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Am I out of my mind? It’s possible.
Let me share a bit more about how this began. Recently, I took my youngest daughter to the doctor and we discovered that she is hovering on the edge of anemia. This is having low iron levels. Not good!
My husband and I have struggled with both of our toddler girls when it comes to eating meat and other iron rich foods. They straight up refuse. Sigh.
On the rare occasion they will eat fish sticks or chicken nuggets, but not enough to keep their iron levels up. And sadly, it is the best we have been able to do. It drives me crazy that they only want to eat processed meat.
The struggles we have worked through over food have been so hard. We wonder if we did something wrong or if we should work with food therapist. If you have a good eater, consider yourself blessed!
I always add sources of high iron as best that I can, but it hasn’t been enough. We serve chickpea pasta, always add blackstrap molasses to their smoothies, pumpkin seeds, and include lots of dried fruit. However, I refuse to make meal time a battle. I don’t think it is healthy.
Recently, I discovered the power of beans! Now, if I serve my children beans on a plate, they won’t touch them. However, if I make cupcakes, cookies, or peanut butter balls out of beans- they devour them.
The best part is that all of these recipes are simple to make, high in protein, and are sweetened with honey. That is right- sugar free! I use organic, raw honey. Raw honey has so many good things about it.
Now, keep in mind a couple of these recipes do use chocolate chips. Lily’s makes dark chocolate chips with stevia if you want to completely avoid sugar. I like to use semi sweet mini chocolate chips and a bit less of them than required. You can adapt these recipes to your needs.
So if my children ask me for a cupcake after they finish their green smoothie in the morning- my answer is alway YES.
BEANS ARE AWESOME
I’m going to spill the beans (pun intended!).
Beans, sometimes referred to as legumes, are an amazing source of fiber, iron, calcium, folate, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus. Additionally, beans are one of the only edible plants that provide a significant amount of the amino acid lysine.
As an extremely nutritious food, evidence shows that legumes can play an important role in the prevention and management of a number of health conditions like Type 2 Diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and obesity.
I will hold out hope that my little ones will become better eaters as they grow, but I love knowing that beans are such a wonderful and versatile food. They have definitely added some relief in our house while try to teach our girls to eat healthy foods.
MY FAVORITE BEAN RECIPES
These bean recipes have been lifesavers for us.
And it’s actually nice to be able to say yes to giving treats. The kids enjoy a yummy snack and I know they are getting another serving of vegetables, protein, and iron! It’s great that beans can be so versatile in cooking.
- Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies – I use semi sweet mini chocolate chips.
- Chickpea Peanut Butter Balls – I use semi sweet mini chocolate chips.
- White Bean Vanilla Cupcakes – I use double the beans in this one.
- Whipped Cream Honey Frosting – I use 3 tbsp of honey instead of ⅓ cup.
- Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas – My kids love these. Mind blowing!
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family and I have when you need a sweet treat that is also good for you.
Do you have any great bean recipes you can share? I would love to hear them.