I don’t know about your toddlers’ and preschoolers’ food preferences, but mine have become very picky lately. I know this can drive any parent crazy, but think of what it can do a parent like myself, a nutritionist. They will eat most fruits and whole grain pasta and bread, but vegetables other than cucumber and sometimes red pepper…NO WAY!!!
I’m pretty outright about the fact that I won’t reduce myself to sneaking vegetables into my kids’ food to get them to eat it. Really, by doing that, I haven’t succeeded in getting them to eat what I want them to, I’ve just tricked them into it which is not the same, and this is not my goal.
But I find that one way to get my boys to eat things they normally won’t is to make it in the form of a cute little muffin, as well as getting them involved in making the muffins, which they love to do. As you can see from the picture, it’s very clear that these muffins have orange and green veggies in them and they also helped add them to the batter, so they were fully aware they were in there. But they still ate them and loved them and I felt great about it because they’re packed with fruits, veggies and whole grains and full of fibre.
I must also admit that I couldn’t stop eating these. They were one of the moistest and tastiest healthy muffins I’ve ever had and I think this is because of all the moisture from the fruit and vegetables that were added. You can change up the fruits in this recipe and/or substitute other fruit or vegetable purees for the unsweetened applesauce (pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, prunes and mashed banana have all worked well for me).
These healthy muffins make a great snack or on-the-go breakfast.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (a.k.a. white whole wheat flour or soft whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed) or 2.5 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1/2-3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup grated apple (peeled)
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup raisins (soak in boiling water for 15 minutes before adding to batter)
Note: make sure to place grated zucchini and apple in towel and squeeze out excess moisture before adding to batter.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
3. In another bowl mix together egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, carrots, apple, zucchini and raisins.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Divide among muffin compartments and bake for 12-14 minutes for mini muffins or 18-20 minutes for regular muffins. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from muffin tin.