breakfast

Hidden Sugar in Kids’ Foods

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I read the label on the bottle of chocolate milk and saw that it had 22 grams of sugar. That can’t be good.

Suggestions:

1. Look for cereals with less than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Better yet, go with homemade oatmeal or porridge (Lisa’s suggestion!)

2. Look for canned fruit packed in water or rinse out your syrup packed fruits.

3. Low-fat peanut butter. Lots of peanut butters have tons of sugar. (I actually go with the natural peanut butters myself and make sure there isn’t any added sugar.)

4. Skip the flavored yogurt and go for plain and put in your own fruit.

5. No fruit leathers. They have corn syrup, artificial flaors and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils which should be avoided.

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Yummy, Healthy Pancakes for Kids?: No Problem!

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What’s better on a Saturday morning than a nice plate of pancakes? Nothing, I say! But, they must be healthy now that I’m raising a little body that is growing like a weed.

Typically I’ll start out with a high quality pancake mix that already has whole grains in it. Then I start adding stuff – it’s different every time, depending on what I have on hand. Here’s what this morning’s pancakes looked like.

I started out with the Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix.

Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix

And went crazy from there.

Here’s all that went into my pancakes:

1 cup Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake and Waffle Mix
2 frozen bananas from the freezer
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
1 container organic pureed pears
1 container organic pureed harvest veggies with grains
1 container organic pureed carrots
1 container lunch box sized apple sauce
1 Tbs whole wheat bran flakes
1 Tbs seven grain hot cereal
1 Tbs ground flaxseed
2 Tbs oil
Enough milk to bring it to pancake mix consistency. Since you’re adding all of these other wet ingredients you don’t really follow the package anymore.

I didn’t have any eggs but normally I would put one or two eggs in the mix as well.

1) The containers of fruits and veggies (except for the applesauce) were all Gerber SmartNourish Organic baby food. Besides the ones listed above I will also use squash or sweet potato. This is just what I happened to have on hand. I usually try to mix up the sweet with the savory. I have also used the pumpkin pancake mix from Target and have added in sweet potato because the flavors are so similar. They are always good.

I have actually found some of these organic baby foods at the Dollar Store (2 containers for a dollar= 1 pack). At Walgreen’s they are $1.79 a pack. Not sure about the regular grocery store. Probably somewhere in the middle.

2) When bananas start to get old I throw them in the freezer. Yes, they will get black but that’s okay. They are still good. I put them in a pitcher or bowl of warm water to thaw them out. After a few minutes of soaking the skin comes right off. They were still a little frosty when they went in the mix this morning but I was able to mash them with a fork and mix them into the pancake mix just fine.

3) Ground flaxseed, wheat bran flakes, wheat germ are all ingredients that you can keep in a tupperware or glass container in your fridge to throw into any baked goods you are making–cookies, brownies, banana bread. No one will ever know they are there and they bump up the fiber in your final product. You don’t even have to measure them. Just sprinkle about a tablespoon over your mix and stir.

4) If you have the time and feel like it, you can also chop up some nuts really fine and throw them in for a little crunch and protein. I like walnuts or pecans.

These pancakes, despite the zillion ingredients, are really super easy and quick to make. There’s nothing to measure; just throw in one or two containers of fruits and veggies, sprinkle in whatever dry goodness you have in the fridge and off you go.

Oh, and another God-send for pancake making? The electric griddle. Here’s one at Target for around $30.00. They are great because you can put six pancakes on at a time and cut your standing around in the kitchen time in half. Plus, more pancakes make it to the plate hot at the same time.

Overall, my pancakes are always a hit! They get rave reviews from both kids and adults alike and no one is the wiser as to what is in them. Today the pancakes mostly tasted like good blueberry sweetness. I was a little nervous when I threw in the carrots because they can have such a strong flavor, so then I specifically chose the pears to offset that possibility. When I realized I had pears, apples, blueberries and bananas in them, I knew I could get away with the pureed veggies, no problem. And I did.

I’m assuming I can also wrap them up and send them in the lunch box as part of a healthy lunch. They are probably still good cold.

Excuse me while I go warm up a pancake! Yum!

Related Posts:

Six Week Bran Muffin Batter 

Six Week Bran Muffin Batter – Yum!

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These muffins are not only yummy but you can divide the batter up into four batches and use the different batches over the course of six weeks. Of course, you can divide it into as many batches as  you want or just leave it as one batch. My little girl was gobbling these muffins right up!

Six -week Bran Muffins

Yield: 4 dozen; 1 dozen per quart jar

3 cups All-bran
3 cups Raisin Bran
2 cups boiling Water

Pour boiling water over brans.  Let soak.

Cream:

3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening

ADD: 
4 eggs
1 quart buttermilk*
4 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
5 cups flour

Raisins, dates, nuts, or blueberries may also be added.

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer.  Store in a glass container with a tight cover in the refrigerator.   Can store in four,  quart canning jars, which makes it easy to pour into muffin tins.  One quart of batter makes 12 muffins. Use batter as needed; batter will keep for six weeks. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes in greased muffin tins.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand,  add a couple tsps. of apple cider vinegar to a quart of milk.

THANKS FOR THE RECIPE, CHERYL!