Sweet potato brownies
Sweet Treats

Sweet Potato Brownies

One of my favourite parts about coming up with recipes for little people is finding delicious ways to incorporate veggies into tasty treats. With a fussy three year old, I’ll look for new ways to incorporate nutrients wherever possible. These sweet potato brownies are the ideal healthy and sweet treat to serve up at play dates or as a tasty guilt-free dessert that the entire family would enjoy.

This recipe is not only delicious but is crammed with goodness and easy enough for children to get involved in the preparation. I find my son is all the more interested in something I’ve made for him, when he’s played a part in creating it or shopping for the ingredients.

Little ones will never guess that this recipe is made with only the healthiest ingredients, with an added  boost of vitamins and fibre from the sweet potatoes.

Although coconut flour has been used, you could opt for almond flour as another delicious gluten-free option. I recommend using coconut oil to make the icing because it naturally solidifies when cooled to ensure that you have the perfect gooey consistency and for the topping. You can use any sugar-free nut butter of your choice in the icing or tahini instea (tahini is a great alternative for children with a nut allergy).

I love using dates in my recipes for a delicious natural sweetness. If you are using the dried variety to make your sweet potato brownies, then add a little hot water to the food processor for easier mixing.

For this recipe, you can use either honey or maple syrup, depending what you have on hand. Opt for raw honey* and look out for pure maple syrups found in health stores (the less processed options are the preferred ones).

Store the brownies in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within a week. These brownies can also be made ahead of time, then frozen in a ziplock bag and thawed in the fridge before serving.

This recipe makes around 16 squares.

What you’ll need

For the brownies:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes (or 6 small), peeled
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 heaped cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 100g dates, pitted
  • 1 Tbs vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt

For the icing:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free nut butter of your choice or tahini
  • 2 Tbs honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs milk of your choice

Method

For the brownies:

  • Preheat the oven to 180
  • Grease a square medium-sized oven-proof dish or cake tin and line with baking paper. Set aside
  • Cut the potatoes into pieces and then steam for around 10-13 minutes until they are soft
  • Once steamed, add the potatoes to a food processor and pulse until you have a mash-like consistency
  • Pour the potato mixture into a large mixing bowl
  • Place dates into a food processor and pulse until you have tiny pieces (add a little hot water if needed)
  • Place the dates, along with the rest of the brownie ingredients into the mixing bowl
  • Combine using a hand mixer until well mixed
  • Pour the mixture into the baking dish/cake tin and bake it in the oven for 40-50 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean once inserted in the middle)
  • Allow the brownies to cool (it needs to be cool before topping with the icing)

For the icing:

  • Combine all of the ingredients into a food processor and mix until a sooth paste forms
  • Add a little more milk if necessary (you will need to be able to spread the icing with ease)

To assemble: 

  • Spread the icing on top of the brownies and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the icing to harden
  • Cut into squares and serve

For some more inspiration on sweet treats using fruit and veggies check out Hungry Little Monkey’s pancakesbanana bread, date squares and choc mousse.

*Honey is only recommended for children over the age of one due to the risk of infant botulism

The above will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned.

Lunch / Supper

Sticky Chicken

If you’re looking for a quick and healthy dish that the family will love, then this recipe is one worth trying.

A dish that you will find in most Jewish households on a Friday night is Sticky Chicken and it’s no wonder that it is a family favourite – its delicious, sticky and super sweet. The problem is that it is loaded with sugar and all the additives found in most ready-made sauces (probably one of the biggest reasons that it is loved so much!).

Looking at some sticky chicken recipes and all the unhealthy ingredients that go into making it, I decided to make my own healthy version the dish.

This really is a super easy recipe and can be served up as a healthy meal for the entire family. Portions can also be frozen and defrosted in the fridge ahead of serving it up.

If you would prefer to use chicken on the bone instead of breasts, increase your oven baking time by 20 minutes and brown the pieces in a pan with a little olive oil before baking them. Use this marinade for easy chicken kebabs or even for red meat, fish and tofu too (adjusting your cooking time as needed)!

