Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cookies for lunch? Sure! Why not?

My oldest daughter, Riley, is 6 and started attending a full day of first grade in September.  Everyday, I pack a lunch box full of healthy choices and everyday, it comes back exactly the way it looked that morning, unopened and untouched.  I can't really call Riley a picky eater, she is what I call my non-eater. Although she loves fruit and eats tons of it, I worry about what her diet is lacking.  

I decided almost immediately after Riley was born that I would NEVER be a "short order cook."  I make healthy, well balanced meals so my rule is "eat what I make or don't eat."  Gosh that sounds harsh, but imagine the craziness that would ensue as I attempt to make 3 different dinners in order to please 3 different children.  There's not enough time in the day! I try to offer SOMETHING at each meal that I know will be widely accepted and possible even eaten.  I have had numerous discussions with our pediatrician about WHAT I can do to get her to eat, but she insists I am doing everything right by offering healthy options and assures me that, "children are like cougars, they need one good meal a week."  Riley is happy, healthy, energetic and growing like a weed!  I know this is all that matters yet I still can't stifle my concerns.

I find myself referring to nutrition websites and reading the recommended servings in each of the five categories of the food pyramid.  Kids need protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals to give them energy and BRAIN POWER!  A child can not survive on cheez-its and a Stonyfield Farms yogurt smoothie alone,  right?

When she was home with me, I was a little more comfortable with her picky, non-eating habits.  If she didn't eat breakfast I knew I could give her a filling morning snack and if her lunch was untouched, her afternoon snack would be something more than an apple with cinnamon.  Children are cranky enough during the late afternoon hours, no need to throw hypoglycemic shock into the mix.  Now, she catches the bus at 8:40am and doesn't return until almost 4:00 in the afternoon.  That long day requires more substance than those crackers and yogurt can give you!

Aside from those highly coveted Cheez-its, I find myself not including any cookies and/or treats in her lunch box because I don't want that to be all she eats for lunch.  This conundrum inspired me to experiment with cookie recipes that would include 3 out of the 5 food groups and only use natural sweeteners resulting in a healthy, filling "cookie."  The girls loved this recipe! Each cookie offers fruit, whole grains and healthy olive oil.  Success!!!

Healthy, Whole Grain Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Dry ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oats (I used Bob's Red Mill which offers 7 grams of protein per each 1/2 cup serving)
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 T cinnamon 
  • 1/2 t nutmeg 

  • Wet ingredients
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I used unsweetened with cinnamon)
  • 1 T molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2/3 cup raisins 
    1. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together.
    2. In a medium bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together. 
    3. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Stir to combine.
    4. Add in the raisins.
    5. Preheat the oven to 335 degrees.
    6. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.
    7. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden on the bottom of the cookie.
    Makes about 25 cookies

    No comments:

    Post a Comment