I've decided to do a segment on toddler food over the next month or so. I can't say how often I'll post or exactly what my results will be, but I'm going to really try to schedule in some special toddler cooking time, maybe with a little help from the toddler herself :). You see, I'm not really a deadline person. I have trouble keeping appointments, sending in paperwork on time, or doing virtually anything with a deadline when I'm supposed to. Today, I used Google Calendar for the first time to organize my days and deadline-riddled thoughts. Today, I heaved a huge sigh of relief after looking over this calendar and seeing every single deadline, goal, and commitment organized and in its place. I'm going to have to stick with this (that's my other problem!). Call it adult ADHD or just years of pissing off my brain cells, but I refuse to try any medications or drugs. If you haven't noticed already, I for the most don't use prepared foods (baking mix, cookie dough, caramel, etc.) when it comes to my baking. Just as I don't use these processed ingredients in my baking, I don't use synthetic drugs when it comes to my actual life. Sure, I give out drugs week after week as a stuent nurse in training. But until I have heart failure or kidney disease, I'm laying off the little colored pills.
As any of you with toddlers know, they are picky eaters. Not only do they get into serious food jags, they confuse everyone with their love of a certain food - green beans! carrots! spinach! - only to turn their head in disgust to the same food a day later. Sometimes it feels so frustrating that the thought of preparing another wasted batch of mashed cauliflower makes you want to scream. When these moments happen, I find its best to get out a package of tried and true whole wheat cheddar cheese sandwich crackers, go into another room (leaving toddler with daddy or nana), and try again another day. Eventually, all this hard work pays off in little ways sprinkled here and there. One week they're eating green beans and asking for more, the next they're choosing to try that whole wheat sandwich rather than feeding it to Gizmo the dog, and before you know it they may even begin venturing into adult food land. At least that's how I picture it in my mind, which is why I'm getting started on this toddler food segment. I'm guilty of falling into the trap of giving in, and that is NOT where I want to be. So, in order to stop all this madness, I'm going to incorporate it into my blog, starting with dessert.
My daughter has become accustomed to a certain amount of sweets. A bite here, a cookie there, a taste of candy here; it's all a part of blogging. It's not exactly unhealthy, but it's definitly not a habit I want to see her get into. Try explaining moderation to a three year old. On the days when she comes home and looks longingly for a cookie to try, I'm prepared with some of these. They are relievingly healthy and toddler friendly peanut butter cheerio bars. Finally, a dessert other than fruit that I can actually feel good about feeding her. Since her daycare is peanut-butter free, these have become her after-school snack.
Peanut Butter and Honey Cheerio Bars
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups Cheerios
In a medium pot over medium heat stir together the brown sugar and honey. Bring to a low boil. Stir in the peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Remove from the heat and add the Cheerios. Stir to coat. Scoop into a 9x13 baking dish and pat evenly to fill. Let cool and cut carefully into bars.
Variation: These would be great with chocolate chips or nuts. Also you could use a different cereal like crisped rice. Just remember that they won't be as healthy.