you can imagine the fun we've had.


The teenager is in the orange cleats


As it turns out, he likes lots of healthy food. Of course, he also doesn't like a lot of healthy food. I've been experimenting a lot with him. Being a teenager he is, of course, brutally honest. I like that about him. I don't have to worry that he is just being nice to protect my feelings. If it tastes awful to him, he will tell me.

That's why I jumped up and down when he declared that he liked Annie's Homegrown White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. Sure it's not homemade, but it is made with some pretty good ingredients. My favorite of course, is no artificial colors. If you have been following me, you know that this is a big deal for me. Check it out here if you need to catch up.



Annie'es Homemade White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

I enrolled in a brand testing program through Influenster. When I saw that they sent me the Microwave White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, I was thrilled to be able to give an honest review of this. I will never be anything, but honest. I still think homemade is best, but Annie's Microwave White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is a nice substitute when time is tight. My son loves that he can make this quickly after football practice when he needs to run right back out of the house to his Scout meeting. I wish they would get rid of the added sugar, but since I have greatly reduced my family's overall sugar consumption, I figure once in a while is OK. The portion is small for him, so I encourage him to supplement it with a small sandwich and fruit and/or veggies. He burns a lot of calories at football each day.

On Annie's website they state one of their Core Values as: " Annie’s sources only from places and people we trust, with high emphasis on quality, as well as agricultural and environmental sustainability. We believe in transparency. " That speaks volumes to me as a consumer who desires high quality food. I also love that they participate in advocacy groups, such as, NonGMO Project and Just Label It! As a consumer who likes to vote with her shopping dollars, I am happy to put my money into their company.

And...........the teenager will eat it. That's the biggest vote of all.  #RealCheese


The teenager enjoying his Annie's Homemade Mac and Cheese


Now it's your turn..........What is important to you when you go to the grocery store? Do you research the companies your are buying from? Does taste reign supreme? What about the all-mighty buck...........does that win every time?  What is your favorite Annie's Homegrown product?

I can't wait to hear from you. Leave me a comment here and I invite you to join the fun on our various social media. Just join us by using the various buttons at the top of the page. Lots more recipes, tips and fun to be had by all! If you are new to the blog........I invite you to check out our Weekly Challenges. This is a great systematic way to to eat more of a Real Food diet and eliminate processed food. This is the approach my family took to overhauling our diet. Remember......small changes can create dramatic changes to your overall health. Good luck!

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