Here are some fun ideas to take pancakes out of the ordinary.
1. Start Healthy
Instead of using white flour, use whole wheat flour. Add in corn meal and/or oats. Adding milk also adds nutrition. For those with gluten intolerance, use one of the gluten-free flours now available on store shelves.
Instead of adding sugar with maple or other pancake syrups, many of which have added ingredients, cut up a selection of fruit. Use apples, berries, bananas and other options the family enjoys. Top healthy pancakes with fruit.
No matter how good the food, kids often bulk at eating. Get them interested in eating those pancakes by creating them in interesting shapes. Use your imagination or over sized cookie shapes to create fun shapes. For example, a larger pancake represents a face. Smaller pancake rounds add ears. Create the rest of the face with fruit and nuts.
Who doesn’t like cake? Stack pancakes with whipped topping between layers. Frost the entire stack with whipped topping and add cake decorations for a special “cake” pancake that draws the family–especially the children–to the table.
5. Holiday Themes
Create pancakes that reflect the holidays. Christmas pancakes can be shaped like a tree or a present. Add red and green decorations, fruit or color the batter. Sweeten a cranberry sauce and use for syrup. On Valentine’s Day create a heart and decorate with red frosting or cover with chocolate. Stripe a flag for July 4th.
Other celebrations also deserve special pancakes–anniversaries, graduations, birthdays. Create a birthday pancake with the child’s name and birthday. You can even add a real candle to the center of a deep pancake.
Kids will more likely consume what they helped prepare. Bring them into the kitchen. Get their input into what they’d like in and on their pancakes. Show them how to make them.
Some kids have a rough time learning the basics. Make learning fun by creating pancakes in letter or number shapes. Show them how to make words with the pancakes. You can also draw shapes, letters or numbers on the pancakes with raisins, fruit or nuts.
9. More than Breakfast
Add a filling, like peanut butter, to a pancake. Roll it up and add it to a lunch box for a nutritious mid-day meal.
Create small pancakes and top them with frosting and candy. Use as a dessert.