What you’ll need:

  • 6-8 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Passata sauce
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tin peaches in fruit juice (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or celery salt
  • 4-5 cracks black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

To serve:

  • 2 Tbs finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Bring all the sauce ingredients to the boil in a medium sauce pan.
  • Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half and is sticky in consistency.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  • Purée the mixture using a hand blender (the sauce can be slightly lumpy, no need to be totally smooth).
  • Place the chicken into a casserole dish and pour over the sauce.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Slice the chicken breast into pieces and toss together with the sauce. Sprinkle over the spring onion and sesame seeds (if your little one doesn’t mind them!) and serve over rice, veggies, whole-wheat noodles or baked potato. Enjoy!

*The above recipe will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned.
*Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.
healthy banana bread recipe
Sweet Treats

Gluten-Free Banana Bread

At the age of two and a half – like most toddlers – my son knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to tell me all about it. He flat out refuses to eat most things green and would rather avoid trying anything new unless it is coated in something sweet. I witness so many home-made meals being fed to the dog, and then cry a little inside when my hard work lands up in the bin.

In true toddler style, my son loves two things probably more than anything on earth: bananas and cake. He lived off brand muffins while we were away over the holidays under the guise that he was eating ‘brown cake’, and I was not surprised in the least when we arrived back home and he demanded cake for breakfast.

Determined to get him back into getting some real nutrients into his little body, I wanted to bake something truly delicious that would excite him as much as cake (sans the butter icing and sprinkles of course). I am also constantly on a quest to find delicious and healthy gluten-free and wheat-free recipes for all the little ones out there who aren’t able to tolerate regular wheat flour.

This gluten-free banana bread recipe is honestly one of the easiest things you’ll make and it tastes delicious (my husband gave it the thumbs up – someone else in my house who also isn’t afraid to tell me how he really feels about my recipes!).

I have opted to use coconut flour in this recipe, which is a high-fibre and gluten-free alternative to regular flour. It adds the most delicious flavour to baking and packs in a host of health benefits; lowering glycemic index (preventing those nasty sugar spikes), contains a powerful punch of protein and contains medium-chain triglycerides (the type of saturated fats that provide little bodies with instant energy).

If you would prefer to use regular flour, then use 1 cup of regular flour with 2 eggs and half the amount of oil (coconut flour requires more moisture as it soaks everything up!).

You’ll want to use very ripe bananas – the riper, the better. If you are using dried dates, then soak them in some boiling water for 15 minutes to soften and then drain them well before adding them into your mixture.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup pitted, chopped dates
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup finely diced nuts (pecan or walnut recommended)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl using a fork
  • Sift the flour and baking soda into the mixing bowl
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients
  • Using a hand mixer, mix the ingredients together until well mixed (do not over-mix)
  • Pour the batter into a loaf tin lined with baking paper
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean, on the middle rack
  • Allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire rack before removing from the tin
  • Allow the bread to remain on the wire rack to cool slightly before serving
  • Serve plain or with a spread of butter or sugar-free nut butter

If you have any leftover bread, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be stored there for up to 1 week. You can also choose to freeze the bread in individual portions and then defrost before using.

*This recipe will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients listed above.
*Never leave your child unsupervised while eating.
Lunch / Supper, Recipes

Crumbed Chicken Strips

Since my son could run around I have been planning my outings based on whether or not a restaurant has a kiddies’ menu and a play area – something I didn’t quite grasp before I had a child of my own.

Like most parents, I find it frustrating that the kiddies’ meal choices at most places, are generally the greasiest and most nutritionally-empty dishes around: leaving you weighing up whether the pizza or hot dog is the ‘healthier’ choice for your little one (sounds a little crazy but hey…we don’t have much to work with!).

There is a reason that chicken strips are on every kiddies’ menu I have ever come into contact with: it is because pretty much all kids LOVE them (and most crumbed things for that matter). It is the same reason that crumbed chicken can be found in most home freezers across the world, ready for parents to serve up to their children in a matter of minutes.

