As a parent of two ADHD children, I’ve read my fare share of research, blogs, diets, wild-haired experiments, and theories regarding effective, and sometimes alternative, ADHD treatments. While I’m not a medical professional and do not claim to be an expert, I base much of my boys’ treatment on my readings and work from college.
Like many parents of ADHD children, I’ve learned that my children need routine, order, and structure. I’ve also learned that my kids need a well-balanced, healthy, and less processed diet. Over the years, I’ve become a firm believer that excessive sugar/fats, fast food meals, boxed convenience foods, and even frozen quick meals can negatively affect both behavior and health. I grew up with the benefit of my mother cooking our meals from scratch, my father growing many of our fruits and vegetables, and never being allowed to eat boxed meals like Hamburger Helper, and we were much healthier than many kids today. So, when my oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD, I went back to my roots and began feeding my kids the way my mother did.
Since ADHD medication kills my boys’ lunchtime appetite, their pediatrician stressed the importance of a hearty, balanced, nutritious breakfast and dinner. Considering that many breakfast cereals are packed with sugar and the most popular pastries seem to be nothing but sugar, creating a breakfast that would fill them up and last all morning was the task that I tackled first. My oldest son loves bacon and sausage and my youngest loves fruit and grains, so I make sure that every breakfast includes protein, complex carbohydrates from fruits & veggies, and a small starch to appease their morning want for a little sugar.
Many mornings, breakfast includes bacon/sausage/chicken/ham, fresh fruit or applesauce, toast/English muffin or potatoes, and milk or juice. Every once in a while, I throw them a curve ball with breakfast burritos (homemade) or egg rolls (recipe here) or even sausage gravy & biscuits, but given that extra time in the morning is luxury, I like to stick to breakfasts that can be cooked in under 30 minutes. (Yes, I actually cook breakfast every morning.)
Recently, I was asked to test and prepare a few recipes using Steviva brand sweeteners. I’m not a fan of giving my kids artificial sweeteners, I did my research to learn that all of the sweeteners in their portfolio are all natural, filler-free, GMO-free, soy-free, corn-free, allergen-free and super easy-to-use. So with that, I decided to experiment with a few of their sweeteners and test them on my kids. If the kids like them and can’t tell the difference, then I figure it’s a winner.
As advertised on the label, Steviva’s Fructevia is “excellent for cooking and baking,” so my goal was to create a breakfast “cookie” that would be finger-friendly, filling, nutritious, and a replacement for their usual toast/English muffin component. The end result was a breakfast bite that both boys loved and the students in my first period class devoured, without uttering word or even coming up for air until they’d eaten everything on the tray.
Banana-Oatmeal Breakfast Bites
3/4 c. softened butter (not margarine)
2/3 c. Steviva Fructevia
1/4 c. molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. mashed over-ripe bananas
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour (whole wheat flour may be substituted)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all-spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated)
2 tsp cornstarch
3 c. old-fashioned oats (not instant oatmeal)
1 c. mini chocolate chips
**I figure a few chocolate chips in a batch of over 4 dozen “cookies” isn’t going to hurt.**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and Fructevia. Add molasses, egg, and vanilla. Mix well. Add mashed banana, flour, spices, and cornstarch. Mix just until completely incorporated. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
Using a cookie scoop, place dough onto lined cookie sheets 2″ apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes or until tops look dry.
Cool on a wire rack.
Yield: 4 dozen
**Since testing Fructevia in these breakfast bites, I’ve started experimenting with Steviva’s Nectevia, which blends stevia and organic agave. The results have been pretty tasty!
For more information about Steviva, check them out!