Frances started daycare this week and she will be there for lunchtime. The kids have to feed themselves, so I’ve been trying out different finger foods for the last month. It is not going well. Aside from fruit and cheese, everything else gets handed back to me: chicken, pork, tofu, vegetables. Basically, anything good for her that isn’t sweet.
I’d like to send her with something more substantial than just fruit, and more exciting than puffed grains (which she starts to throw like confetti when she’s bored of it). I’m not a big fan of store-bought baby-puffs, even the good kind. They are made using a process called extrusion that destroys most of the nutrients, and contain preservatives and fillers like white rice. Plus, they’re more of a snack than a meal and I wanted something that would fill her up, if necessary.
So I set about finding a recipe for homemade puffs that would be filling, nutritious and tasty. After a little adaptation, here’s what I came up with. They happen to be gluten-free and paleo, if you’re into that:
Coconut Bites (adapted from Coconut Mama)
- 1/2 C coconut flour
- 1/2 C ground chia seeds
- 1/2 C apple sauce or other fruit/veggie puree
- 1/2 C nut butter (I use almond or peanut)
- 1 tbs Green Superfood powder (such as Amazing Grass Green Superfoods, Green Power – Raw Organic Superfood Blend or Trader Joe’s Very Green Drink Powder
Combine all ingredients and mix to form a dough. One handful of dough at a time, smush into a long rope about as thick as your pinky (or smaller). Cut into bite-sized pieces and scatter on a baking sheet. If you want tiny little puffs, use a clean Play Doh Confetti Maker like I did.
Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, tossing half way through to redistribute, until they begin to brown. Turn off oven and let puffs sit in oven 5-10 minutes until they have dried out.
Franci loves to put a couple of these in her mouth, get them all soggy and then swallow. If she sees a jar of them on the table, she won’t eat anything else, so beware!