Franci likes to use a spoon to feed herself and, as long as the food is thick or sticky enough, doesn’t drop too many spoonfuls down her front. She isn’t that great at getting the food on the spoon, however. The scoop is either too big or too small and as soon as she gets frustrated or distracted, she starts using her bowl as a drum and the spoon a drumstick. Or she pretends the spoon is a crayon and “draws” on the table.
I’m not really in the mood to sit at the table first thing in the morning and supervise breakfast, and four days a week I’m hurrying to get us both ready and I don’t want to take the time to help her eat or clean up any messes.
In the interest of feeding her a healthy home-cooked breakfast without having to sit there and “feed” her, I came up with a Faux Oatmeal Cookie recipe. You can do this with any oatmeal: store-bought, quick-cooking, old-fashioned, or buckwheat cereal. Pretty much any porridge works.
I usually make a big batch of oatmeal and freeze it in cubes. Then Franci can eat it with a spoon, or I’ll make it into cookies as need be.
Faux Oatmeal Cookies
- Make a batch of oatmeal. Add in any healthy mix-ins you want, such as squash or gourd puree, fruit, green powder or protein powder, nut butter, flax seed, chia seeds. You get the idea. I try and pack in as much healthy stuff as I can, and use up any small quantities of frozen fruit or leftover purees I have lying around.
- Optional: puree cooked oatmeal. Depending on the texture requirements of your child, you might want to make it smooth before making into cookies.
- Drop spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten into a thin disk, maybe 1/8″ thick and an inch in diameter. There is no egg or leavening agent, so they won’t rise or spread.
- Bake at 275F until no longer mushy. If you can press your finger into a cookie, it’s not done. It should feel dry to the touch. I flip them over as soon as they are dry enough to not fall apart in the process.
Exactly how cooked you make them depends on your child’s taste. Do they prefer crunchy cookies? Do they like them better soft? The minumum amount of baking time is enough that you can transfer cookies off the sheet and they don’t fall apart. It’s hard to give an exact time, since everyone cooks their oatmeal to a different consistency. The runnier, the longer you need to cook it.
Since you are only baking them at 275F, you don’t have to check every two minutes. They aren’t going to burn if you get distracted and let them cook longer then intended. I usually forget that I’m making them, then smell cookies baking and remember to flip them over.
There really is no limit to what you can turn into “cookies”, or “patties” as I call the savory version. I have a ton of fish and vegetable puree leftover from when she was still into purees, and I mix in a little garbanzo bean flour to thicken it up before baking it into patties. I’ve also thickened it with buckwheat flour, ground flax seed, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast…you get the picture.