Healthy Cookies do Exist!
Healthy and cookies aren’t words that usual go together. However, there are some recipes that exist for healthy cookies. For toddlers and parents this is music to their ears. There is something magical about the word cookie. And for parents of toddlers there’s the added magic of a toddler that will actually eat his breakfast! Believe you me, we know all about the morning breakfast struggle in our house.
Like a lot families, we have a sweet tooth. We love fresh baked oatmeal cookies and we love our super naughty oatmeal cake with amazing icing. And that’s okay. But, we also care about eating healthy. We try to come up with healthy recipes like our Vegan Asparagus Soup. We try to sneak vegetables into things our kids will eat like our Spinach Feta Pizza. And all this is quite important because when you have toddlers or children of any kind in your house it’s also important to develop good eating habits.
Maybe the most important thing to remember is “Parents control the supply lines”. This is the top kid food tip for parents from kidshealth.org, a great source of information for concerned parents. It’s also important to remember that your control of the supply line is fleeting. Right now, when you have toddlers in the house, you have full control. But as they grow and venture more and more into the real world you will have less and less control. So NOW is the time to build good eating habits in your toddlers!
With this in mind we set out to make a healthy breakfast cookie with oats as one of the main ingredients. There are actually a lot of health benefits to oats! So why not come up with a really healthy toddler cookie? Something with lots of wholesome ingredients that will provide your child with lots of nourishment to start their day. That’s what led us to come up with our Healthy Toddler Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies. We hope your kids enjoy them as much as ours do!
What qualifies as a healthy toddler friendly cookie
- Your toddler actually has to like them. So basically there need to be enough flavor there so that the buzz word “cookie” wins out over the buzz word “healthy”. You might want to keep the healthy part under wraps and play up the cookie part.
- They actually have to be a somewhat healthy cookie. As a parent you need to be able to sleep at night knowing you gave your child something of nutritional substance and not just a bunch of junk.
Okay, so are you with me parents? We have to stick together otherwise these kids are going to take over!
I know, I can always use advice and tips from others going through the same process of trying to get their toddler to develop healthy eating habits. This recipe is one of the tricks up my sleeve for getting my son to eat a healthy breakfast. We’re always looking for and finding tips and tricks to get our children to eat healthy balanced meals (and so Mommy and Daddy survive meal time). So, stay tuned for more Toddler Friendly Food Tuesdays. Today I’m going to share with our our recipe for a healthy oatmeal breakfast cookie.
One of the most difficult parts of our week day is getting ready in the morning! My son has always been a picky eater and has always been at the bottom of the weight charts. We used to frequently let him eat a granola bar as breakfast (or pre-breakfast snack), but the sugar content has always bothered me from a healthy eating perspective (plus all the million other ingredients including trans fat and high fructose corn syrup). We’ve been experimenting with granola and oatmeal to find a suitable replacement. I stumbled onto this while looking up healthy oatmeal cookie recipes. Many of the recipes I found online had lots of sugar. I reduced the amount of sugar and added some chocolate chips (who can resist chocolate chips). I realize the addition of chocolate chips makes it less healthy, but the goal was to create something my son would eat. The chocolate chips make for a good compromise. It transforms it into something a toddler to eat, it is a oatmeal breakfast COOKIE! after all, but at the same time there are still lots of good wholesome ingredients in there to please Mom and Dad and satisfy the health factor. Add a fried egg and it really makes a good breakfast–plus he is more willing to eat the egg if he knows he gets another cookie. The last batch I made I forgot to add the chocolate chips, so I sprinkled some on top–we’ll probably try them with our 16 month old to see if she will eat it. She is definitely less picky then our son. I don’t know if that is just a personality difference or a second kid difference. Probably both.
This is a good Sunday mid-morning activity. Sam has gotten really good at helping in the kitchen. I usually have fun cooking with him, but occasionally have to remind myself not to worry about the mess. After I almost spilled the entire container of oats and started to get really annoyed with the whole process, my son said, â€œMommy, the mistakes are what make it fun.â€ Oh yeah, thanks for the reminder. Messes can be fun. Oops, there goes some more flour on the floor.
I think the cookie is somewhat of a misnomer, because these end up more bread or muffin like. But if calling it a “cookie” makes my toddler eat more healthy than sign me up. I think the original recipe I found for these was on spark recipes (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/home.asp), which is an interesting site I’ve visited occasionally. I like the recipe calculator feature where you can type in all the ingredients of one of your recipes and it will give you calories and nutritional info. I think I reduced the sugar in the recipe and also increased the flour to compensate.
Healthy Oatmeal Pumpkin Toddler Breakfast Cookies
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (I use baked sweet potato when I can't find pumpkin)
- 1 cup applesauce , unsweetened
- 1 cup banana , mashed (~2 bananas)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1.5 cup all purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 3 cups oats
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (I like using mini chocolate chips)
- Mix pumpkin, applesauce, banana, white sugar, and brown sugar.
- Mix in eggs and vanilla.
- Stir in flour, wheat flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Mix in oats and chocolate chips.
- Grease cookie sheets and drop heaping tablespoons of cookie dough onto sheets.
- Cook for 12-15 minutes at 350F.
- Let cool for 1 minute and transfer to wire rack or paper towels on counter top.
- Makes about 3 dozen.
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