One thing I remember looking forward to on the weekends as a kid was my mom making a batch of pancakes with loads of syrup. If you grew up in the 80’s or 90’s, you may remember most of your meals being “semi-homemade.” Powdered potatoes from a box, rice-a-roni, Kraft mac-n-cheese, Bisquick pancakes and Aunt Jemima syrup. We have since upgraded to microwavable frozen pancakes and french toast sticks, and Eggo waffles will never go out of style.
We’re all busy and always on the go but we all want to feed our children the best way we know how. We also do not want a battle at mealtimes and want our kids to EAT! It is important to not just “feed” your child but to “nourish” them. Unfortunately, most of the things you get in the freezer aisle or on the grocery shelf marketed to kids is anything but!
Let’s look at the ingredients in Bisquick:
Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Cottonseed oil, Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, mono calcium phosphate), Dextrose, Salt.
And here are the ingredients in Aunt Jemima’s Syrup:
CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE
Bisquick is loaded with trans fats (partially hydrogenated soybean/cottonseed oil) which is a very dangerous fat that should be eliminated completely from your family’s diet. While this may be impossible while eating out, you should know that the AHA recommends no more than 1% of your daily caloric intake come from trans fats. To put that in perspective, for an adult eating 2,000 calories that is 2 grams. Children eat much less than that for the most part (toddlers about 35-40 calories per pound), so that number would be cut in half! I say if possible, avoid it at all costs!
Let’s move onto those “kid-friendly” syrups popular on pancakes or Eggo waffles (which we will discuss next time!)
- corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup: linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes (in children & adults), causes increased appetite, linked to liver damage, also contains high levels of mercury
- caramel color: possible human carcinogen linked to cancer, the center for science in the public interest petitioned the FDA to ban of caramel coloring due to safety concerns
- sodium benzoate: may trigger allergies such as skin rashes and asthma
- natural flavors: hidden MSG which causes addiction to a food product
- artificial flavors: may cause side-effects in young children and adults such as headaches, migraines, chest pain, nervous system depression, seizures, nausea, and chest pain, to name a few
The good news is I have a recipe today that will change how you do breakfast. This delicious pancake recipe has only 3 (or 4) simple ingredients that you should have in your kitchen! Bonus..IT IS CHEAP!
I have been making these for my daughter since she was a year old. I do many variations but I will share with you the basic first, then ways you can spice it up! All you do is throw this all in your blender, heat up your skillet on medium heat with butter or coconut oil, pour and make just like regular pancakes! If using butter, be sure to not over-butter the pan since if can burn. I use a cast iron skillet and wipe off excess with a paper towel.
They’re ready to be flipped once the edges start to bubble.
Every time I take a few off I add a little butter to each pancake while hot on the plate. My daughter used to love them with coconut oil but once she turned 3 she wanted no parts of it so now we use butter.
For a treat I will add a little grade B maple syrup. Be sure to choose 100% PURE organic grade B syrup. It is higher in minerals (like zinc and magnese) and richer in flavor, so if you’re going to eat sugar at least be sure it has a few health benefits!
Grain-free Banana Pancakes
serves: 1 toddler
- 1 very ripe banana
- 2 pastured eggs
- 1 tsp coconut flour
- a dash of cinnamon
- optional add-ins; enjoy life mini chocolate chips, blueberries
Place above ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Heat skillet to medium heat Sprinkle a little speck of water on the surface, once it dissolved quickly the pan is ready. Add butter or coconut oil and wipe off excess so it doesn’t burn. Pour silver dollar size batter into the pan and flip once edges start to bubble.
Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes
- 1/2 very ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 TBSP pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- butter or coconut oil, for pan and topping
Place first 3-4 ingredients in a blender. Meanwhile heat your skillet on medium heat. Add coconut oil or butter to pan. If there is excess in the pan wipe it out so it doesn’t burn. Pour a silver dollar sized amount of batter in pan for as many that will fit. Once the edges bubble carefully flip with a spatula.
As mentioned above I add more butter to the top. I purchase grass-fed butter from my farm service or use Kerrygold which is an economical option. If you child will eat coconut oil that is excellent too! Weezy likes a little bit of maple syrup. Yes, it is pricier than cheap HFCS-laden syrups but a little goes a long way, I use it to bake with, and we don’t eat much sugar so it lasts a long while in our house!
Health Benefits of Homemade 3 Ingredient Pancakes:
- Ripe Banana: Contains potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, antioxidants and bananas contain amylase which helps break down starch with glucose for healthy digestion.
- Pastured Egg: Eggs are nature’s most perfect food. When you choose eggs from hens who live in happy, healthy environments you are getting one of the most nutritious foods on earth! Loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fat! Did you know eggs contain almost every nutrient required for the human body? Don’t ever chuck the yolks…they’re the most nutritious part!
- Coconut Flour: Loaded with healthy fats, mostly medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are essential protective fats with noted antiviral, antimicrobial and anti fungal properties.
More Healthy Fats!
When you cook with coconut oil or grass-fed butter and use it as a topping it will add more calories for energy for your little one (since an egg and banana, while WAY more nourishing than boxed pancakes, is low in calories) it is LOADED with nutrients:
- Coconut oil: Loaded with vitamins and minerals; contains antimicrobial, anti fungal and antiviral properties; contains the same fat found in human breast milk essential for your child’s growth. (Tip, you want unrefined because it is less processed, however, refined is made to taste less “coconutty.” Nutiva brand is the only refined coconut oil that uses a safe steam processing
- Grass-fed butter: The health effects of butter will vary dependent upon where you source it from. You want pastured butter from cows that lived outdoors fed their natural diet of grass. When you get butter from this source it is a super food! Loaded with Vitamin K, Vitamin A, trace minerals and contains anti-carcinogen and anti-inflammatory properties.