As I pondered the evening’s meal, while stressing over the fact that I have been diligently packing and prepping our house for our move…my son yells out, “I am hungry!! Let’s have pancakes!!” Hmm….that’s actually a good idea, I smile to myself!

So along the lines of National Nutrition Month, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics I worked to keep it “Plate” healthy!! –and quite honestly, when you are dealing with hungry kids and breakfast foods, it is more simple than you think!

First of all, we started out with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots as an “I am HUNGRY!!” appetizer. –ok, ok, this may be difficult for some, but you also need to know that my daughter, who is almost six, still does not love cauliflower, and my son, who is almost four, just started eating it. And by eating cauliflower, I mean a few small nibbles, so just keep plugging moms!! It WILL happen!! Tip: Take advantage of the hunger cues, and give them veggies!! It is the best time to introduce new foods and add to the daily veggie servings!!

While we were munching on veggies, I made the pancakes. These pancakes are ones that I have been giving my kiddos since age 2, so they are used to them. Again, it takes persistence and patience. Tip: You need to offer foods multiple times, and then, it takes multiple tastes from the child before they really have a true like or dislike for that food.

My pancake recipe originally came from a fitness magazine for which I have had fun through the years, adding more nutrition to them with flax, wheat germ, and peanut butter too!! As I plated the pancake, I also gave them fresh strawberries! I love the red against the brown from the cocoa, and we also add a sugar substitute, so in kid terms, it looks like it snowed on the pancakes!! Sigh of relief: I am human too, sometimes we need to add the “fun” stuff to get our children to give it a try!

Anytime Pancakes-by Jackie

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, (broken down in blender)
  • ¼ c flax meal (here I have never used the oil, I am sure it will change the consistency and cooking drastically)
  • ¼ – ½ c wheat germ (determined by consistency, see below)
  • ¼ – ½ c cocoa (can also be 3T of cinnamon)

Whip together with a fork or wire whisk and add water to reach pancake batter consistency; let stand till it thickens (as will happen with flax and wheat germ with most recipes). Add more water to reach pancake batter consistency again. Pour onto hot griddle (I use spray butter instead of oils or non-stick pan sprays to keep the pancakes from sticking to the pan). Let cook until edges appear cooked, flip, and cook until firm. I have also added a tablespoon of peanut butter to this, and it is devine; sort of a peanut butter cup taste!! When I make the version with cinnamon, I like to thinly slice apples then sauté them a bit to warm them up, layer them on the pancake and drizzle a bit of honey and cinnamon over the top!!

And one more pancake idea for those who would like to stick to the more traditional method. My favorite pancake mix at the moment is a whole wheat based one. So instead of making them plain and boring, why not try some new flare!! I have found that adding by a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree or peanut butter work out great!! Or maybe even some vanilla and a bit of honey could work too! Voila!! So there you have it! Two fun and healthy ways to start the day….or well, in my case, to end the day! Bon appétit!