happy meal? pancakes for all times of the day

By Friday, June 12, 2009 , , , , ,

Making lunch for a toddler who only wants to feed himself is tough. So many options fall into the “choking hazard” category and others are on the just-too-messy side of self-feeding (um, soup). Plus, you want food that is nutritious and meets their daily requirements of fruits, veggies, dairy and protein. Woo, I’m overwhelmed already!

Here is my fail-safe, go-to recipe that can be modified to your child’s likes and dislikes: pancakes.

Yep, whole-wheat pancakes filled with fruits or vegetables, dairy or protein – the options are endless. I usually grate the fillings, which means you don’t have to pre-cook them. I make a big batch, freeze them in waxed paper bags housed in a freezer Ziploc and voila! Instant breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just pop them in the toaster on defrost and cut them into bite-size cubes. I don't serve these with syrup or anything, except the carrot ones; they just screamed "raita."

Here are some flavor combinations Pickle loves:
Apple/Pear and Cheddar from Cedar Grove Cheese
Zucchini and Marieke Gouda from Holland’s Family Farm
Carrot and Cumin, served with a cilantro-mint raita (yogurt sauce)
Banana and nutmeg
Sweet potato and cinnamon

Still tinkering on some protein-based pancakes … I’ll keep you posted.

Master recipe for whole-wheat pancakes
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1-½ cups buttermilk, preferably organic
1 extra-large egg
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled

¾ cup of your choice of fillings – use the large holes on your box grater for the fillings; the exception are carrots and sweet potato; I use a fine grater for those.

Olive oil for frying the pancakes

Mix dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. In a large measuring cup, add buttermilk, egg and butter. Slowly add the liquids to the dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined. Add the fillings slowly, checking consistency as you go.

Note: if you want to have super-fluffy pancakes, you can separate the yolk and white of the egg and whisk the whites until soft peaks form; then fold in whites once the liquids are incorporated.

Heat griddle or sauté pan over medium-low heat; add oil and cook in batches until bubbles appear on surface; flip and cook 1-2 more minutes. I use an ice cream scoop to get consistently sized cakes (about 1/4 cup).

You Might Also Like


  1. Hi Sarah! I love your blog and this recipe is perfect for kids! I am going to forward this to all of my Real Life Food coaching clients who are moms, if you don't mind. Also, wondering how this recipe would go with spelt flour - let me know!
    Suzanne Monroe

  2. I just discovered your blog and feel -- well -- inspired! Since becoming a mom, I've been told to "lower my expectations" with regards to mealtime. While this may be necessary sometimes, I simply can't live a life without any glamour! Even my little Finn (now 10 months) deserves more than jarred baby food. Coming up with creative purees isn't TOO hard, but getting creative with finger foods is more of a challenge, I think. Although my son is seven months younger than your little man, I'll be taking notes. I LOVE these pancake recipes! As soon as he can eat egg (1 year, I think?), I'll be cooking them right up. Thanks!

  3. FinnsGarden -- Glad you like the recipe. Eggs revolutionized my cooking for Pickle ... I'll be posting a Ricotta Frittata soon that will be a perfect intro into the wonderful world of eggs!