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Quick & Easy Fortified Waffles/Pancakes

Updated on July 16, 2013

Nutritious waffles:

The finished product ready to eat.
The finished product ready to eat.

Breakfast Food for Kids and Other Persnickity Eaters

Like you, I have done my level best to feed to feed my family is well as possible on the $$ available. Also like you, I have found it difficult to find things to feed my picky eaters. In evaluating this task, I have worked out a theory of picky eating, and a strategy to counteract it.

My theory: Picky eaters operate on the following principles:

  • Picky eaters are born, not made. Pickiness is in their DNA.
  • Looks are everything. That is, if it doesn't look like it came from McDonald's or the like, getting them to eat it can be next to impossible.
  • Saying "it's good for you" is the kiss of death.

My strategy: I have found that the following strategy works wonders in feeding eaters that operate on the above principles:

  • Don't take it personally. They can't help it, and it does not reflect on your worth as a person.
  • Learn the art of sneaky cooking. Get them out of the kitchen while you are cooking. You avoid the "yuck" factor in this way. They don't need to help you cook; they can help out in the kitchen by cleaning up.
  • Learn the art of disguise. Add those good ingredients, brown or some color other than white, judiciously, carefully monitoring the color factor.
  • Make peace with plain. Spices and garnishes will never be your friends. Embrace ketchup.

In my search to feed the picky eater, I developed the following recipe for waffles/pancakes. I have fixed a version of this recipe for toddlers to adults. No one ever pushed the plate away (see "Toppings," below). In fact, it is my grandchildren's dish of choice for breakfast/snacks. Here are the ingredients, dry followed by wet, and directions.

Assembling ingredients.

The dry ingredients include some wheat bran and flax seed (partially milled).  You will note their darker color.
The dry ingredients include some wheat bran and flax seed (partially milled). You will note their darker color.

Here are the ingredients, dry followed by wet, and directions.

Dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 2 tablespoons powered buttermilk

I use a six cup size bowl as I like one that is a little large and provides adequate stirring room. Stir the dry ingredients with a fork until mixed. If there is a concern about getting comments like "what are those brown things," I find that the wheat bran is well disguised in this mixture. Then I add the wet ingredients, as follows.

Getting ready to mix in the wet ingredients.
Getting ready to mix in the wet ingredients.

Wet ingredients:

  • 3 - 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon quality oil
  • 1/2 - 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1% milk as needed

Place the wet ingredients on top of the dry ones. I use a fork to incorporate them together, breaking the yolks, stirring the ingredients and scraping the sides as I go. Add enough milk to make batter of the desired consistency, thick to thinner. If you are concerned about complaints the flavor of the yogurt may draw, use less than suggested or omit entirely.

Here is the mixed, ready-to-cook batter with a fork in it to give some idea of the consistency of the batter that resulted in the finished product here.
Here is the mixed, ready-to-cook batter with a fork in it to give some idea of the consistency of the batter that resulted in the finished product here.

I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup or small to medium ladle to drop batter onto a lightly oiled griddle or waffle iron. The batter will brown and rise nicely. Makes about 12 - 4" by 4" waffles or 4" pancakes. Of course, your batter may produce more or fewer depending on its consistency and the size of the waffle or pancake you choose.

You can use "grocery store" or "health food store" ingredients to achieve similar results. I have found that although the Bisquick may not be considered a "health" food, it gives the most consistent results.

Toppings: I have topped the waffles/pancakes with sugar-free syrup, real maple syrup in season, or with a light dusting of powered sugar and fresh fruit. Be prepared to substitute another serving with a different topping if the one offered is rejected. A child may say they want powered sugar with fresh fruit until they see it, then reject it because it looks "different." You may have to eat the rejected serving, or give to another. Looks really count with picky eaters.

You can freeze or refrigerate extras for use later. I like to pop left-over waffle pieces in the toaster and spread with peanut butter.

It took years of trial-and-error with my family to come up with this universally acceptable (at least to them) recipe. I hope it works for you. I see it as a way to get some nutrition in as a "treat."

Here are the waffles that the medium batter produces.
Here are the waffles that the medium batter produces.

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