It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether this is true or not, it does always feel very important to get a healthy and filling breakfast into your child. Where allergic children and fussy eaters are concerned, it can feel like half the battle is won if they happily tuck into a filling breakfast. If that breakfast is healthy, most mothers are ready to do a victory dance.
There are many easy to grab and serve cereals that are fortified in iron, calcium and vitamin D, but if kids do not like them, there are other different and interesting options to try. You may as well be concerned about the amount of sugar these processed foods contain, or indeed, how much sweetener you have to add for your child to enjoy them.
Granola or porridge made with your child’s favourite fruit and suitable alternative milk or yoghurt can make a nice change, but you must always be careful to check all the ingredients if you have a lactose or cow’s milk protein intolerant infant as some main stream porridge oats are not dairy free.
If you have a particularly fussy little one, breakfast banana muffins, could be an easy and happily accepted treat to get fruit, porridge, eggs and milk into his/her system in the morning.
These muffins can be made to accommodate most allergies. If you need them to be gluten free, make sure you purchase gluten free flour and porridge oats, if your child is allergic to eggs or you are vegan you can replace each egg with 100ml of sparkling water.
You will need:
- 75g unsalted dairy free butter
- 250g self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Either 115g of caster sugar or if you are using a sweetener instead you can divide the amount of sugar needed by 10, so 11.5g of sweetener (be aware that often cakes with sweetener in cook faster than with sugar so keep an eye on your muffins in the oven)
- 3tbs porridge oats
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large bananas
- 2 medium eggs or 200ml sparkling water
- 125ml alternative milk.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (fan oven). Weigh all your ingredients ahead.
Add cubes of butter softened to a room temperature into a bowl and mix in the sugar, stir until well combined. Add your eggs, after each egg add a small amount of flour and stir as doing this helps to stop the mixture from curdling.
Sieve the flour with the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon and add to the mixture and make sure to mix and combine well, at this point you should expect to see a normal looking cake mixture.
Blend the 3 large bananas. Using slightly riper bananas will make this easier and make them much easier to stir into the mixture. Add the blended bananas to your alternative milk while also adding in the teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Add this mixture to your cake mix, add it in small amounts and stir in well, after you have added all the banana and milk mixture, stir in 3tbs of dairy free porridge oats.
Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases. If you don’t have a muffin tray, use an ordinary oven tray and place one muffin case inside another, using two per muffin, (muffin mixture is usually very thick and heavy, two cases will help to keep the shape of the muffin and stop it from overflowing).
Evenly distribute your mix between the cases, be careful not to overfill them as they will rise. Place the muffins in the centre of the pre-heated oven, check after 20 minutes, the muffins should be risen and golden and bounce back if you press them with your finger. If you are unsure you can check by carefully pushing a skewer through the top of the muffin up to the middle. If the skewer comes out clean, they are baked, if the skewer has mixture on it, then the muffins need longer. In the later case, put them back in the oven for five more minutes and check again, continue until they are baked throughout.
Breakfast banana muffins make an excellent accompaniment to any breakfast. Both, the banana and the porridge oats are low on the Glycaemic index which means they release their energy slowly. Try serving them with fresh fruit and a dairy free yoghurt or serve them alongside pancakes (made with your alternative milk) top the pancakes with fresh blueberries and a spoon or two of your chosen yoghurt.