When we started Maggie on non-baby food she couldn't get enough. Everything we gave her she'd shovel into her mouth. Grilled cheese. Waffles. Spinach ravioli. Macaroni and cheese. Chicken nuggets. You name it, she ate it — and fruits and veggies were her favorite.
Now, at 14-months-old, not so much. She would still be considered a good eater, but more often than not, half her meal ends up on the floor. At first we thought it was a game as she'd laugh when she saw us picking up the food off the floor and tossing it in the garbage. But then we realized she will pick out the pasta and toss the broccoli or chicken. Or she'll eat the blueberries but push away the cantaloupe.
So my husband, Jason, and I made a pact to try at least one new recipe each week that features healthy ingredients in a kid-friendly way. Last night, we made Maggie Lily Pad Pancakes from "The Toddler Cafe," by Jennifer Carden ($14.95; Chronicle Books) and it was a success.
These pancakes are great for lunch or dinner as they sneak in peas — and the bright green color also adds a fun element — for even the pickiest eaters. The pancakes are moist but sturdy enough for toddler fingers to hold. One tip: If your child really dislikes peas, make sure you add them all to the blender so they all get pureed in the first step. To make it a heartier meal, add in cooked bay shrimp, diced chicken or fresh corn — something we will try next time. Maggie couldn't eat enough of them! This recipe will be making it's way into our weekly repertoire.
Here's the recipe to try with your kids. Let me know what they think and be sure to check back next Wednesday for another healthy recipe.
Lily Pad Pancakes
(makes 15 silver dollar-sized pancakes)
-8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) frozen peas, thawed
-2 tablespoons water
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/8 teaspoon baking powder
-Vegetable oil, as needed
-Butter or plain yogurt for serving
1. Set aside 1/3 cup of the peas.
2. Add the remaining peas to a blender with the water and egg; puree until smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder and gradually mix with a fork or whisk. Stir in the reserved 1/3 cup peas; let the batter rest for 10 minutes while you clean up.
4. Place about 2 tablespoons of oil in a saute pan, warm over medium heat until simmering, and drop 1 tablespoon of batter into the pan. Gently cook for about 3 minutes, until you see bubbles forming around the edges.
5. Flip and cook on the second side until very lightly browned. Continue until all the batter is gone. Serve warm with butter or plain yogurt.