Accounting for Kaspar's food allergies is second-nature to us at this point; we're used to bringing food for him wherever we go, and when we go somewhere more far-flung, we think ahead to how and where Kaspar-safe snacks and meals can be quickly secured. After all, Kaspar is a fast-growing three-year-old, and he asks for snacks pretty much constantly. He's probably the healthiest snacker around, given his options; my boy loves fruit, veggies, raw cheese, last night's leftovers. He's a good eater, and a happy one. He's been opening the fridge lately, just to peruse, which is a little annoying. (I feel like such a mom, "Kas, please close the fridge! You're letting all the cold air out.") But I also appreciate his urge to snack independently, and I think it can be harnessed to both of our benefits, given that we're going to have a baby in our house very soon. I've decided to convert our lowest refrigerator drawer from a catch-all produce bin to a Kaspar Snack Emporium. Stocked with easy-access containers filled with healthy, Kaspar-friendly snacks, little man can go to town whenever he feels hungry between meals. It's very Montessori-esque and it'll make life just that much easier when my hands are just that much more full. (I'll definitely post photos when I've executed this plan. It's on my to-do list for next week.)

As streamlined as our system is, or will soon be, there are moments when I envy the ease with which allergy-free families can feed their hungry kids. I mean, travel is one thing, but even the snacks isle at the grocery store reminds me of the convenience factor we're missing out on. But when I look closely at the ingredients (and packaging, and prices) convenient snacks contain -- even the "healthy" ones -- I realize they're loaded with not only Kaspar allergens, but also sugar, salt and weird, processed oils. They're also a total ripoff. I even checked out a few boxes of gluten-free snack bars while at Whole Foods the other day. I was not inspired.

Well, I take that back. I was inspired to make snack bars at home, for Kaspar -- who's always down for new foods he can enjoy -- and Aaron, who's been bringing lunches to work, and buying sugar/salt/weird-ingredient-filled granola bars when what he brings still leaves his stomach rumbling for more. And for me, because hungry mama + easy, one-handed snacking = breastfeeding win. Thinking ahead! In fact, when I found this recipe via Pinterest, I was psyched; I've been reading up on milk-boosting foods, and apparently quinoa has been renowned for centuries in South America for its breastmilk-makin' properties. So cheers to a quinoa-based snack bar! (Kaspar, who's not big on quinoa taken straight, has been very happy to eat these, too; I'm all about healthy meats, and plenty of them, but it's nice to have a protein-heavy snack option that's non-meat-based, as well.)

Anyway, I modified the recipe a bit to suit our family's tastes/necessary food restrictions/love of chocolate chips. The bars turned out wonderfully; we've all been chowing down. The recipe's original author recommends using the recipe as a base, and switching up the ingredients according to what you like, too. 

Here's what we put in ours:

Ingredients:


3 cups of pre-cooked quinoa (1 cup of dry quinoa with 2 cups of water cooked for 30 minutes. I soak mine for a day in water with a few tablespoons of whey added, before cooking)
1 cup of gluten-free flour -- I used gluten-free oat flour
1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup of raw hemp seeds (you can use any kind of seeds)
1/3 cup of raisins
1/3 cup of chopped dried apricots
2 TB of soft extra virgin coconut oil
2 TB of applesauce
1/2 ts. of sea salt
dash of cinnamon
2-3 TB of raw honey 
3/4 - 1 cup of milk (I used raw, but you can use a non-dairy milk instead if that's your thing)
1/2 cup (thereabouts) chocolate chips (we use these)

What You'll Do:

1. Mix all ingredients well in a large bowl.
2. Spread evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper
3. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 50 minutes 
4. Cool, slice into rectangles or squares, and serve/save/savor.
 


08/08/2013 15:23

YUM! I had breastmilk-boosting cookies with Lil' J and I loved them! I ordered the mix on Etsy and just added the other stuff like milk etc, that it was missing and baked. They had a lot of stuff in it yours does. So glad Kaspar can have them too! Yum yum!

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