Lots of people ask for my healthy pancake recipe so I’m sharing it now. These pancakes meet the whole grain requirement for the food program too. And if you’re looking for a meatless meal, they are a great option.
Healthy pancake recipe for kids
What makes this healthy pancake recipe healthy? Whole grains, no processed sugar, and the ability to add other yummy ingredients for even more nutrition.
Other daycare providers are always looking for dishes that will meet the whole grain requirement for the food program but won’t break the bank. This whole-grain pancake mix recipe is just what you need. Check out more food program requirements here. And tips for planning a daycare menu here.
Healthy pancakes for kids
Pancakes are so versatile, they can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. Kids love them. They are wonderful for picky eaters. These healthy pancakes taste delicious. They can be enhanced by hiding vegetables or adding fruit. Also, they can be used to make a sausage sandwich or served alone. Toddler pancakes are super easy to hold and eat.
When I serve pancakes to toddlers and preschoolers, I sweeten the pancakes when I cook them and then when I serve them, kids can just pick them up and eat them. We don’t use syrup at the table. That’s a lot of mess that I can’t deal with.
You can also add nuts, seeds or other whole grains to pancakes for a variety of other nutrients for the kids. You can even make them with all white flour if you don’t like whole wheat. Pancakes for kids are so versatile. The possibilities are limitless.
Picky eater solution
In my experience with feeding more than 90 kids, extreme picky eating is usually a sensory issue. I figured this out because I have my own sensory issues. I have some food issues due to this and I saw the signs that the kids were experiencing that as well.
The best picky eater solution is not to nag or try to force kids to eat. The more pressure you put on eating, the more problems there will be with getting the kids to eat. Picky eating takes patience. It’s difficult to take the emotion out of the equation about worrying if a child is eating enough.
Sometimes we don’t realize how much children should be eating, so check that article out to see if your serving sizes are reasonable for your child’s age. If your picky eater is not eating near what’s listed, you may need to consult with your physician. If they are and they are just super picky about WHAT they eat, take heart, it’s going to be okay.
I have fed pancakes to even the world’s pickiest eaters. Most of my super picky kids liked all the bread group, so pancakes were a great place to add some nutrients. That’s why I started making whole wheat pancakes for them. Then I started adding tons of other great nutrients and I feel like pancake day is super healthy eating day.
Pancakes are easy to hold and eat. I love how I can sweeten the batter and make perfect toddler pancakes that kids can hold and eat. Personally, I like a good fluffy pancake that’s easier to hold onto. I also like to make them very small. This prevents a bunch of waste, but it also helps the toddler pancakes to be easier to hold on to.
Healthy pancake recipe for kids
Healthy pancakes that meet the CACFP requirements for daycare but are delicious enough to make any time.
- 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 c flour
- 1/4 c real maple syrup or honey
- 2 T baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 beaten eggs
- 3 c milk
- 6 T melted butter or coconut oil
Beat eggs and add milk, syrup and salt.
Slowly drizzle in melted butter or oil mixing as you pour so the butter incorporates before it solidifies from the coolness of the milk.
Dump in baking powder and both flours all at once and lightly mix until just combined.
Batter will still be lumpy.
Don’t overmix or cakes won’t be tender.
Heat griddle on medium heat.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Drop about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake.
Cook until bubbles form on top and flip and cook other side.
Makes 24 regular size or 48 small pancakes
Whole grain pancake mix
You can make a “master mix” to keep on hand for making pancakes with more convenience.
Premix dry ingredients to have master whole grain pancake mix on hand.
- 6 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 c flour
- 1/2 c baking powder
- 1 T salt
Whisk together well. When you’re ready to make pancakes, just whisk together 3 beaten eggs with 3 cups of milk and ¼ cup real maple syrup or honey. Slowly drizzle in 6 T. melted butter while mixing and mix well. Then add 3 ¼ cups of whole grain pancake mix and mix lightly.
Remember if you want thicker pancakes, reduce milk by ¼ cup. If you want thinner pancakes, just add another ¼ of milk.
Pancake recipe with almond milk
This pancake recipe is a vessel and can be changed any way you like. If you don’t want to use milk, replacing milk with almond milk, rice milk or soy milk is perfectly fine. Just replace the 3 cups of milk with almond milk or other milk alternative of your choice.
Banana whole wheat pancakes
If you’d like to add fruit to your whole wheat pancakes, it will give them a wonderful flavor. Just remember that fruit has sugar in it, so you need to mix the fruit in well and make sure it’s in small pieces or it will make the pancakes stick to the griddle. For banana whole wheat pancakes, reduce the syrup by half and reduce the milk to 2 ½ cups.
Drop three bananas into the mixer and mix them well until they are a puree. Then add eggs and beat and follow the remainder of the recipe with the changes above.
Strawberry pancake recipe
Strawberry pancakes are easy and tasty to make too. Blend 2 cups of strawberries in the blender until they are a fine puree. Add that to the mixer and add eggs and beat following the remainder of the recipe. For strawberry pancakes, reduce the milk to 2 ¾ cups.
Whole wheat pumpkin pancakes
Whole wheat pumpkin pancakes are some of my favorites. I love to add vegetables to any bread product I make to add nutrients. To make whole wheat pumpkin pancakes, use 1 cup of pumpkin puree and reduce milk to 2 ¾ cup.
Other vegetables that can be easily added to sweet pancakes are zucchini or yellow squash, just add 1 cup of grated vegetable and reduce milk to 2 ¾ cup. If you have a super picky eater that is upset by different looks, peel the zucchini first so they won’t see the green. The yellow squash skin will blend in better.
You can add spinach to pancakes (it will definitely make green pancakes) by blending 1 cup spinach leaves into the 3 cups of milk before adding it. You can also add green powder to pancakes if your kids don’t mind green in their pancakes.
Adding vegetables to pancakes
Adding 1 cup of broccoli doesn’t change the flavor of the pancakes either. Blend 1 cup of cooked broccoli into the milk and make pancakes as usual. The pancakes will be green also.
Shredded sweet potatoes or butternut squash work as well for healthy pancakes for kids. Add 1 cup of shredded sweet potatoes or butternut squash into batter.
Also, remember you can use baby food in your batter. That’s just fruits or vegetables that are already pureed. I would add 2 jars to the mix and reduce the milk to 2 ¾ cup.
To make blueberry pancakes, add 2 cups of whole fresh or thawed blueberries to batter and gently mix in. Chocolate chips can be added the same way. I like to use mini chips to help them not stick to the pan as much. Add whole pecans or walnuts to the tops of pancakes right after you pour the better to make yummy whole grain pecan pancakes. Use your imagination. The possibilities are unlimited.
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