Trying to eat clean as a grown up can provide enough of it’s own challenges but trying to feed a little person clean food and avoid the pitfalls of packaged convenience products can be even worse. Kids need to eat little and often so I find I always need to have snacks on hand to stop my little darling turning into a hanger induced little devil – I think she gets this tendency from me, hunger is not something I cope well with!
While I’ve found some packaged muesli bars that are relatively innocuous they still contain a few things I’d rather avoid if possible, and all that aside they’re also a bloody expensive way to feed your child! Add to that the fact that kids can be fussy little fuckers so finding something mine is willing to eat and that I’m willing to feed her can be an ongoing battle.
I’m always experimenting with different types of baking in the form of fruit and veggie loaves or mini muffins, biscuits or muesli bars to please my smallest and harshest critic and this one seems to be the favourite so far. While she can’t talk yet her pointing, foot stamping and unintelligible babble makes it pretty clear with about which container from the fridge she’s after at snack time! Well, that’s this week at least, the little bugger will probably change her mind about everything next week as toddlers are wont to do.
While I designed these bars for little z they also passed the husband test pretty emphatically – or at least I think that’s what he was trying to tell me with the enthusiastic nodding, thumbs up and grunting through a second rather large mouthful. Turns out the communication style of kids and adults isn’t that different after all…
Get this stuff
1 C plain puffed rice – ideally brown and organic. NOTE, this does not mean rice bubbles. Puffed rice is just that, rice that has been puffed, while rice bubbles start out this way the poor little things then have all sorts of unnecessary stuff added including a sugar and salt. You don’t need that and your little people certainly don’t.
1/2 C oats – if you want to make these gluten free you can get GF oats relatively easily in a decent health food store or larger supermarket
6 T peanut butter – I like to make my own but if you’re buying it make sure you get one that is just peanuts and maybe some salt, it doesn’t need added oils, sugar, stabilisers and god knows what else.
4 T rice malt syrup or honey
2 T coconut oil
4 T (heaped) sultanas, chopped dates or apricots or other dried fruit of your choice
1 T chia seeds
Do this with it
Toss the rice, oats, chia seeds and dried fruit in a bowl and mix well. In a pot melt the peanut butter, rice malt syrup and coconut oil over a low heat whisking until it’s all well combined and forms a thick liquid. Pour this over the dry mixture, mix well to combine and get everything well coated in that sticky nutty goodness then transfer the mixture into a lined tin.
Shove it in the fridge to set for an hour or two to set. Once it’s firmed up all you need to do is lift it out of the tin and chop into rectangles, squares or whatever shape takes your fancy. Eat, enjoy and store any that isn’t immediately devoured in the fridge.
Feel free to play around with the recipe and add whatever flavours you fancy, maybe some chopped nuts, shredded coconut or some cacao nibs or chocolate chips to make it a bit more of a treat.