Protein Pancakes

Are you looking for something simple, healthy, and quick to make for breakfast? My daughter makes these amazing protein pancakes. She loves to bake and thankfully is health conscious like her Mommy. She comes up with delicious, satisfying, healthy recipes that the whole family loves and doesn’t have to feel guilty about eating. This is just one of the many we enjoy. I plan to have her write down more as she makes them so we can share them with you all! I hope you enjoy!

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Protein Pancakes (gf)

Simple banana, peanut butter, protein pancakes that are gluten free! They are easy to make and delicious with fruits, chocolate chips, maple syrup, or just plain!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Servings: 16

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of oats or gluten free flour
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of protein powder
  • 1 large1 banana
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.
  • Next, heat the stove and spray a pan with cooking spray or coat with butter.
  • Pour around 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan, wait for the batter to bubble a bit, and flip.
  • Top with anything you want (fruit, chocolate chips, maple syrup, etc.) and enjoy!

This is by far our most used appliance! We make smoothies every morning usually with the blender cups. The food processor is great for all the baking my daughter likes to do! We’ve used it daily for over a year and it hasn’t missed a beat! I highly recommend it if you’re in the market for a new blender or food processor.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

This recipe is probably our family’s favorite. Believe it or not, my picky eater even loves it. You wouldn’t think of brussel sprouts as being a vegetable he would eat, but he eats them right up without complaint. I think it’s because they get nice and almost sweet when you roast them with the apples and bacon.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

Super easy, delicious roasted brussel sprouts
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brussel Sprouts, Healthy Meal
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet (this is what I use, but could also use a cookie sheet)

Ingredients

  • 1 package Bacon (Cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 4 Cups Brussel Sprouts (Cut them in half)
  • 4 Medium Cut up Apples (I've used all kinds of apples so whichever you prefer, I tend to use Gala most often)
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I've also used flavored oils, I like tangerine flavor for this)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Layer the bottom of your skillet or cookie sheet with bacon
  • Cook for 15 minutes
  • Remove bacon from oven and add the brussel sprouts, toss them with the bacon and drizzel with a little olive oil and salt and pepper
  • Place back in oven for another 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and add the apples
  • Toss and drizzle with the remainder of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Place back in oven for an additional 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and serve deliciously, healthy, yummy meal

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Picky Eater Protocol

Picky Eater Protocol

As a Family Health Coach, the number one question that I get is… what do I do about my picky eater? This is such a tough area.  All kids are different and there’s simply no magic formula. 

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Why is My Kid So Picky?

This is the million-dollar question.  We can speculate as to why they’ve become so particular, but truth is it could be for many different reasons. One reason suggested, is that kids like to be in control of something and many of them know they can control what they eat, especially if they’ve been doing this from the get-go.  I’m guilty of this.  My little man had tummy troubles from the beginning of time, so it began as early as breastfeeding, and me worrying that what I was eating was affecting him.

There are also some kids with real sensory issues. They can’t handle the texture, the color, or the smell of some foods, typically this is a more serious “picky eater” problem and should be discussed with your pediatrician who can then refer you to a specialist.

My biggest tip to you is relax and do your best to meet their nutritional needs. Ask yourself are they staying mostly healthy? Are they growing well? Do they seem to have enough energy to get through the day and be active? If you answered “yes” to these questions, chances are they’re getting what they need.

The Non-Meat Eaters

What do you do when your child won’t eat meat? Kids need a lot of protein for their growing bodies, in fact, they need about 1 gram per pound of body weight according to Dr. Sears. So, when they won’t eat meat, naturally, most of us become concerned.

Protein

My son’s is biggest issue is with meat, and for good reason, he simply feels bad for eating the animals.  What’s a mom to do about that? In this situation, I’ve let him stand his ground, and haven’t forced him to eat meat, but have tried to make sure that he chooses a healthy protein to replace it.  He LOVES peanut butter.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the one staple in his diet that he’s eaten since he was little. We always choose a whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and jelly with limited amounts of sugar and NO HFCS! He will also eat a variety of beans, but his favorite are Mexican refried beans and baked beans, on the rare occasion black beans. 

Protein is essential for everyone.  Protein provides our bodies with the 9 essential amino acids that our body cannot make. Animal based products naturally contain these 9 amino acids, but without eating animal products it’s important to make sure we are getting complete proteins from other sources in our diet. Not long ago, it was thought that we had to eat a certain combination of plant based protein at the same meal to provide our bodies the complete protein it needs. However, research has since debunked this notion. (YAY! This now gives us moms one less thing to stress about!)

The following is a list of “kid friendly” protein sources  

  1. Peas
  2. Quinoa (whole grains)
  3. Wild Rice
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Nuts
  6. Beans
  7. Chia Seeds (bake into muffins or blend into a smoothie)
  8. Potatoes
  9. Broccoli
  10. Asparagus
  11. Dairy (yogurt, cheese, milk)
  12. Spinach (blend into a fruity smoothie)

The Carb Lovers

My son also could eat bread, crackers, and cereal all day, every day! We literally can go through a box of cereal in 2 days. It’s amazing.  Carbs are also an essential part of everyone’s diet, but it’s important that they eat the right carbs (complex) for a balanced diet and energy regulation.  Sugar is a simple carb, and is in everything, read labels, and do your best to limit the sugar in foods you buy.

Kid’s bodies are being trained at a young age how to burn calories.  If they’re constantly using carbs as energy, their bodies will be more likely to use them for energy verses fat, which in adulthood could make staying trim more difficult.  They likely could care less about this information, but as a parent we have the responsibility to give them a healthy start for a healthy life. Provide them food containing protein, carbs, and fats.

Fat is Necessary

Most picky eaters that I’ve encountered, won’t touch fish.  It tends to have a strong taste and different texture that most picky kids have trouble trusting. However, cold water fish contains healthy fats, essential for brain development, hormone production, cells, and immune system, Omega 3 EPA and DHA. These are vital for the growing child.

We can also get Omega 3s from seeds like flax and chia, and oils, however, these are ALA which the body must convert into EPA and DHA. This only happens in very small amounts, but with a picky child, I know, we have to take what we can get.  I choose a multivitamin for my kids that contains DHA and EPA Omega 3s so that I know they’re more likely to get what they need.

Monounsaturated fats are also important. They have been shown to reduce the risk of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease.  Research has shown that they help decrease inflammation, and may even help you maintain a healthy weight. These fats can be found in foods such as olives, nuts, seeds, avocados, and eggs.

Protocol Suggestions for Your Picky Eater

I am a Health Coach here to educate and share ideas, however, picky eating is a very delicate subject that so many of us moms struggle with every day. We’ve had our struggles and challenges, but I’ve found a few tricks that work for my son, and first and foremost is… Patience is key!

No two kids are the same. I can vow to this as well. I have an 11-year-old daughter who is an adventurous eater, she’s never afraid to try anything. Same parents, same up bringing (both of my kids were breastfed for 13+ months), no explanation to why they are complete opposites.  I’ve just learned to go with the flow and focus on the positive and not the negative.  He’s healthy, he’s growing well, and has the right amount of energy!

Key Take-A ways and Suggestions

  • Sit down, ask your child what they like to eat, make a list, post it on the fridge as a reminder.
  •  Don’t stress. Keep it simple and positive.
  • Remember, some kids are very sensitive to smells and textures, having sensory issues with food is a real thing.
  • Focus on protein needs for kids: 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, (a 30 pound child needs approximately 30 grams of protein per day.) Protein is the building blocks of their growing muscles and bones, they can get plenty from vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Add whip cream to fruit
  • Dip veggies in home made ranch
  • Peanut butter or other nut butters for protein
  • Make eating fun, family time, set good examples: picky parents will make picky children
  • Don’t force feed anything! This will only end in frustration and tears
  • Smoothies, shakes, or, cookie cutter shapes for sandwiches are fun things to try
  • Cook with mild flavors
  • Most kids will eat pasta and there are good whole grain, protein filled pastas on the market.
  • Include one thing at each meal that they will eat. If it’s rice or potatoes, always make a rice or potato of some sort. If it’s one vegetable they will eat, make it.
  • Ask them to try something new, don’t tell them. It takes approximately 7 times of trying a new food for a child to like it, don’t give up!
  • Have them help make dinner, show them how fun cooking can be, make it like a science experiment.
  • Educate the importance of grow foods for growing up big and strong. Use Traffic light eating. Green – grow and go. Yellow – slow down. Red – stop and think.

A List of a few of My Son’s Favorite Picky Eater Meals:

I typically either add meat or fish after I scoop out his portion or pick around it when I dish his out. He has recently started eating chicken nuggets on occasion, so we do that about once a week with a side of veggies.

  • Mashed Potatoes and Noodles
  • Veggie Stir Fry
  • Soup and Corn Bread (He likes potato soup and pot pie soup)
  • Alfredo pasta with peas
  • Pasta with butter and a side of raw veggies to dip in ranch
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Baked potato bar with broccoli
  • Rice and Beans
  • Breakfast for dinner (he likes scrambled eggs and loves  to make them himself)

What are Your Picky Eater Struggles?

Please share with me what your little one’s struggles are with picky eating. I’m always interested in knowing what other moms are going through and how they manage it. And who knows maybe we can work together to find a solution. Thanks for reading!


Resources:

https://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/makingdecisions.sec.aspxhttps://

www.healthline.com/nutrition/monounsaturated-fats#section7

Weeknight Family Meal Plan

Family meal plan

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M T W Th F
       
Meatless Mexican Basic Seafood Pizza
         
Quinoa
Stuffed
Peppers
Mexican
Rice +
Chicken
Grilled Cheese + Tomato
Soup
Shrimp
Alfredo
Naan
Bread
Pizza
         
Pasta Fish Tacos Mini
Meatloaf
Tuna
Cakes
Tortilla Pizza
         
Spaghetti
Casserole
Chicken
Tacos
Veggie Pasta
Salad
Salmon
Veggie
Wraps
Home
Pizza
         
Quinoa
Spinach
Salad
Tuscan
Salmon
Stir
Fry
Tuna
Melt
Quesadillas
Mini
Pizzas
       
Make ahead meals on Sunday when possible Include a veggie with every meal – even pizza Choose whole grain pasta Make your own whole wheat tortillas – so simple Make your own salad dressing

Snack Ideas

  • Celery + Nut Butter                                        
  • Apples + Nut Butter
  • Trail Mix
  • Energy Balls
  • Granola Bars
  • Carrots + Hummus
  • Blueberries
  • Banana Chips
  • Tangerines
  • Blue corn chips + Salsa or guacamole
  • Greek Yogurt + Honey + Cinnamon (my favorite)

Recipe Suggestions

  • Here is a link to my Breakfast Recipes, you’ll find them all very easy and kid friendly, if you happen to have a little chef in the house, they are all easy to make!
  • Check out 100 Days of Real Food Blog, she has a lot of great recipes all made with “Real Food,” including whole wheat pizza dough; whole wheat tortillas; Salad Dressing; Energy Balls.  She also has a great app called “Prepear” that you can use to plan your meals out – just an overall great resource!
  • Make a large batch of rice or quinoa on Sunday and use in your lunches and recipes throughout the week!

Things to Consider when buying:

  • Choose Nut Butter that is only Nuts + Salt (Kirkland Organic, from Costco is my choice)
  • When buying Greek Yogurt, choose plain and add a little honey + fruit for sweetness (Fage 2% is my favorite)
  • Choose a trail mix without chocolate, or make your own with almonds + Craisins + sunflower seed + pumpkin seeds, and a little granola
  • Check out Metronome Wellness for the list of dirty dozen + Clean 15 Produce
  • I love me some Costco & Trader Joe’s.  Both have a good variety of affordable, organic food. 
  • As much as I love fresh fruit and veggies, I must admit, I buy a lot of frozen, it’s nice to always have on hand and know that it’s going to keep.
  • When time allows, you can’t beat a good farmer’s market or roadside stand for the best local produce around!