Being a mom of twins for over 5 years now, I am seasoned to handle their weirdest demands at even weirder times of the day. From chicken nuggets and fish fingers at 7 in the morning to chocolate waffles before bedtime, which eventually pushed bedtime to 12!
I catered to their cravings for more than 3 years before realizing I was feeding them pure JUNK and no nutrition. It was a wake up call for me and I decided to do something about it. For months, I tried making vegetables “interesting” for them. I tried everything from cutting vegetables into cute flower shapes to decorating their plates with animal faces made with ketchup and mustard. Trust me, even Picasso would have been impressed with my art with sauces, but not my twins.
I tried many different ways, but what finally worked for me were 2 things:
- Hiding nutrients in their favorite junk food (easier and cleaner approach)
- Involving them in cooking (much messier and stressful option but works every time!!)
I will be discussing and sharing my experiments and experiences with this hide and seek game with nutrients in upcoming articles. Don’t worry, it is not going to be full of “I-know-it-better-Mom” advice and preaching, In fact, I am not really good in handing out unwanted advice and philosophies like everyday markdown discounts at Target. Rather, I am going to share some tips and tricks I use that work for me and my kids.
To begin with, here is one of my easiest recipes that I often make with my twin girls. They love making a mess and I get their tummies filled with healthy grains and fruits. It is also gluten-free if you are following a special diet. Overall a win!
Oat, walnut and chocolate pancakes (makes 6-8 pancakes depending on size)
- 1.5 cups rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon seed mix (flaxseed/sunflower/pumpkin)
- 2 very ripe bananas
- 6-8 pitted dates
- 1 egg
- Milk, as needed
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- A handful cashew nuts/pistachio nuts
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Fresh cut fruit
- Chocolate syrup: and more chips as garnish (optional)
Soak dates in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Ask your kids to mash the bananas; kids love going all ninja on a banana with fork and If bananas are not fully ripen just cut in small pieces. Take oats, seed mix, walnuts, and other nuts, soaked dates and banana (mashed or chopped) and give it a whirl in a food processor.
Beat egg and mix in a little milk. Add oats mixture and chocolate chips to it and stir. The mixture doesn’t need to be completely lump free. Set aside for 10 minutes
Heat a pan and put some butter in it. Pour a ladle full of mixture and let it cook over medium heat.
Show your culinary art by flipping the pan and tossing pancakes. My kids love watching me toss their pancake in air and I earn a few “Wow Mumma” and “Yay!” doing that. Serve it with fresh cut fruits. Let your kids get creative in plating it with syrup, fruit and more chocolate chips.
This will be gone in a blink of an eye!
Note: You can make this a vegan recipe by omitting the egg and adding a pinch of baking powder for extra softness. Substitute a nut milk for the milk and olive oil for the butter.