Like many kids, my little ones can be picky eaters. So I’ve been experimenting with ways to still pack the healthy stuff into their daily meals. One of my favorite go-tos lately is green pancakes. I thought the boys might be turned off by the green color, but to my surprise they’ve been a total hit! They are super easy to make, and my toddler loves assisting. Call them what you want – green monster pancakes, green smoothie pancakes, or green wheels and hopefully your little ones will love these too.
HEALTHY INGREDIENTS FOR GROWING BRAINS AND BODIES
This Spinach Banana Pancake recipe is a great way to give your little ones nutrients, healthy fats and proteins to build strong bodies and brains. Here are a few additions I’ve made to other recipes I’ve seen:
- Extra eggs for more protein and healthy fats* (note: depending on your dietary preferences, this recipe also turns out just fine with no eggs)
- No honey or maple syrup for sweetener – In our experience, the vanilla extract and cinnamon add enough sweetness for the kids. Plus, my oldest will want to top with a bit of syrup anyway, so no need to double up
- Added Flax Seeds and Almond Butter for protein, fiber, and healthy fats
Note: When I say healthy fats, I’m referring to fats with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which studies show support a child’s cognitive development among other benefits. Also, choosing pasture raised eggs over caged can double the omega-3 fatty acids. Vital Farms eggs are a great choice.
EASY TO MAKE PANCAKES WITH A BLENDER
Minimize mess and maximize fun cooking with a toddler with a recipe where you just need to measure, pour and mix. No sink full of dishes left behind.
I also love this pancake pen (link here), which makes transferring the batter from the blender to the griddle/pan so much easier and cleaner. It can make cool shapes and letters too!
Here’s another photo and link to the pancake pen, which makes these SO much easier and less messy 🙂
Make More, COOK LESS
I often make extras when cooking for my littles so I can cook and clean once, but serve for multiple occasions. These pancakes can last in the fridge 3-5 days or a few months in the freezer. Just like waffles, frozen or cold pancakes also taste great when heated in the toaster.
The extras are a great quick weekday breakfast option. I usually make a mix of full size for breakfast and minis for on the go, which my oldest will even eat them cold in his school snack or lunch box.
Green Spinach banana protein pancakes
Recipe // via Mama to Littles
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 3 large eggs
- 3⁄4 cups milk (regular, almond, cashew or coconut)
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 small banana (very ripe is best)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup Pancake Mix*
*Note: I like to use Arrowhead Mills Multigrain Pancake & Waffle Mix for the whole grains and added fiber, but any pancake mix will do
- Add all the ingredients to a blender, except the pancake mix
- Blend until well combined and you no longer see notable traces of spinach leaves
- Pour in the pancake mix
- Warm a large pan or griddle and coat with butter or oil. Pour the batter into small circles and let cook until the pancakes start bubbling and the bottom is lightly golden
- Flip and cook for a minute or two on the other side
- If desired, you can keep the finished pancakes warm in a 275 degree oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes
- Serve and enjoy with your little ones!