Not only is M a selective eater, he doesn’t tend to eat a lot. His lack of appetite can be attributed, in part, to his meds, as one of the side effects is appetite suppression. At school, he often gets distracted and forgets to eat his lunch. As we’ve pointed out to him on numerous occasions, he’s more likely to have trouble making good choices on the days he doesn’t eat his lunch.
Because I’m never sure how much of his lunch he’ll eat during the day, making sure M eats a good breakfast is one of my priorities, at least on school days. He’ll eat cold cereal without milk (Sugar Pops are the current favourite), but not a huge amount – 1/2 to 3/4 cup at the most. He’ll also eat frozen toaster waffles, but I’ve never been convinced that they have much in the way of nutritional value.
Next to pizza, M’s favourite food is pancakes. I used to make them regularly on weekends, but they seemed like a lot of work for a weekday breakfast. However, I discovered that with a little planning, pancakes are an easy breakfast, any day of the week. Best of all, since M will eat at least 5 pancakes every morning, he leaves the house with a full tummy. No matter how little he eats throughout the rest of the day, I know he’s started the day with a “full tank.” For M, this can often be the difference between an “ok” and a “great” day.
There’s no shortage of pancake recipes out there, but as far as I’m concerned, the Joy of Cooking’s is the best – hands down. although the original recipe calls for regular all-purpose flour, I use a mixture of white and whole wheat flour. I also omit the extra sugar, since I throw a few chocolate chips on each pancake as they’re cooking, which makes them sweet enough. I figure the nutritional value of whole wheat flour, whole milk and eggs more than compensate for a teaspoon of chocolate chips.
1 – 1/2 cup flour (any combination of whole wheat and all-purpose)
1 – 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp white sugar (optional)
1 – 1/2 c milk
3 tbsp margarine or butter, melted.
Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk liquid ingredients together. Add dry ingredients and stir, until ingredients are just combined – batter should be a little lumpy. Pour the batter into an electric frying pan or a skillet. Cook until bubbles appear in the batter – turn over and cook until golden brown.
If adding chocolate chips or blueberries, place them on top of batter, on the uncooked side, before you flip the pancake. You could add them to the batter, but I’ve found this makes flipping pancakes challenging. Not to mention very messy.
The beauty of this recipe it calls for even amounts, it’s easy to make a smaller batch. If I’m only making 1/3 of the recipe, I use 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk. Two-thirds of a recipe will make at least 2, possibly 3 M-sized breakfasts (using 2 eggs and a full cup of milk).
I usually mix up the dry ingredients on Sunday night, If I’m really organized, I’ll also combine the eggs and milk and store the liquid in a separate container in the fridge overnight. On Monday morning, I melt the margarine in the microwave and add it to the milk/egg mixture and then mix up the dry ingredients into the batter. Pour the batter onto a pre-heated electric frying pan and voila! Fresh pancakes in less than 5 minutes.
The batter keeps in the fridge for at least 3 days. It may look a bit darker on Tuesday morning, but I just mix it up again. Since M’s never complained about the taste, I figure it’s just how the ingredients react together.
I use this same recipe when I make pancakes for myself. Since I don’t eat dairy, I use unsweetened soy milk and vegan margarine. Last week, M’s dad accidentally made chocolate chip pancakes using soy milk batter. M ate them without saying a word. I guess a few chocolate chips go a long way.