The other morning my son woke up just like he had the day before. He smiled at me with that 6 toothed grin, reached for me with immense anticipation to remove him from his four-poster prison [crib], and even snuggled my shoulder like he did every morning before. I changed his overnight diaper and walked him downstairs to play with his toys in front of the TV glaring Disney Junior – a daily distraction while I made my necessary morning coffee – just like I had the morning before, and each morning prior to that since I could remember. And like every morning since Kaden turned 4 months old, I popped a frozen, organic pear mold from our silicone food container, mixed in a tablespoon of his oatmeal, added in a couple drops of Vitamin D, his probiotic and a dash of cinnamon and proceeded to set up my little man in his highchair and bib. Only something came to a crashing halt in our otherwise daily ritual – my child refused to eat his food. Breakfast was always a meal he successfully ate in full, but not that day. Weird. Then at lunch he refused to eat his favorite pureed butternut squash. And at dinner… I don’t think I need to go on.
For a couple days this same scenario played out, and I was at a loss. Was he teething? Did he not feel well? The only thing I could get him to eat were his teething snacks, some crackers, rice and some of the chunky mixed veggie, sweet potato & pasta puree I make for him. I realized: he no longer wanted to eat the smooth purees I had stashed in the freezer. He has 6 teeth and he was having a lot of fun using them and learning about this so-called “big people food”. New textures are apparently all the rage for my little man these days, and I had to find something different for him to eat that still incorporated items from multiple food groups. I started with tackling the breakfast debate and came up with a solution: free-range, organic eggs and coconut flour, mini pancakes.
I figured bite-sized pancakes would be ideal for a growing 8 month old, as they are easy enough to hold and gumming them down for a baby would be a cinch. I searched for the perfect recipe online and found this delicious, organic, grain-free, gluten-free, almond-butter pancake mix via Ambitious Kitchen. It sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. I had been staring at the Trader Joe’s bag of organic coconut flour in my pantry for weeks thinking of the perfect occasion to use it, and this situation seemed perfectly fitting considering coconut flour is gluten free and a healthier alternative to all-purpose flour – all things I like when it comes to my little man.
Here is what goes into these tiny, fluffy, adorable baby pancakes:
Coconut Flour – Coconut flour is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats and is free from wheat and other grains. It is also low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates and calories, and helps maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Almond Butter – “According to recent guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, potentially allergenic foods like nuts are safe to introduce to babies as young as 6 months, once they have had exposure to a few typical first foods like cereal, fruit and vegetables.”* What’s great about this is that nuts and nut butters are nutritional powerhouses providing high amounts of protein, heart healthy fatty acids, Vitamin E, manganese, potassium and iron. Nut butters can be a choking hazard, so only introduce it to babies in small, small servings. I had given Kaden a little bit of almond butter on the tip of a spoon previously, so I knew he wouldn’t get too much, and it also helped me rule out any potential allergy.
Free-Range, Organic Brown Eggs – Eggs are easily digestible for your little ones and are rich in high quality protein, iron, folate and choline, and Vitamins A, D & E.
Almond Milk – Just like almond butter, it is important to rule out any tree nut allergies before using almond milk in your child’s food. It can be a great alternative for those who have a lactose allergy, but be sure to use your best judgment and care with these items. While I don’t recommend offering almond milk as a substitute for formula or breastmilk before the age of 1, this liquid yumminess does offer some happy nutritional benefits if using as an ingredient in your babe’s recipes: almond milk is a high source of antioxidant Vitamin E, it contains no cholesterol or saturated fats (making it a very heart-healthy choice), it contains the highest concentration of vitamins and minerals – as compared to rice or soy milk – and has no animal by-products. Almond Breeze is a great non-gmo brand, but I opt for Barn Farm’s original as it has two all-natural ingredients: pure spring water and organic, raw almonds.
Unsweetened, Organic Applesauce – An excellent source of antioxidants, fiber and Vitamin C, a couple tablespoons of applesauce help make these pancakes deliciously moist.
Here are your simple ingredients:
- 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 free-range, brown eggs lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons Organic, Unsweetened Applesauce
- 2 tablespoons Organic, Raw Almond Butter (or a nut butter of your liking)
- 1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- Combine your coconut flour and baking soda. Set aside.
- Mix together eggs, applesauce, almond butter, maple syrup and almond milk.
- Add your dry ingredients to your wet mixture, and mix until well combined ensuring there are no chunks of almond butter. NOTE: if your mix appears to be too thick, or paste-like, add small increments of additional almond milk to smooth your mixture (it should be smooth, but still a thicker consistency).
- Coat a non-stick skillet with butter or coconut oil spray and place over medium-low heat.
- Use a teaspoon to drop dollops of your mix onto your skillet (you may want to spread out the mixture for thinner cakes).
- Wait until bubbles appear and edges have cooked; flip pancakes and cook until golden brown.
- Continuing cooking additional mix with added butter or coconut spray until all mix is cooked to adorable, bite-sized, baby pancakes!
When I first gave these to Kaden, I did tear them apart to ensure that he wouldn’t take in too much at once. You know your baby best, so use your best judgment. I like to feed these to Kaden with a scrambled egg and some extra applesauce in the morning. His plate looks like that of a toddler, and it is so sad to think of how big he is now, but at the same time so amazing to see him grow! What a contradiction of feelings moms can have…
I hope you and your little one’s enjoy these pancakes! Make a couple regular sized ones for yourself as well… you’ll need these comforting flapjacks when you realize just how big your baby is already!