Variation on German Apple Pancakes

Haelyn said she wanted the pancakes in the bowls but without the apples. I had no idea if they would work without the apples but decided to give it a try.  

Here's what I did: 

3 eggs

1/2 c almond milk

1.5 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp coconut flour

dash of nutmeg

1/4 tsp baking soda

dash cinnamon

Mix all that together and split evenly between 4 ramekins. I then put some frozen blueberries in two of them just to see what would happen. 

Bake on 425 for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 375 and bake another 20 minutes. 

I can tell you right now as they still have 4 minutes left that the smell is incredible. 

Here's what they look like -- the ones without blueberries barely filled half the ramekin when I put them in the oven. 

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And we have a winner. Hope liked the blueberry ones. Haelyn liked the "plain" ones. 

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Girls Today

We went to the part tonight and they played on the swings and went down the big slide.  

They ate boiled eggs and bananas for breakfast. Lunch was almond butter, boiled eggs, mangos. Dinner was organic cheese slices and pickles while they watched Mary Poppins. Snack was yogurt (full fat, plain) with cinnamon and then some apple sauce. 

No artificial light after the sun went down. Used candles and those little LED submersible tea lights which they love. They're a dollar a pop on amazon and should last for about a month. 

I'm planning to make them those German Apple Pancakes in the morning but with blueberries instead of apples - Haelyn's request. 

Candlelight Alternative

I've been turning the artificial lights out at sunset lately and using Coleman candle lanterns to light the way for snack, bath and bedtime. It's helped the girls get more calm at night and go to bed quicker.  

I wasn't sure how these would work as a candle alternative (you know, like if you're unnerved letting little kids walk around with FIRE or something) but I got them and they're AWESOME! 

Just the right size and brightness and the girls love them. They love the candles, too. but these are fun because they're submersible and you can play with them in the bath!

$8.89

Kids at Restaurants Strategy

Getting kids to eat good food at home is a challenge. 

Getting them to eat good food at a restaurant is as easy as shaving your head with a plastic spoon. If you've chosen to eat out (and we do at least a couple of times a week), then you've probably already made the decision that your kids are going to get some things that aren't ideal or things they don't get on a regular basis -- but we try to not completely throw in the towel. 

So what are some things you, as parents, can do to get a smidgen of nutrition in them when you're eating out -- because, c'mon, eating out is going to happen.  

Here are some things we try to implement at a place where we pay to have our dishes done for us -- and let's face it, if you've already made a decision to go eat at a place that has free ice cream, you might as well let your kids eat the free ice cream because if you REALLY don't want them eating the ice cream -- choose a different place or eat at home. That being said: 

If bread or chips come complementary before the meal, tell the server to please hold them to the end or just not bring them at all. 

We find that it's easier to get good food in them, if the processed, highly refined foods aren't an option. Then if they choose to have a roll or some chips AFTER they've eaten their veggies or chicken or fruit, we'll give them that option as a special treat and sometimes they'll be full and won't even mention it.

If we give them full rein over the chips or rolls, that's all they'll eat and will fill up on non-human food. 

A couple of things you can do: 

Option 1 -- give them half of a roll or a handful of chips then cut it off. Set the expectation that once the portion of highly processed foods is gone -- it's gone. 

Option 2 -- postpone the roll or handful of chips until the end of the meal and let them make the choice of whether to eat it or not. They'll probably choose to eat it, but at least they've eaten their broccoli first.  

What really irks me is paying $13.99 for a grilled chicken breast and veggies then have my girls fill up on Texas toast or corn bread (which costs about $0.04) and not eat any food. 

I'll always ask the server what the food I order for them is cooked in -- definitely prefer butter over margarine. I also make ketchup for my ketchup-lover and take with us in a small mason jar.

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This ketchup is tomato paste, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, ground mustard, ground garlic, allspice, and a little sea salt. She loves it. No sugar, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup.

Order water to drink.  

We order our meat at home from a grass-fed ranch and eat that the majority of the time, but if we're out, it's my opinion that the safer long-term strategy is eating grilled chicken or a quality cut of beef (like from a steak house and NOT a place like Denny's) rather than sugars, grains or processed vegetable oils (like margarine or canola oil). For more information on the long-term dangers of grains and sugars read Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD or Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD.

Oh -- and chicken strips and chicken nuggets do NOT count as a good choice...sorry. Try to point to a chicken nugget on an actual chicken -- yeah -- gross. 

Look for steamed veggie options like broccoli or carrots. If your kids like raw carrots, ask your server if there are raw carrots in the back. My thought on that is if the restaurant you're eating at doesn't have raw veggies in the kitchen it may not be the best restaurant choice for your family.  I've found that many Mexican food restaurants will slice up squash or zucchini for me that I can dip in the salsa. Or I'll just eat the salsa like soup -- it's called Gazpacho that way. 

Fruit is available in most restaurants -- always a good option. If you're at a hamburger place, having a patty with veggies on the side and no bun is a great meal. I will say that my girls will not eat a hamburger patty from anywhere other than a quality hamburger place -- like a ma and pop kind of place that has high quality beef and NOT McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, or Whataburger. 

Salad bar places like Jason's Deli and McAlister's are always good and usually have stuff my girls will eat like olives, cheese, fruit, boiled eggs and nuts.  

Another philosophy of ours is to try and limit the "unhealthy" food to one thing per outing -- emphasis on TRY. Like if we're at Jason's and we know they're going to get ice cream before we leave, we try to limit their consumption of crackers, muffins, bread, etc... Another example is at Mexican food places -- you can get crazy with chips, then tortillas, then enchiladas, then sopapillas, and on and on and on. 