The problem with some crumbed frozen chicken, meat and fish is that they tend to be loaded with sodium for added flavour. They are also regarded as ‘processed meat’ which should be limited in your child’s diet given that processed foods have been linked to Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. I’m not suggesting you need to steer clear of these family favourites (I am no stranger to keeping a supply in the freezer for a quick and easy meal) but it is important to remember that processed meat should be served to your little ones in moderation.

In an effort to create my own healthier rendition of the famous chicken strip, I decided to get cooking with the healthiest ingredients.

The key to this recipe is to ensure that you use a good quality non-stick pan (or you will have a bunch of batter stuck to it!) and to use enough oil at a time. That’s not to say you should be deep frying the strips at all, but rather using just enough oil to coat the pan when frying.

You could use this batter to crumb meat, chicken or even zucchini! You’ll just need to adapt the cooking time accodingly.

What you’ll need:

  • 5-6 free-range, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp celery salt/ Herbamare
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 Tbs spring onion, very finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup milk (any milk of your choice)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2-3 Tbs olive oil for frying

Method:

  • Beat the egg in a medium-sized bowl.  Combine with the milk and lemon and set aside.
  • In another medium-sized bowl combine the flour, spring onion, spices and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut each chicken breast into three strips. Giving you around 15-18 strips in total (some pieces may be larger than others).
  • Heat 1 Tbs of the olive oil in a non-stick pan on a medium-high heat.
  • Then take each strip at a time and coat it in the egg wash and then roll it in the flour mixture until totally coated. Place it onto the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes a side (depending on the thickness of the chicken strip).
  • Fry strips in batches of 5 strips at a time (to avoid over-crowding the pan).
  • Once each strip is finished cooking, place it onto a clean plate with roller towel to drain any excess oil.
  • Add another Tbs olive oil to the pan for each batch of chicken strips. Continue until all the strips have been used.
  • Serve with sweet-potato fries and homemade tomato sauce (or any choice of sides).
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within three days.

* The above recipe will need to be adapted if your child has an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned. Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.

 

 

Recipes

Spanish Frittata

My son loves eggs. Scrambled, fried, anything goes (and if you got the green kind from Dr Seuss, he would probably love those too). So his obsession, along with my incessant hunt for wholesome and nutritious family meals is what led me back to the classic frittata.

Not only can you cram the goodness into this meal  – secretly hiding in the veggies your little one usually won’t go near with a ten foot barge pole – but there are so many combinations to get creative with.

What I love about it is that it’s an easy dish that can be eaten any time of the day and you get to put the leftover’s from last night’s supper to good use. Beyond a delicious family breakfast, it makes a fantastic lazy Sunday supper or the ideal lunch for cold Wintery days at home. It is equally delicious the next day, and can be chopped into thin slices to make a scrumptious finger food for tiny fingers to hold.

Although this recipe is vegetarian (lacto-ovo that is) you can add in just about any protein of your choosing: pre-cooked chicken/meat/fish would all be delicious. I haven’t added any salt because the parmesan adds a salty flavour but you could add a touch of salt should you wish (a pinch in this entire dish won’t harm your child).

Chop the ingredients as finely as your child needs (smaller pieces work better for younger children).

What you’ll need:

  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup full-cream milk
  • 1 small-medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small-medium red pepper, diced finely
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, steamed and diced
  • 1 cup shredded/grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp xylitol
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2-3 cracks black pepper
  • 1 Tbs Italian parsley, finely chopped

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°
  • Whisk together the eggs, milk, pepper and paprika and set aside
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat
  • Add the onions, balsamic vinegar and xylitol and fry until the onions begin caramelising (around 3-5 minutes, stirring to ensure that they don’t burn)
  • Add the chopped sweet potato, red pepper, tomatoes and oregano and fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  • Add the egg mixture, mozzarella and parsley to the pan and stir gently to combine
  • Allow the mixture to begin cooking for around 2-3 minutes
  • Once the edges of the mixture have cooked, place the pan in the oven
  • Allow the mixture to cook through for 15 minutes. Half way through the cooking process (around the 7 minute mark) remove  the frittata from the heat and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top. Place it back into the oven to continue cooking
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool before serving (ensure it is cooked through)
  • Cut into slices and serve with wholegrain toast fingers or toasted English muffins with a spread of butter

*The above recipe  will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to the ingredients mentioned.

