Alice is still very particular regarding what she will and will not eat. Of course this causes me to stress over what to feed her and wondering if she'll actually eat what I've made for meals and snacks. Bananas? Sometimes. Strawberries? On occasion. Grapes? Absolutely. Crackers? Of course! Broccoli? No way. I've heard the theory that you have to offer different foods to a kid like a zillion times before they will actually try it so I just keep offering her all sorts of things although she's turned her nose up at it before. Frustrating doesn't even begin to describe mealtimes around here.
Lately I've been relying a little too heavily on snacks to satiate Alice. I read in this book that packaged stuff like cookies and crackers and fast-and-easy snack foods should be given very moderately as they are often high in calories and sodium and low in nutritional value. Plus those snacks are designed to taste good to developing little taste buds so, by feeding Alice that kind of stuff, I could be teaching her to gravitate away from whole foods to more processed crap.
Or this could all be a bunch of baloney.
Anyway. Since Alice loves those organic cereal bars, I decided to try my hand at making my own. After a few different variations, I've come up with one that Alice absolutely loves. And despite the fact that they contain raisins (and I despise raisins!!), I like them, too. Here's how to make them.
Coconut-Almond Snack Bars (Paleo & gluten-free):
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup nut butter
- In a food processor add all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the nut butter and mix for up to five minutes, scraping down the sides, until everything is finely chopped and thoroughly mixed. Place in a small bowl.
- Using a spatula and starting with small amounts, work the nut butter into the coconut-raisin mixture until it clumps together and is shapeable. (I use this homemade almond-coconut butter, which is ridiculously delicious and so easy to make, and it has a very fluid-like consistency. If you use a store-bought nut butter that you keep refrigerated, you may need to microwave it a bit to be able to thoroughly mix the two together).
- Place a piece of parchment in a baking dish and, using the spatula, flatten the mixture into a square shape approximately 1/4-inch thick. To make these snack bars look a little better, you can top them with raisins and finely shredded coconut... but they taste just as good without the embellishments.
- Place the baking dish in the freezer for up to two hours until the bars have set and then cut them into appropriate-sized pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Alice getting her grub on.