My son, a child so picky that other picky eaters think he's too extreme, gets the munchies more than I ever did
in my pot-clouded college days. If nibbly, crunchy, finger food is on the menu,
he's happy. This turned out to be a good thing, after I learned to use it to my
The stroke of genius: I build meals out of
snacks. Snacks packed with nutrients.
Now that he's in third grade, I let him pack
his own lunch (OK, I insist upon it—he's more likely to eat food he packs
himself). His favorite is what we call "The Nibbly," small portions of multiple nutritious,
snacky items. Today's lunchbox contains a tablespoon or two of honey peanut
butter, sliced apple to dunk, a kid-sized handful of potato chips and some
olives, all assembled by junior himself. Yesterday's featured mozzarella
cheese, whole-wheat crackers, baby carrots and a cookie.
That would be a homemade cookie: one based on
fruit, nut butter and two types of whole grains; a cookie I can get behind, easy
to make and satisfyingly chewy, just sweet enough; a cookie I'd serve—and have
served—for breakfast, in a pinch. My son's delighted when that happens because,
well, what kid wouldn't be happy to have cookies for breakfast? He helps me
bake them so he understands that they're actually good for him, but they're
If a baked good can save a life, I'm pretty
sure this one saved mine.
mashed banana (from 1 medium, very ripe banana)
1 1/2 cups
rolled oats (not instant)
chocolate chips, optional
1. Preheat the
oven to 350°F,
and position racks in upper and lower thirds. Grease two baking sheets and set
2. In a medium
bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a large bowl
with an electric mixer, cream together the sugars and butter on medium speed
for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix it in, then the almond butter and
mashed banana. Mix until well combined.
4. Add the dry
ingredients to the almond butter mixture and combine with the mixer on low
speed. Stir in the oats and optional chocolate chips—the dough will be quite
tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, flattening each slightly
with moistened fingers.
6. Bake for 10 to
12 minutes, until the cookies turn golden around the edges. Cool on a wire