Why you should NEVER serve children plain carbs

[Avoiding a picky eater]
One good rule to remember : NEVER serve plain pasta (or crackers/toast)!
As a speech pathologist, I work with picky eaters (no we don’t just do speech!).  It is very common to meet children whose sensory systems prefer plain carbs.  But if you never serve it to them, they will never get a taste for it. 


How do you serve your toddlers spag bol? 

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Sometimes we combine it and other times, to encourage more cutlery use (stabbing pasta, scooping sauce), I separate them.  Not to mention it’s less messy when you don’t have the time and energy for little hands scooping in.
BUT to avoid the plain pasta, I toss it through tahini or even olive or coconut oil.  Or I toss it through the bolognaise and then put it in a ‘stabbing cup’.

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The share plate

[Improving social skills]

In order to help my boys learn how to share, particularly when it comes to table manners, I sometimes provide a share plate.  The aim is to only take one piece at a time and to still take the time to enjoy and be thankful for our food.

To help them along, I don’t provide highly desired items on the plate as this only encourages grabbing!

Here is our apple with tahini…

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Baking and learning

We love this banana bread!  In fact, we bake it twice a week and use it for any meal (except for dinner..).  It is gluten, dairy, sugar and nut free and even better, it has no preservatives and uses healthy coconut flour and tahini.  The best thing that I would pick about this recipe, is that it is perfect for little ones to help in the preparation.

Being a Speech Pathologist, I will always take an opportunity to throw some language out there.  Here are some of the language-learning opportunities:

  • counting out 8 dates (and the other child can count them as they place them in the bowl)
  • talking about cup or spoon measures – ‘one over two means half a cup’ or ‘see TBL means tablespoon
  • elicit the cooking actions by asking ‘what do we do with this one?’.  You might expect terms such as scoop, measure, peel, grind, pour.
  • and the fun one… make sure you put the bicarb soda in first, then put the lemon juice (or we substitute a good dash of Apple Cider Vinegar when organic lemons aren’t in season) in – ‘FIZZ, BUBBLE….It’s a science experiment!!!’

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And here is the link to the recipe Wholefood Simply Banana Bread.  We substitute cinnamon for carob, for a change and also use Apple Cider Vinegar (with ‘mother’ – healthier) instead of lemon juice when organic lemons are out of season.

And then!!!  We add a banana and some almond milk to the leftover batter in our Thermomix and blend for a banana bread shake!

 

Let me know what you think!  ps – we use the 5 egg recipe (one of the reasons we have now got chooks!).

🙂 Heidi

Out with the processed foods, hello wholefoods – Chookie’s Cookies

[12 months +]  So who is interested in cooking and baking without refined sugars?  It just doesn’t make sense to use refined sugar with all the health issues it brings (more on that later) when you can make tasty food without it.  So, I am turning to Wholefood Simply on Facebook for delicious baking ideas that involve wholefoods and nothing processed or refined like sugar.  You can do it too, just check out the recipes and you will see it just requires replacing a few things in your pantry.  Things like desiccated coconut or coconut oil (extra good fats), tahini (great source of calcium) and dates (sweet yet nutritious).  Bianca was inspired to create these recipes after witnessing young children eating bags of lollies and chocolate bars and knew there was better treats!

Baking is not a common occurrence in our kitchen after I have made all of our staples and nor do I want the boys to expect ‘sweet stuff’ all the time.  But I’m sure as they start to discover the processed foods out there, I will be baking more 🙂

We buy tahini by the bucket as it is so good for salad dressings, quick addition on pasta for the boys, or even on toast.  And of course our weekly batch of hummous.  I used the tahini in these cookies so the boys could take them to daycare (nut-free).

tahini by the bucketload

tahini by the bucketload

Here is the link to Chookie’s Cookies on Wholefood Simply’s website, otherwise check out the recipe below.  Yum!

Chookies Cookies

150 grams (approximately 3/4 cup) roasted almond butter (for a nut free version use hulled tahini or sunflower seed butter)

150 grams cooled roast pumpkin or pumpkin puree (approximately 3/4 cup)

150 grams (1.5 cups) desiccated coconut (finely shredded dried coconut)

6 medjool dates, deseeded

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celcuis or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a tray with baking paper.

Place the ingredients into your food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until well combined and your dates are chopped. Using your hands shape the mixture into cookies and place on your oven tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool. Enjoy.

whole foods only thanks

whole foods only thanks