*Never leave your child unsupervised while eating.

Recipes

Pumpkin & Coconut Pancakes

After eating at some incredible places in Cape Town on our most recent family holiday, we were faced with so many nutritious and creative breakfast choices along our travels that inspired me to get creative in the kitchen back at home. A healthy pancake recipe is something I knew would go down well in my house, provided I could get them tasting as good as ‘regular’ pancakes.

After three attempts, I finally found a recipe that worked and was accepted with open arms by my two, very own food critics: my son (who even got our dogs to sample his breakfast!) and my husband (who has a sweet tooth unrivalled by many and cannot be fooled by ‘imposters’ claiming to taste as good as the ‘real thing’).

By the time I got onto my third batch of batter, I had worked out 5 key ‘tricks of the trade’ to master the perfect pancake:

  1. Do not over-beat your mixture. Your pancakes will be anything but fluffy!
  2. Do not over-heat your pan. Work on a low-medium heat.
  3. Have patience. Rush through this and you’ll just have a sticky mess and broken bits of pancake to serve up.
  4. The smaller, the easier to handle. The larger you go, the greater the chance of them breaking.
  5. Keep your pan greased at all times. If not, you’ll have burnt bits of pancake batter lining the bottom of your pan.

Pumpkin is a smart way to sneak in additional nutrients and it adds a natural sweetness to the batter. I recommend purèeing the pumpkin to avoid a granular consistency to your mixture, but if you don’t mind the little bits in every bite then mashing the pumpkin works too.

If you would like to keep this recipe strictly vegan, then replace each egg with 1 Tbs chia seeds soaked in 3 parts water. The coconut milk adds a delicious flavour to this recipe but you really could use any milk of your choosing. By using wholewheat/bran flour, you are adding in a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals that are missing from the white ‘nutritionally empty’ variety. If your child has a gluten intolerance, then simply substitute the flour for another flour of your choice (remember, however, that almond and coconut flour can sometimes be a little tricky to work with).

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup pumpkin, steamed and pureed/finely mashed
  • 3 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup bran/wholewheat flour
  • 1 Tbs baking soda
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil for frying

Method:

  • Beat the eggs in a small bowl, set aside
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients using a mixing spoon, followed by a whisk to mix through thoroughly
  • Once combined, add in your eggs and gently mix together
  • Heat a small amount of coconut oil on a skillet on a low-medium heat
  • Once the pan is hot, pour in small amount of mixture at a time
  • Once the pancake begins bubbling all over, use a spatula to turn and cook on the other side
  • Continue the process until all the mixture has been used up, adding a small amount of coconut oil to the pan each time
  • Serve with your choice of toppings: crushed nuts, sliced strawberries, blueberries, sliced banana or a drizzle of honey
*The above will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned
* Never leave your child unsupervised while eating
Recipes

Thai Chicken Patties

Every time that my son turns his nose up at whatever I’m trying to spoon into his mouth (something he has become somewhat a fan of since turning one), I am reminded of the reason that I need to find inspiration for healthy finger-foods. Not only will I be saving other mommies from raging toddlers (and potentially from the carnage of the handmade food you lovingly prepared being strewn all over the floor), but because I want my child to be getting the best nutrition possible. The cherry on top is when I am able to find inspiration for something I know he would be content holding and feeding to himself.

It is easy for us parents to give-in when our kids refuse to be spoon fed, and for us to simply hand over the rice crackers or teething biscuits for supper (Yip, guilty as charged!). But  we need to continue to look for new ways to get healthy and nutritious meals into our little ones throughout all of their eating stages and that’s where a bit of creativity comes into play.

