Breakfast Ideas for Kids - Secrets for Homemade Pancakes
Secrets for Kid Friendly Homemade Pancakes,Feeding Fighter Pilots & Entertaining a 7 Year-old at Breakfast
This is my nephew Wes. He's a fighter pilot and aviation expert.
Wes loves his Auntie M's homemade pancakes, especially when she makes them in his favorite shape...airplanes.
And he likes it when I make them round and stackable with peanut butter and bananas, real maple syrup and sometimes he likes them with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries.
The thing that impresses Wes the most? The perfect shapes Auntie M can make with the pancake ingredients. We won't tell him exactly how I do that, at least not just yet! A fighter pilot should always believe their co-pilot is "magic".
I made this lens for everyone out there looking for ways to entertain and inspire the imagination of their favorite fighter pilot.
My Homemade Pancake Secrets
I try my best to make my homemade pancake breakfast a healthy event..not always easy when sugar is involved.
I always use 100% Grade B Maple syrup as a topper. It is not as refined as Grade A and that means it retains its vitamins and minerals, an added bonus. It isn't as sweet as Grade A which bothers some people but that means all the other flavors can be tasted and aren't covered with sugar. Here's a link to Grade B Maple Syrup brands - I favor the Spring Tree Organic brand but Coombs Family Farms and NOW produce a good syrup too.
Tip About Syrup
Trying to limit sugars in your kids diet?
Try using a honey butter instead of syrup. It's got some sweet but not too much.
My Pancake Secret #2
Instead of butter I use a flavored, creamy yogurt like Wallaby's. Vanilla always works but strawberry is good and so is blueberry. Place several spoonfuls of yogurt in the center of the pancake and use the back of the spoon to spread the yogurt around. You can place a layer of yogurt between each pancake too.
Tip About Yogurt
Too much yogurt is overkill.
When adding fruit toppings, stick with a plain or vanilla flavored yogurt so the yogurt doesn't overpower the zing of the batter, fruit and syrup already being used.
My Pancake Secret #3
Use chopped, sliced and diced fruit to make smiley faces, spell out words or make art on your pancakes.
I use a dab of yogurt to hold the fruit in place--blueberries work well for eyes, strawberries and bananas can be sliced up and used as needed for the nose, mouth and ears.
Pancake Molds, Griddles and Pans
Entertain them with shapes.
Use several types of shapes to tell a story...animal shapes are always an easy entry to a story.
I love this pancake pan. I just makes creating something fun and interesting so much easier. Breakfast time can be a chaotic and fast-paced experience that doesn't allow for any kind of creativity, so any product like this Zoo Friends pan is great.
You can use this pan right over your stove top burners-gas or electric. It's nonstick so cleanup is simple- it could probably even wait for cleanup after you get home from your day, which makes everything even faster to accomplish at breakfast time.
When you click through this product link you'll also be shown all the other theme pancake pans made by Nordic Ware. I counted seven in total, including monsters and smiley faces.
My Pancake Secret #4
Add a bit of wheat germ or bran to the recipe for good fiber content, a tablespoon works best. Wheat germ has a nutty taste and oat bran has a slightly sweet taste. Kretschmer and Bob's Red Mill make excellent wheat germ. Adjust the amount after you see how the body responds--it does clean out the system!
Tip About Bran and Wheat Germ
Sprinkle the bran or wheat germ over the pancakes as a topping instead of mixing it into the batter. Both ways work, one is just crunchier than the other.
Pancakes or Waffles?
What makes the best "special" breakfast, pancakes of waffles?
Tip for Creative Pancakes
Save plastic figurines, toys and cake decorations to top pancakes on special occasions (don't bake them in the batter.) They can brighten up a kids day from the start.
My Pancake Secret #5
Let the fighter pilot help, especially when it's time to decorate the pancakes. WANT A REAL CHALLENGE? Ask the fighter pilot for a theme and then decorate and get creative from the direction they give you. Of course, you can always resort to the pancake molds (lots of links to pancake molds included below) but generally, this is when fruit gets used very creatively!
I've even used tiny toys (washed first, of course) to successfully complete a requested theme.