Toddler Adventures :: The Pancake Lie (+ My Favorite Recipe)



I’ll admit it: I lie to my toddler about food from time to time.

Oh, you want ice cream for breakfast? Sure, here’s a frozen yogurt.

I continue to be impressed by my son Jackson’s developing palate and am thankful he is not a picky eater (knock on wood). However, I will revise my statement to include that he will now say, “No, thank you,” if he doesn’t want to try something. Did he eat the same food yesterday? Maybe. Does this cause frustration? Yes. Is he going to ask me for that exact food in an hour? Probably.

This whole “no meaning yes” stage reminds me of Will Ferrill and Chris Kattan’s classic “no… YES!” scene in “Night at the Roxbury.” We’ve learned to not ask what he wants and to simply put food in front of him and then not talk to him about what he’s supposed to be eating. Another thing I’ve noticed is that if I’m eating it, he’s going to want it instead of or in addition to his own. It really makes for unintentional portion control when I share my food with him. Sometimes I feel like Joey Tribbiani, but it’s OK. 

There are foods that I think just get an automatic yes with kids, including pancakes, milkshakes, and ice cream. Sure my son loves regular pancakes, but the combination of me keeping bananas on hand all the time and the fact that I’m always trying to add nutrients into his food created my lie about pancakes. 

Thankfully, he loves my better-for-him version of pancakes. If you search online for “banana pancakes” lots of recipes come up ranging from two ingredients and up. I’ve made them as mini pancakes, shaped pancakes, or regular pancakes (but I quickly learned that when you make food for a child, the smaller the pieces the better). 

The great thing about this recipe? It’s really quick, super healthy, and perfect for kids. You can add bonus ingredients to the batter, or keep it plain.

A few tips and tricks:

  • Mash the banana — if you put them in a mixer they liquify.
  • Don’t have vanilla? Add a little maple syrup to the mix instead.
  • If you add spinach, keep it raw (just chop it fine).
  • Frozen fruit is great. I have Wyman’s Frozen Wild Blueberries in the freezer, and they’re great to keep on hand.
  • You can add protein powder to these.
  • Avocado makes for a great addition and is the perfect way to use ripe avocado (frozen is good, too — just defrost a bit for easier mashing).

Easy Banana Pancakes

  • 1 ripe banana 
  • Vanilla extract (or maple syrup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (optional, but I think it brings the batter together)

Combine all ingredients with a fork. Spoon in whatever shape you want on an oiled griddle. Serve warm with your syrup of choice! That’s it!

*Jackson additions: I add mashed avocado or baby spinach into the mix with blueberries and a few mini chocolate chips. 


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