Our kids eat at home 85-90% of the time. That's a good number for us. How we try and handle the remaining 10-15%, which is comprised of school parties, school snacks, eating out, birthday parties, and other random food that strangers give them (JOKES) is to mitigate the "damage".  

In other words, they're going to get treats. They're going trick or treating. They're having cake at their birthday. But all of those things fall in the 10-15% and anything we can do outside of the home to make them more healthy -- we're going to try and do.  

If you have questions, like "well what about when you're out with a big group" then just email me via the contact page and we can chat.

When, How Much or What?

It was another rainy day for us so we were stuck inside again. Eating was one of the main activities of the day -- other than Skyping with mommy and then with Uncle Deedoo. 

Towards the end of the day, I got to thinking about when, how much and what the girls had eaten. Here's a list:

  • 8:30 AM -- coconut flour/egg pancakes with raspberry reduction // strawberries // 2 boiled eggs each
  • Noonish -- split a bag of frozen mangos
  • 6ish -- leftover grass fed, beef hot dogs // 72% dark chocolate
  • 8ish -- apple sauce // almond milk and two pickles each

It can be easy to get caught up in making sure your kids eat breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, dinner, and a snack.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Kids' healthy little, clean-slate bodies are really in tune with hunger and cravings -- for instance, if they want something salty they'll eat a pickle (if that's an option -- they'll also eat potato chips if there's not a healthy, salty option around). 

I emphasize 'healthy' because if kids are not healthy (just like adults), their food reward systems will be all jacked and they'll be hungry every 30 seconds. 

Here's how I look at how my girls eat: 

today they had grass-fed beef, fruit, eggs, fermented veggies, nuts, coconut, chocolate and a tiny bit of sugar (in the small square of super, dark chocolate).  

That's a pretty good cumulative day of nutrition in my opinion. And I wouldn't have cared if they had eaten most of that during the middle of the day and not eaten much for breakfast or dinner -- or any combination, just as long as they got good food...and didn't get non-human food.

They'll eat when they're hungry and drink when they're thirsty. I just try to have healthy options available when they do -- and try to get as much good fat in them as I can so they don't burn up easily digested carbs and have to eat all the time. Fat will keep them sated.  

Well what about school lunches? Yeah -- that's a whole different topic and one that will require a whole separate article. This is just a quick thought about getting your head out of the paradigm that kids have to eat something three times a day and all times in between and if they don't eat everything that's put in front of them at a standard "meal" time they get punished.  

Problems can arise from this rule of thought if they don't eat at lunch then when they do get hungry an hour later, the only thing available is a pop tart. 

My one sentence version of the school lunch thought is -- send human foods to school with them since 99% of school lunch food in America is not human food. 

Bottom line -- stop worrying about when and how much your kids are eating and start worrying more about WHAT your kids are eating. And the 'what' should be human food for human kids.  

 

Foods Today

Raining today -- here's what they've eaten so far -- not necessarily b/c of the rain, that was just an FYI. 

  • boiled eggs
  • bananas with cinnamon and honey
  • a whole watermelon (small one) 
  • raw cheese
  • strawberries
  • grass fed beef hot dogs from Slanker Grass Fed Meats
  • raw Organic Valley cheddar cheese
  • full-fat, plain yogurt with cinnamon
  • frozen yogurt (treat for filling up their sticker charts) 

Breakfast

What did the girls want for breakfast this morning?

Grass fed beef hot dogs we made last night...perfect. It's food. It doesn't matter that "hot dog" is not a "breakfast" food. It's food. They're hungry. Eat.  

Brak the paradigm! Eat food when you're hungry!

 

They had frozen mangos and steamed broccoli for lunch. We went on a barefoot walk around the neighborhood right after lunch. Haelyn also had a sliced banana with cinnamon and they split an entire pound or strawberries. I had no idea they were eating them. Just came in with the empty container and had put all the stems in a bowl. ha.  

Sunday Stuff

I made the girls pumpkin pancakes this morning. One of them ate several, the other ate none. Oh well... I had the ingredients and needed to use them anyway.  

I found another cool recipe for German apple pancakes which I'm going to try later this week. I need some ramekins thogh.

Last night the girls had eggs, broccoli and strawberries for dinner. 

They just sort of snacked during the day with no official "lunch" which is fine with me. I let them eat when they're hungry and don't force them to eat anything.

They also got some 72% dark chocolate after dinner last night.

We had grass fed beef hot dogs for dinner. Boiled them for 5 minutes on stove then put them in George Foreman for about 4 minutes. They had grilled cheese sandwich and frozen mangos at lunch. 

Pancakes

These pancakes are made up of buckwheat flour(a seed), coconut flour, flax seeds, egg, banana, baking powder, water and cinnamon.

We put local honey on top of them. Hope ate most of them. Haelyn -- not so much -- so I made her some oatmeal with butter, flax, heavy cream, cinnamon and water. 

Oh and yeah, she got to sit on TOP of the table -- which produces this reaction from me: 

 

"Chocolate" raisins and almonds

That's what my girls call them -- although little do they know they are

unsweetened carob raisins and almonds

hahahaha!! 

Yeah -- it's not like it's not a sweet treat, but at least it doesn't have just straight up sugar and other gross additives in it.  

We get ours at natural grocers, whole foods or central market -- whichever is closer.  

They also eat 72% dark chocolate which has sugar in it, but it's definitely not as sweet as milk or even a lower percentage of dark chocolate. The 100% dark tastes like heaven to me because my taste buds have adapted and there's NO sugar in it. Just straight up chocolate...mmmmmmmm.