I made this oatmeal one night after craving one of my favorite sandwiches. I love almond butter, fig and banana sandwiches. I know it sounds a bit strange but its almost like a fancy peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I picked up maple almond butter at the farmers market and wanted to give it a test drive. As you may know from my site, I do love the taste of maple, which is why I enhanced this oatmeal with maple extract and maple syrup. This recipe is easy, creamy, and not overly sweet. You can easily alter the ingredients for your taste buds or your child’s.
Steel cut oats are super healthy for both you and your child. My friend and nutrition consultant, Allison Topilow, MS, RD, CDN asserts that “Steel cut oats are grains that are nutrient rich and full of B vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber while being low in sodium and fat. They are whole grain groats, the inner portion of the oat kernel, which have been cut into two or three pieces rather than flattened”. Steel cut oats help you and your child feel fuller for longer. Good for mommy and for child!
Modifications for allergies/diet: Substitute maple almond butter with almond butter, sunflower butter, cashew butter or all natural peanut butter. For children or adults with a gluten allergy, substitute the steel cut oats with gluten free steel cut oats. If you are concerned about sugar content be sure to use a smaller portion of fig jam.
Nutritional Boost: Allison Topilow, nutrition consultant, suggests experimenting with a tablespoon of ground flax seed or adding some walnuts for added Omega-3s. For extra fiber, try some toasted wheat germ. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids while slowly increasing fiber intake.
Child Friendly Tip: Your child can easily help you measure everything and put in all of the ingredients. They can even choose a different jam if you like or easily substitute the maple almond butter with regular almond butter, peanut butter or toasted soy spread. Go for a ride to the market and get the ingredients together!
Language Concepts: When making this oatmeal, I would begin with discussing various food groups. This can lead you into a conversation about grains and how they are grown. You can discuss the texture of the oats (have your child feel the oats when they are dry and describe what they feel like). Compare this feeling to other types of oats (quick oats, rolled oats). All of the various oats do look and feel different. Discuss temperature, colors (e.g. colors of different jams), problem solving (e.g. “What happens if you add too much liquid?”), opposites (thin vs. thick, hot vs. cold, smooth vs. bumpy), actions, and improving vocabulary. Watch your ingredients turn into a healthy, yummy treat for breakfast!
- 1 cup of steel cut oats
- 3 cups of low fat milk
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of maple almond butter
- 2-3 tablespoons of fig jam
- 1 large ripe banana cut up in small pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon of maple extract
- 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup (less depending on how sweet you want it)
- raisins (optional)
1. Place all items (except raisins) in slow cooker.
2. Slow cook on low for 3 hours until thick and yummy (stir it once in awhile).
3. When heating up the next day, add a tablespoon or so of water, raisins and microwave until hot.
Becca Eisenberg is a certified speech language pathologist and mom of two.Through her own personal challenges at mealtime with her two young children she ventured on creating a website to help parents facilitate language and make mealtime fun. Her website gravitybread.com focuses on facilitating and encouraging language with fun and easy recipes, educational books and recommended toys and apps.
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