Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cookies for breakfast

Lately I've been having a heck of a time getting my girls to eat breakfast. They turn up their noses at waffles, they're currently in an anti-cereal phase, and they never take more than 5 bites of oatmeal. Sydney loves muffins and pancakes, Brynn doesn't like either one (strange child). They love french toast, but as much as I'd love to be all June Cleaver-y and make homemade french toast every morning, I'm just not cut out for that.

Usually their breakfast consists of a few bites of something grain-y and some fruit. It's annoying when they don't eat a good, substantial breakfast because it means they beg for snacks all morning long.

So the other day I decided to try something new - breakfast cookies. I was inspired by Erin Baker's breakfast cookies, which I saw in a local health food store. My girls looooove cookies, so I thought maybe this would be a way to get them to eat something a little more substantial in the a.m.

There aren't any mystery ingredients that make a cookie a breakfast cookie, as opposed to a regular cookie. I basically just tried to make a cookie that was more nutritious and less sugary & fatty than a regular cookie.

I started with a basic oatmeal-raisin cookie recipe that was on the back of a giant bag of oats I bought at Costco. You could make these same modifications to any tried and true cookie recipes that you have on hand:

1) To reduce the sugar, I swapped out 1/2 cup of sugar for 1/2 cup of applesauce.

2) To add some additional whole grains, I substituted half of the flour with whole wheat flour.

3) To boost the protein, I added sliced almonds.

4) I also threw in a few tablespoons of oat bran since I happened to have some in my pantry.

I wouldn't call these cookies a smashing success, but definitely a success. The first morning, the girls both ate two of them - and they stayed full much longer than normal. I ate two as an afternoon snack, and also felt satisfied until dinner. By day three of the breakfast cookie experiment, however, the cookies were losing their luster. I froze the leftovers and will see what happens when I thaw a few out next week.

I plan to continue experimenting with ingredients to see how much healthy stuff I can get in there while still keeping them tasty. Here are just a few ideas for what could be put into the cookies:

shredded coconut
shredded carrot
pureed banana
pureed apple/applesauce
dried cranberries
dried blueberries
any type of nut or nut butter
flax seed
wheat germ
And of course...cooked quinoa


  1. alyssa, i think this is absolutely brilliant! and so healthy. i need to follow your lead with the movement to eat better ingredients.

  2. Thanks! The sad thing is that I only think of really healthy ingredients when I'm figuring out what to feed my kids. And then as an afterthought, I think: "Hey, I could eat that too!"

  3. Another add in is yogurt, or build with a softer cookie and yogurt in between. Yummy, my guys used to love them, a bit messy but at least they were eating.