The company Kraft has just announced that in 2016, no box of its famous macaroni and cheese will contain artificial preservatives or synthetic colors. Let's take a closer look at this Canadian national dish.

“The famous Kraft Dinner Mac and Cheese, which many Canadian children love, will be less yellow.
One of the targeted dyes is known as "yellow 5". The scientific name for "yellow 5" is tartrazine, or better yet, E102. This coloring has already been removed from Kraft Mac and Cheese in Europe.
Kraft Mac and Cheese will now be colored with paprika, annatto and turmeric. "

Source: Radio-Canada

Through the next activities, students will learn about the history of this national dish, what it contains as well as the reasons that make it such a popular meal.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Understand why mac and cheese is a Canadian national dish;
- Explain the popularity of canned mac and cheese;
- Know the changes that will be made to the Kraft Dinner recipe;
- Know the nutritional value of canned macaroni and cheese;
- Create a balanced recipe using canned macaroni and cheese.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Kraft Dinner, a national dish that will be less yellow

To start the activity, ask students if they like mac and cheese. What is their favorite kind? Do they eat Kraft Dinner Macaroni? Then let them know that this famous mac and cheese will change shortly.

In order to discover the changes to the recipe soon, invite them to read the following Radio-Canada article.

Then ask students the following questions:

- What do some parents associate with using the yellow food coloring in the Kraft Dinner?
- What will the artificial coloring in the Kraft Dinner be replaced by?
- Which is the biggest consumer of macaroni and cheese?
- Why do young people eat this type of food?
- Where does Kraft Dinner come from?
- Why did Kraft Dinner become popular during WWII?
- What are the three elements that will be evaluated in order to respect today's Kraft Dinner?

ACTIVITY 2: What is the Kraft Dinner?

Obviously, Kraft Mac & Cheese contains artificial coloring. But what are the other items in a box of Kraft Dinner?

To find out, invite students to consult the L'Épicerie webpage dealing with boxed macaroni and cheese to be able to complete the questionnaire below:

Download the file in Word format (.docx)
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

Answers: false, true, false, true, true, false

ACTIVITY 3: A balanced menu

Originally, the Kraft Dinner was sold as an accompaniment to meals. Today, even if sometimes a box of macaroni and cheese is a meal for many, it is possible to make it a better, more balanced snack.

Invite students to imagine a recipe made from a box of mac and cheese. All food groups must be found in their recipes. Ask them to complete the following diagram with the ingredients of their recipe and then write the steps to achieve it:

Download the file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

More about the magazine

Kraft Dinner
Wikipedia article

Canada's Food Guide
Quebec health and social services

Colorful Kraft Dinner
Protect yourself, February 13, 2014

Food coloring. Harmless?
One pill, one small granule, January 8, 2009

Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.