by Katie Goodman
Kids can be so strong willed when it comes to what they will and will not eat. It’s a daily struggle for almost all mothers (and fathers too!). If this doesn’t ring true for you, consider yourself some of the lucky parents of adventurous eaters. As a mother of a picky child, I want to make sure I put the best possible food in my children’s mouths, especially the one who is least likely to touch a vegetable with a 10 foot pole. I feel that every calorie, every bite, every snack really needs to count. I try to find creative ways to turn the foods I know he loves into something a little nutritious, though still enjoyable to his palate.
Baking is something that my son and I both enjoy doing together. It’s been a great way for me to introduce him to new ingredients in a casual atmosphere, without the pressure of trying a bite. At the same time, I’m sharing my interests with him and teaching him valuable skills. We have fun together and he’s learning. It gives us a chance to spend some quality time together creating a treat that we’ll both enjoy eating, and maybe even trying something new.
Now that school is back in session, kids are usually ready for an afternoon snack after an exhausting day of learning. Baking with your children can be a fun after school activity for those who are fortunate enough not to be bogged down with homework assignments. Or, maybe just a special activity with mom on the weekend because weekdays schedules are so packed. They’ll love the idea of these granola bar cookies even if they aren’t able to appreciate how much healthier they are for them. This may look like a cookie, be called a cookie, and even taste suspiciously like a cookie, but it’s packed with, grains, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Rather than a sugar crash leading to a late afternoon cranky spell, the eater will have enjoyed a nice dose of fiber and protein to carry them till dinner time.
This is a “cookie” that mom won’t mind her kids eating for breakfast on occasion. She might even have one for herself!
Granola Bar Cookies
Yields 4 dozen
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until combined. Slowly pour in olive oil, beating continuously until fluffy and smooth. Add eggs and vanilla, beating an additional minute.
Measure the oatmeal into the bowl of a food processor. Grind until oatmeal has become a fine powder. Sift oatmeal, flour, baking powder and soda, and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
Stir the flour and oatmeal mixture into the butter mixture until well combined. Add in the fruit, seeds, and nuts, stirring until contents are evenly distributed.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form golf ball sized balls of dough, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a cooling rack until cookies are cool enough to handle.
Don’t be afraid to mix up the add-ins to create a whole new cookie and a variety of flavors. For some fun variations consider the following add-in substitutions: