Gluten-Free & Vegan Pancakes

by Maggie on July 26, 2011

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I am excited to share with you (once again) my friend Kim from the website Your Green Baby.

Today Kim is sharing three amazing things with us:

1.  How to make healthy and whole foods more fun for kids.

2.  Her vegan and gluten-free pancake recipe (it’s become a hit at our house!)

3.  Her recent book Raising Happy Healthy Babies.  It’s an amazing resource for Mommas-to-be and Mommas!

Make sure you follow Kim on Twitter where you’ll find her tweeting great nutrition tips all day long!

Five Fun Ways with Food

One of the biggest issues parents seek advice for is enticing their children to eat. First and foremost, keep in mind your child knows when they are hungry and when they are not, and they have days, just like we adults do, when they eat lots and other days when they don’t eat so much.

Food often becomes a battle between parents and children and I challenge parents to not let that happen – it only creates a power struggle which is no fun for anyone.

Food should be something which is enjoyable and fun, and from my perspective, support growth and development, as well as promote health and well being in our children.

So how do you make the change – easy, make a deal with yourself to not say anything. Serve the food you have prepared, sit down to dinner and enjoy it. Make conversation, ask about your child’s day, eat your dinner, but don’t say anything about the food.

Let your child decide what to eat and how much to eat. I know, it won’t be easy, but just try it, see what happens…

You can make this process a little easier and much more enjoyable by having fun with your meals as well. Here are five ways to make food fun for you and your family:

Silly Faces and Funny Names

Make silly faces out of your child’s meal, spell their name with spaghetti noodles, come up with funny names for food —- do whatever it takes to make the meal fun and take the emphasis off of eating.

Use Wooden Skewers

These are not just for barbecuing; why not use them to serve dinner any night. You can load up a skewer with your child’s favourite raw veggies, serve with some dip and voila – lots of fun. Serve up fruit kabobs for an afternoon snack or load up a skewer with bite sized chunks of steamed veggies and serve alongside the main dish. It is simple, but effective and the kids will love it!

Change up Meal Time

Does your child love pancakes? Why not serve up pancakes for dinner; served with a fruit kabob I bet it would go over very well. If sandwiches are a hit with your child – serve it up for dinner with a bowl of soup…perfect match. Think outside the box and take a risk, it just might pay off.

Serve Yourself Night

Instead of always plating your children’s meals; set up a serve yourself night. Put all the food on the table and let everyone decide what they will put on their plate. You will be surprised to see what they choose to eat when they have the control. It is fun for your child to be in control and making the decision about what to eat.

Don’t Eat at the Table

Yes eating together at the table is important; yes it has many, many benefits for both you and your children, but once in a while switch it up. Forget the dinner table and set up a picnic – outside in the summer or in the family room in the winter. As a kid I remember my parents having taco night once a week – they would put my brother and I to bed and then set it up on a blanket in the family room and enjoy a quiet evening together. As my brother and I got older they began to include us in taco night – I can’t tell you how much we looked forward to taco night, the four of us in the family room on the floor making our own tacos, eating them while watching a movie – it was a blast.

Food should not be a challenge, it should be fun. If you are struggling with your children over food, take a step back, try something new and let your child lead. It won’t be easy, but it can be fun if you make it fun!

What have you done to make food fun for your children?

Here’s a recipe that is a perfect fit for “breakfast for dinner”, enjoy!

Quinoa Banana Cinnamon Pancakes

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed well
2/3 cup short grain brown rice or millet
2  tbsp lemon juice

1 cup almond, rice or hemp milk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp brown rice flour
1 medium banana
1 tsp cinnamon

Place the grains in water in separate bowls. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to each bowl.  Let grains soak overnight.

Next morning rinse the grains in colander and place in blender. Preheat skillet.

Combine milk of choice with apple cider vinegar, add to blender and blend until smooth. With blender running add olive oil, sea salt, baking soda, brown rice flour, banana and cinnamon. Blend until well combined.