I love this recipe because both my son and my husband have given their stamp of approval to the end result (double whammy!) and there are a number of ways to keep making the same dish interesting (not to mention that it is super easy!).

You can ‘dress’ these up any way you choose, getting kids involved in creating their own mini-burgers and toppings. Read my suggestions below from some healthy toppings that will keep the kids entertained around mealtimes and most importantly interested in what is going into their little tummies.

Note: I opted to use coconut oil in this recipe for the added flavour (goes beautifully with the Thai ingredients) but you can really opt for any frying oil.

What you’ll need:

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tbs reduced sodium soya sauce
  • 2 Tbs sugar-free peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (brown is preferable)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 heaped tsp coconut oil for frying

Topping suggestions: sliced gherkins, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, caramelised onions, shredded/sliced mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, pesto-mayonnaise.

Method:

  • Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine evenly using your hands (make sure they are really clean!)
  • Place half the amount of the coconut oil in a pan on a high heat.
  • Once the pan is hot, take hand fulls of the mixture at a time and roll them into balls and then flatten them slightly to form patties.
  • Fry two at a time, for about 4 minutes each side (making sure they are cooked through!).
  • Add more coconut oil for frying when needed.
  • Delicious served plain / with a variety of toppings/ on wholewheat rolls / with some home-made sweet potato fries.
  • Left-overs can be frozen and then thawed in the refrigerator overnight until you are ready to use it.

*This recipes makes 8 small patties.

*Ensure that food is consumed from the refrigerator within 2-3 days (for more information around storing your child’s food, read here).

*If your child has an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned, this recipe will need to be adapted.

Recipes

Fruity Bircher Oats

I love this recipe because it is so simple and makes breakfast the following day super easy. This recipe easily makes enough for a family of four to eat a healthy and scrumptious breakfast together – without having the notorious sugary kid’s cereals sitting at the breakfast table with you!

Little people will absolutely love being able to experiment with their independence by adding their own choice of toppings to their bowl of deliciousness (I have included some suggestions below). Remember that you want your little one to associate breakfast with fun (or any mealtime for that matter), which is an important part of ensuring that they have a healthy and happy relationship with food as they grow and develop.

Oats really is the prize breakfast choice to meet the demanding, growing needs of little people: a bowl of oats is packed with iron, calcium, fibre and b-vitamins (which are essential for nerve function and energy metabolism). I have opted for rolled oats because of its consistency and because it is less processed than instant oats.

Almond and coconut milk are both fantastic because they add a delicious flavour to the recipe. If you would prefer to use cow’s milk then opt for full-fat dairy until your child is at least two years old (read up more around dairy in my previous post on The Skinny on Dairy). You could really use any dried fruit or fruit juice, so check what you have in your pantry and get creative with that!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk or full-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder/essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange rind
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened nut butter (macadamia, cashew, almond or peanut butter will all do)
  • 1 cup plain full cream yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup dried mango, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried dates, chopped into small pieces

Method:

  • Place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix together using a spoon until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Cover with cling film and leave overnight in the fridge.
  • Serve in individual portions with a variety of toppings to mix and match.
  • Add your choice of toppings (or let your little person decide for themselves!):
    • Blueberries, raspberries, chopped strawberries, mixed seeds, crushed nuts, grated apple, grated pear, raisins or sliced banana.
  • Finish off with a swirl of honey for babies older than one.
  • Freeze leftover individual portions and defrost in the refrigerator overnight to enjoy the following day.

Note:

  • If your child has an allergy to any of the above-mentioned ingredients, this recipe will need to be adapted.

  • Never leave your child unsupervised while eating.

Recipes

Blueberry & Banana Flapjacks

I came up with this recipe when deciding what would make a scrumptious (and nutritious) breakfast for my son on his first birthday. It was going to be a big day and we needed something that would suitably mark the occasion and get his chubby little hands clapping in approval.

To celebrate his new-found obsession with blueberries, it felt only natural that whatever I came up with was packed with these antioxidant-rich delights.

