Feeding kids healthfully is probably one of the hardest jobs on the planet and I’m not exaggerating. Especially when school is back in session and we have to not only feed them a healthy breakfast, but also pack them healthy lunches. Skipping breakfast is not an option. It can lead to irritable kiddos who misbehave or are not at their best at school.
As a real food momma there have been times I’ve wished I could go back to the simplicity of a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Yet I know, while that is convenient, it’s not optimal nutrition for my kids. So, I decided to create a variety of healthy homemade granola recipes to rotate through and have on hand weekly for easy breakfasts. I’ll be sharing one of those with you in a bit…..
A perk to my granola recipes is that they are super quick to whip up. In fact they are so easy even the kids can make them. Not to mention, they can be turned into granola bars and packed with their lunches.
When I was a kid, I remember getting a granola bar in my lunch every single day. The kind I recall having the most was those Nature Valley bars. They came two in a package, hard and crunchy. I decided it would be cool to send something similar for my kids from time to time rather than a bag of messy loose granola. The teachers always ask that the snacks not be messy. While I’ve figured out how to press the granola into bars they still do crumble a bit.
Healthy, Tasty Options
Something I consider with any recipe I create or food I make for my kids is how digestible it is. Also, I like to make sure there are minerals in every food source we consume. My granola uses gluten-free oats hands down every time, since we are a gluten free household. But also, I choose to buy my oats already sprouted from To Your Health Sprouted Flour Company. It saves me time and I can ensure the kids can better assimilate the granola. Sprouting the oats first increases their digestibility.
I also opt to use maple syrup instead of honey so we can get the minerals. Besides when you cook honey you lose the valuable enzymes and it becomes harder for the body to digest. Raw honey (use the code Katie15 for 15% off at that site!) is best used raw.
I throw in some sea salt and sprouted pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of minerals, one of them is zinc. I avoid nuts because often we have to for school anyway. Although if the granola is consumed at home I may throw some sprouted or raw nuts into the mix.
Note from Katie: Lydia talks about minerals a lot, doesn’t she? That’s because she has seen countless kids (and adults) whose minerals are out of balance and wreaking havoc on their health. You’ve got to read her take on why American kids just aren’t healthy today if you missed it earlier this summer!
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“I just want my kids to eat what I make!”
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My husband also did a mineral analysis with her and we’re still working through the recommendations (summer is a TOUGH time to stay on a particular diet!), if you’re curious to see just how the process plays out.
You can read more about the mineral analysis HERE. Thanks for working to help us all get back in balance, Lydia!!
The good news is, you can change up the granola to suit your own preferences and needs. Here’s the recipe…..Print
- 6 cups organic sprouted oats or gluten-free organic rolled oats
- 2 cups raw or sprouted organic pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbsp. organic ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. organic ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. organic ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 c. pure maple syrup (grade B)
- 1 c. organic virgin coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!), melted
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (gluten-free or homemade)
- Shredded coconut (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!), sunflower seeds, or any organic dried fruit you like. If adding dried fruit, it’s best to add it after the granola has been cooked.
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir.
- Add the maple syrup, melted coconut oil and vanilla to the dry oat mixture. Stir well to coat all the dry mixture.
- Spread this mixture out on the baking sheets. Here’s where you get to decide if you want to try for the bars vs. the looser chunky, crumbly granola. If you do want bars, then press the granola mixture into one baking sheet to fill it completely with no spaces (about 1/2 inch thick). Place any remaining granola mixture onto the other pan – this will be loose granola.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. For loose granola, turn once or twice throughout the cooking time. For the bars, you may need to leave it in the oven AFTER the cooking time with oven off to crisp it up a bit more or add another 5-10 minutes to the cooking (or both). Just check it to make sure it’s getting crispy.
- Let the granola cool completely. I like to store the loose granola in a glass Fido jar on the counter for the kids to get easy breakfasts on their own. For the bars, I cut them up carefully.
FYI: sometimes the bars break, this is not a perfectly glued together bar every time.
I place the bars into baggies and put them into the extra freezer in a bin. Then I can just grab them in the mornings I need them for school lunches.
On the days we DO NOT have granola with breakfast, the boys will get some in their lunch.
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Lydia is a Nutritional Therapist and a single mom of four fabulous boys, on a mission to share her passion for whole, healthy, real foods with the world! She enjoys living life one day at a time, from the inside out! Lydia believes that health is a choice, a right and a gift that we cannot take for granted, and in this day and age, unfortunately, must fight for!
Lydia started Divine Health From the Inside Out to log her journey with food and evolving food philosophies, along with her own personalized recipes. Along the way shifting over to a more traditional, real foods way of eating and incorporating the most natural, organic, nature intended foods possible. Thus ultimately leading to a more nourishing way of life!