Using a ladle, add batter to skillet, when batter bubbles on top, flip pancake and cook other side.

Leftover pancakes can be stored in the fridge or frozen individually. For a quick breakfast remove from fridge or freezer and pop them in the toaster.

*I have also made these pancakes using pureed pumpkin instead of a banana, absolutely delicious.

*Maggie also made them with sweet potato puree.  Yum!

 


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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie July 26, 2011 at 8:18 pm

My baby is only 11 months old. Right now he loves to eat! So much so that I’m having trouble keeping up with options. He loves making a mess and trying to feed me.

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Amanda h July 27, 2011 at 12:03 am

I get them involved. My 5 year old, likes to experiement now with different ingredients. The blender has become an exciting toy.

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Hallie @ Daily Bites July 27, 2011 at 6:03 am

My sister’s new baby is only 3 months old, but I’m already looking forward to cooking and baking with him once he’s older! I think that involving kids in the cooking processing and teaching them to engage/interact with their food is super helpful in raising healthy little ones.

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Heather Brandt July 27, 2011 at 7:28 am

We are still learning how to make food time fun! It does help when we let our son have a say inwhich veggies he eats and he is more likely to eat them. He also loves helping us with our Farmer’s Market veggies and seeing all the different veggies. He loves having his lunch in his bento boxes/lap top lunch boxes because it somehow is more exciting to him than a single plate. Meat is harder to make fun for him these days but we’re still trying :)

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Kristin July 27, 2011 at 9:17 am

I give things names, like Grilled Chicken Pasta salad with pesto I call Shrek Pasta, my kids love it. I make raw energy balls that don’t have to be cooked and look like cookie dough which every kid loves to eat….so when my kids ask if they can eat the dough I suggest we not even bake the “cookies” and they can just eat the “dough” when really that was my plan all along:)

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Lisa G July 27, 2011 at 10:33 am

I love to cut up all types of food (sandwiches, fruit, veggies, etc) in fun shapes

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Sarah July 27, 2011 at 11:01 am

My daughter is 19 months old, and loves to help me in the kitchen. From the time she was about 3 months old, I had her in a sling “helping” me bake and cook. I’d count measurements with her and talk about the ingredients. Sure, it was way over head but it was really about making it a habit for me. And now, we do the same minus the sling. We do our shopping at the Farmer’s market as a family and get excited about our purchases so that she will, too. I’m really striving to have my daughter eat well but also appreciate and respect food, and understand where it comes from. I think in including kids in the entire process can excite them and when not, skewers, fun little dishes, and picnics or tea parties at their little tables help. Thanks ladies!

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Sarah Bashaw July 27, 2011 at 11:15 am

I don’t have kids of my own yet, but we are getting closer to that day. I look forward to raising healthy kids and I believe the sooner you start the better. I appreciate the resources that are being made available to make this a tangible goal and not a pie in the sky! I would love to have this book!

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KellyBelly July 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Some nights I’ll make all the food bite size so the kids can try using chop sticks.
If a dish is getting lots of “growns and icky” from my boys, I’ll get out my secret stash of “healthier” chips or crackers to crumble over the top or to use them to scoop up the dish.

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Angie July 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Having kids pick their own food right from the garden always helps! This way they can actually eat things that they “find” on/in the ground.

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Jeanne July 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm

My grandson, 3 yrs. old, is not enjoying eating veggies. So when I was at their house I made him green smoothies. Frozen banana’s, strawberries and spinach with a little water — cherry, banana’s and kale — cucumber, pears and collard greens — frozen banana’s, carob powder, coconut milk and a little honey or a couple soaked dates. He loves them. And now asks for them. Jeanne at jeanneshomecooking.com

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Cindy July 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I make food fun for the preschoolers I teach by having them wear personalized aprons when we bake and everyone gets to add an ingredient and stir (while signing a song I made up). Then the best part, of course, is we always eat what we bake for snack.

