Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, or so we've been told, yes? In the hustle and bustle of the morning, it can be tough to get a balanced meal in, especially if you've got picky children to toss into the mixture. Muffins can be a fantastic choice, and the mini muffins make breakfast fun for the wee ones. If you bake them in baking cups, there is virtually no mess, transport is easy and the flavors of the muffins are only limited by your imagination.
Imagination can be a very good thing when it comes to making breakfast muffins for your kids.
Especially if those same children have vowed that they will never, ever eat a vegetable or fruit.
I've made muffins that contain banana, shredded carrot, squash puree, and chopped apple. My children ate them, and nary a peep of dissent was heard. My secret weapon? A handful of mini chocolate chips tossed into the batter. Pumpkin muffins are especially delicious with chocolate chips. Virtually everyone loves chocolate, and seeing those little morsels of goodness go into the batter makes the finickiest of eaters clamor to try the muffins.
Take your favorite muffin recipe - I've loaded mine below this post - and see what changes you can make that will make that muffin just a bit more healthy. Can you swap the oil for applesauce? I promise no one will know. Egg substitute is unnoticeable, and the use of it drops the fat and cholesterol counts sharply. What about switching half of the white flour for wheat? (Any more than that will make your muffin heavy. Ask me how I know.)
Then feel free to invite your kids into the kitchen to help you, and guarantee them that they'll love the finished product. Kids as young as two can drop in the mini chocolate chips, and ages 3-5 can be counted on to stir intently. Early readers can find the necessary ingredients. Older elementary can crack the eggs - letting them crack each one into a separate bowl helps to avoid any shell disasters - and measure out the ingredients. Scooping the batter with an ice cream scoop is a terric job for a middle school child. Preteens and older can make muffins by themselves, with your assistance for the putting the pans in the over and taking them out aspect.
Delicious Morning Muffins
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar - I've successfully cut this down to 1/4, but try to your taste
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- 1 (4.5 ounce) jar baby food squash - I've used up to 7 ounces, or two small containers
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 18 teaspoon each of allspice, nutmeg and cloves
- Mini chocolate chips
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Line 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. (Extra points if they are covered in cartoon characters!) Cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, spices, and salt until just combined. Add in chocolate chips to your taste - I use half of a bag, but you might like them with more chocolate! Use an ice cream scoop to fill the baking cups. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes.
What are your favorite muffins to make? Do you add extra fruits and veggies to help sneak nutrition into your kids?