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As a mom, I've had to learn to pick my battles. I'll admit, with an almost-4-year-old and an almost-2-year-old sometimes I just have to let things go even when they bother me because if I don't my life will turn into one big battle of the wills. And really, who has the energy for that?? Not this girl!
That's right, I'm THAT mother who lets her child wear their favourite shirt again, even though they pulled it out of the dirty clothes hamper that morning. I'm also the mother who lets my kids empty all the bottom drawers in the kitchen while I'm making dinner, just to keep the peace for 30 glorious minutes...now you see why I love one-pot meals so much!
It's just no fun being the mom who feels like "no" is the full extent of her vocabulary. Don't get me wrong, everyone needs a good dose of Vitamin-N every now and then and just as there are some battles that aren't worth fighting, there are some that totally are! For us, one of those battles is nutrition. While there are many things I'm happy to compromise on, like the state of my kids hair and whether they eat off the pink plate or the purple plate, sugar is the one area where I stand my ground.
That's not to say my kids don't ever eat sugar. Now that they're getting a little older it's almost impossible to cut it out completely and you certainly won't find me being the only mom who won't let her kid eat a cupcake at her best friend's birthday party. Treats are okay sometimes, but because I stay home with my kids every day and I make most of our food from scratch, I'm able to be in control of the foods I offer to my kids, making sure their diet is healthy and full of the nutrition they need without all that added sugar that makes up most food products marketed to young kids these days.
And that's why I love recipes like this! My kids adore muffins and so I was determined to come up with a recipe that was not only free of sugar but also full of healthy ingredients! These muffins are packed with shredded vegetables and sweetened only with bananas, making them a great snack for kids of any age! My kids can't get enough of these, and I know your little ones will love them too!
Healthy Toddler-Friendly Mini Muffins (makes about 30 mini muffins):
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large carrot, grated
1 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup canola oil
4 mashed bananas (or 3 mashed bananas and 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce)
a mini muffin tin
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin.
Add the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, baking soda and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
To a separate bowl add the eggs and whisk them with a fork to break up the yolks. Add the canola oil, the grated carrot, the grated zucchini and the mashed bananas and mix with a spoon until all the wet ingredients are combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold everything together using a rubber spatula just until no streaks of flour remain.
Drop about a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each of the prepared muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-18 minutes or until the muffins are a nice golden brown.
Remove them from the oven and from their tin and let them cool completely on a cooling rack before enjoying!
This recipe makes about 30 mini muffins, but I usually make 24 mini muffins for the kids and 3 regular sized muffins for my husband and I to enjoy.
These muffins keep well in a airtight container for about 48 hours at room temperature, but I love to store them in the freezer in small batches and then grab them as I run out the door with the kids for a healthy snack in the car or while we run errands. They stay freshest in the freezer since they're made almost entirely of fruit and vegetables, but one batch almost never lasts us that long!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what's your kids' favourite healthy snack? I'd love to know!
Like this recipe? You'll love these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites or my Garlic Parmesan White Bean Hummus!