Kids Make Mac and Cheese Shell Casserole with Ham and Broccoli

Our kids were thrilled to help out with this mac and cheese dish! There are tons of ways to help.

While your kids are helping out, you can also pause to discuss which FOOD GROUP each ingredient belongs to and share some fun facts about this meal’s featured ingredient: SHELL PASTA

🍴 food groups1 🍴


    • Fruits: none
    • Veggies: broccoli
    • Grains: pasta, bread crumbs
    • Protein: ham
    • Dairy: milk, cheese

    1For information about food and health, go to

🍴 Shell Pasta 🍴

shell pasta


    • Shell pasta is also referred to as conchiglie because its shape resembles a conch shell. 
    • Shell pasta comes in three sizes: small (conchigliette), medium (conchiglie) and large (conchiglioni). Large shells are often stuffed and baked. 
    • Shell pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, which give our body energy.

Kids Make Mac and Cheese!

Here are some creative ways for your kid to be your personal Sous Chef as you make our Mac and Cheese Shell Casserole with Ham and BroccoliJust hover over each image for details. And make sure your little dudes wash their hands before starting!


To cook the pasta, kids can:

Bring water to a boil

This teaches kids to pay attention to the stovetop and see what happens to water when it gets that hot. Yay science!

Try Noodles!

Let kids decide if noodles are done. Hungry toddlers love this job!

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To make the sauce, kids may:

Melt butter in pot

Add dry ingredients

Stir (or whisk!) together with melted butter.

Measure & pour in cold milk

Remind kids to whisk frequently until lumps go away!

Add cheese to pot

Stir cheese until melted.

We used this 4-cup Pyrex Measuring Cup to measure/pour the milk.

🍴Mac and Cheese Casserole🍴

To assemble and bake the casserole, kids may:

Set oven to broil

Add noodles, broccoli and ham to cheese sauce

Kids will love mixing together these colorful ingredients!

Pour mixture into casserole dish

Grown-ups may need to help with this task!

Sprinkle dish with bread crumbs and remaining cheese

Now your casserole is ready to go in the oven!

*Note: For toddlers especially, these tasks require adult supervision and/or assistance, as items may be sharp, hot or otherwise dangerous. 

Back to Mac and Cheese Shell Casserole with Ham and Broccoli Recipe

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