Monday, May 17, 2010
My youngest son flew under the radar and became a picky eater. My husband and I both came to the realization the other day when we noticed that the only things he really wanted to eat were bread and candy. I think my husband and I both took it for granted what a wonderful eater our 4 year old is and just assumed that since we started our 16-month old the same way (with Super Baby Food) that he would turn out the same way. WRONG. With his new ability to run and his never wanting to eat, he was losing weight fast.
We've had to install some new rules around here. no candy. no sweets until this picky behavior is gone. He fought it for about 5 minutes yesterday and has fallen into line nicely. He ate an entire turkey sandwich, half an avocado and 4 strawberries after a little prodding. This morning, he had oatmeal sweetened with agave nectar and coconut oil with blueberries and a berry smoothie (with a little avocado mixed in) and loved every bite.
I think we had second child syndrome a little too much in this instance and really needed to get back to the basics nutritionally that we've always considered so important with our kids.
I made these for snacks today. They have lots of good fat, whole grains and use dried fruit and honey to sweeten. They really were a hit and I suspect they will become a favorite with both kids. Best thing? The 4-year old made them almost entirely himself.
Granola Toddler Treats
makes 20 1-inch balls
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground nuts (my kids prefer pecans)
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
4 T. honey or agave nectar
1 beaten egg
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped fine (we've tried prunes, apricots, dried pears and cranberries and all have been excellent!)
Mix all dry ingredients. Mix honey, peanut butter and vanilla into dry mixture. Add more honey to moisten ot dried oats to dry if necessary. Form into small balls. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. They will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
To make granola bars, press mixture into an 8x8 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, cool and cut into bars.
I'm editing this after some thought. I need to add that honey and nuts are not appropriate for children under 1 year of age. If you are making these for younger children, omit the nuts entirely and increase the wheat germ to 1/2 cup. Omit the honey, and use either agave nectar or just leave the sweetener out completely - it really isn't necessary. Replace the peanut butter with 1/4 cup melted butter or 1/4 cup mashed banana.