It was also the first time he was going to be getting his very first taste of honey and I think I was slightly more excited about this than he was. Remember that children younger than 12 months shouldn’t be given honey so you could always leave the honey out and still have a very tasty recipe (honey has been linked to botulism in babies under a year).

I used whole wheat flour in this recipe to pack in the nutrients (given that it is more nutritionally superior than the ’empty’ white flour varieties) but you really could use any flour.

It makes quite a few portions so the family could enjoy the same meal together or the left-over batter could be frozen in a freezer bag until ready to use (simply thaw in the refrigerator and then snip open one of the corners of the freezer bag and pour the batter directly onto a hot pan).

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs sugar-free peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 3 free-range eggs, separated
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt (full fat preferable)
  • 120g blueberries, chopped (to prevent choking)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs butter or olive oil for frying

Method:

  • Whisk the egg whites in a bowl until stiff peaks form (you want to be able to turn the bowl upside down and for the egg whites to stay put!). Set aside.
  • Then combine all the other ingredients (reserving half the blueberries for garnishing) in a food processor or using a hand mixer. You want a smooth-ish consistency with some texture from the blueberries and oats.
  • Fold the egg whites into the mixture gently.
  • Heat a small amount of the butter or olive oil on a non stick pan on a medium-high heat. (You want to make sure the pan isn’t too hot).
  • Take a tablespoon of mixture at a time and pour it into the pan. When the mixture starts bubbling all over, flip the flapjack over with a spatula and cook for a further minute (if you are struggling, make the flapjacks smaller – the first few are always a bit of a distaster until you get the hang of it!)
  • Add a little more butter or olive oil to the pan if needed and repeat the previous step until you have finished the batter.
  • Serve with the extra chopped blueberries, strawberries or blackberries and a drizzle of honey.

*The above will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the mentioned ingredients.

* Never leave your child unsupervised while they are eating.

 

Recipes

Cocoa-Cinnamon French Toast

My son’s favourite meal of the day, hands down, is breakfast. I can’t seem to shovel his oats and yoghurt in fast enough every morning but I also need to ensure that I’m not giving him the same thing, day in and day out, if I want to turn him into an adventurous little eater.

I tried this recipe for a healthy and nutrient-packed version of the traditional French Toast on a lazy Sunday morning at home, when I wasn’t  rushed to run out of the door, and could take time watching him feast on it (and the unholy mess he created).

The batter could in actual fact make double the amount of French Toast but I prefer having extra batter for the bread to soak up. For this recipe I recommend using multigrain, brown, seeded and low GI bread given that these varieties contain essential nutrients and minerals that are needed in energy metabolism along with other health benefits, which aren’t provided through nutrient-empty refined/white bread choices.

This is such an easy and flavour-packed breakfast that the whole family could enjoy it together and seeing the delight on my son’s face was totally worth the mess he left behind! If your little ones are slightly older you can get them involved in the preparation and cooking, something that I find works extremely well with fussy eating toddlers or pre-schoolers who generally steer away from trying anything new.

*What you’ll need: 

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened milk of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 slices Low GI bread (or any other brown/seed/multigrain variety)
  • 1 small knob butter (coconut oil can also be used instead)
  • 1/2 cup fresh/frozen berries (thawed)
  • 1 small banana sliced

Method:

  • Combine the eggs, milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla essence in a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Mix with a whisk and add the bread slices.
  • Allow the bread slices to soak up the batter for a minute or two.
  • Melt the knob of butter on a medium-high heat in a pan.
  • Then add your bread slices.
  • Allow the slices to brown on each side, turning each slice after 3 minutes.
  • Arrange on a plate and top with the macerated berries and banana.
  • Babies older than one could also get a drizzle of honey added to theirs.
  • Cut the toast into smaller pieces (toast fingers are the easiest for little hands to hold).
  • Now hand your little ones a toast finger at a time and allow them to taste and explore!
*The above recipe will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the above-mentioned ingredients. 
*Always supervise your child when they are eating. Don’t leave them alone, not even for a minute.