I read the books about French babies and how they eat everything, and I assumed that mine would be an enthusiastic omnivore – how could he not be?! And in the beginning, he was – he ate his purees, grains and yogurts happily, lapping up anything I put in front of him and smacking his lips with great delight. Around the time we began to introduce textures, though, something went horribly awry.
The kid doesn’t eat.
Well, he doesn’t eat much, I should say. He’ll eat oatmeal, and applesauce, and yogurt, and peanut butter toast, and all the crackers. He likes cookies, and will eat just about anything I blend into a mush, except for purple things. He likes watermelon in slices, but won’t eat a sliced strawberry. Blueberries and grapes are untouchable, potatoes and pasta an insult. He was handed a hot dog at a birthday party and abhorred it. He tasted a bite of hummus off a cracker at Costco and burst into tears.
Needless to say, he is not an adventurous eater, though he did taste a snow pea the other day and took two bites before throwing it on the ground, which I think was progress. One day he might eat a green bean! One can hope. I keep handing him things, and putting food in front of him, which is about the best I can do, right? I don’t know.
His daycare requires us to send him meals, and I am told that he eats brilliantly when he’s there, so I send him nutrient-dense soups and things to make up for what he doesn’t eat at home. For breakfast, I send him muffins.
He gets all kinds – I made some pink ones for him last week that used up a pound of strawberries and the rest of my rolled oats. He’s had peach muffins, and subtly cheesy corn muffins, and gluten-free coconut flour muffins for something a little different; he likes a meal he can cart around, and a handful of carbs meets his almost all of his needs. My peanut butter-banana-chocolate muffins though, those are his favourite. And even though they aren’t a seasonal thing – I make them whenever the bananas at the little natural foods store on the corner are brown and sad-looking (and cheap).
I finally got a photo of him eating one today (after posting on Facebook that I figured it would be impossible). So here’s the recipe. I like to think these are reasonably healthy.
Any of the weird ingredients can be subbed for stuff you have; I bought a lifetime supply of coconut sugar when Nick was diagnosed with diabetes because it’s a low-GI sweetener, even though it later turned out that all sugar acts like refined white sugar in the blood for a diabetic no matter how pure my intentions. You can use brown sugar. Any other oil will work fine in place of the grapeseed. You can omit the ground flax if you don’t have it, but I find that by using entirely whole wheat flour in these, the recipe benefits from the bit of leavening the flax provides; if don’t have flax and like a lighter muffin, use half whole-wheat and half white all-purpose flour.
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 or 3 ripe – brown – bananas (if you have smaller bananas, use 3; if you only have those giant monster ones that are like a foot long, two will suffice), mashed
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, whatever you prefer)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a muffin tin, or fill the tin with 12 paper liners. I am cheap, so I just grease.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
In another larger bowl, mix bananas, peanut butter, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, egg, and oil until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and flaxseed – mix well.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Spoon into your prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one of the middle ones comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for five minutes before turning the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool. If you are going to freeze these for daycare, let them cool all the way before putting them into a large freezer bag. If you like bananas and are just going to eat these yourself, go nuts.
Here are the B-sides – a handful of this morning’s attempts to catch the toddler in action.