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Jayn July 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

My baby boy is 5 months old and getting ready to start solids. This book would be awesome to have for him! Thanks!!!

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Lynda Clark July 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm

When raising my children and now my grandkids, I find that making the whole eating experience a special and fun time really helps, such as having the kids help in the preparation and also by making the food fun and attractive. One of my favorite healthy fun foods was a Raggedy Ann salad that I got from an old Betty Crocker cookbook back in the 70′s, where you take a pear half and arrange other veggies and fruits to make it look like a Raggedy Ann doll. I have also made cute shapes with pancakes and mice from other veggies and the kids love to eat them and even forget that they are eating “healthy” food.
lyndaclark81(at)yahoo(dot)com

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saniel July 27, 2011 at 6:44 pm

I put food in different types of dishes. Try rice pudding in a shot glass.

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Shamima July 29, 2011 at 11:41 am

My son is almost 9 months and loves to eat. Currently, we play some background music when feeding him and we are starting to let him explore a lot more with food – ie. feeling the texture between his fingers – it’s a lot more messy but he seems to be enjoying it. I think when he is older I would love to incorporate the ideas listed in this blog and also have theme nights.

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Bonnie Sue July 31, 2011 at 6:40 pm

I’m a first time momma and my baby girl is 10 months old. There are days where she will eat a lot and others she won’t touch food. I try to be laid back about it and just be sure to continue to offer her something at every meal. It’s been a fun and messy time :)

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Jana August 1, 2011 at 8:17 pm

Your pancake recipe looks delicious! Going to try it this weekend. Thanks for the great blog.

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Sarah Stogryn August 1, 2011 at 9:04 pm

My little guy will be starting solids this winter, so we’re stocking up the freezer now. In our house we jokingly say “points for presentation!!” whenever food is artfully arranged. Since we eat with our eyes first, I’ll try to keep that in mind when introducing new food!

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Sarah August 2, 2011 at 7:11 am

My daughter is just about 9 months we make food fun by sampling together as we make food or just eating straight from our garden (green beans are a hit!) I love reading your tips on twitter n recipes from your blog too!

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Brandy August 2, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I like to have my kids participate in the prep work of the meal. When they participate they are eager to eat it because they helped make it. :)

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Becca August 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

I am making all of my baby’s food so far and I am making it fun by mixing different flavors and introducing spices, like cinnamon in apples, and herbs, like cilantro in avocado.

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Meaghan August 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

When my daughter went through a difficult age (18month-ish) and didn’t want to eat, we usually broke out the blender and made a smoothie. She was an avid breastfeeder and has always preferred to drink her calories. Nowadays, she’s involved in helping me shop and plan meals, so she’s a pretty good eater. And when all else fails, we add dip! Guacamole, hummus and ketchup solve everything.

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Erin August 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm

My son is 15 months old and prefers to eat what we are eating! I love it. So we Always share! Helps mama not eat so much and I only have to make 1 meal for everyone! ( most of the time!)

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Marie August 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I love to get kids involved with all aspects of their food and to try and make it fun. We get excited to plan the garden and then all pitch in to plant and maintain. We’ve done a few gardens just for them, like a “pizza garden” with all different veggies for fun pizzas. We’ve also done an “alphabet garden”and made it fun to find veggies for each letter (some harder than others). This makes for great teachable moments about food, gardening, nature etc. These activities always make meal planning fun! I believe when they are allowed to be a part of the food/meal, they are more open to trying new things and actually eating the meal.

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Beth August 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I was just thinking about doing quinoa pancakes! These look so delicious, and I love the idea of using millet as well. Talk about a healthy, protein-filled treat!

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Meaghan August 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm

What’s happening with this? Did the winners already get announced? I’m sitting here with my fingers crossed!! :)

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Mélanie February 25, 2013 at 7:36 am

These pancakes are delicious! I’m finishing my third one right now :) The kiddos love them too.

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