Tag Archives: healthy breakfasts for toddlers

Apple Sandwiches {An Old Favourite}

Apple Sandwiches | Mama Papa BubbaI’ve been making these fun and easy apple sandwiches for Miss G for a long time now (we didn’t follow the usual no nuts until the age of 2 rule) and they’ve always been a total hit.  And because we load ours up with all kinds of healthful fillings, they make a perfect breakfast or even lunch!

IMG 8812You certainly don’t need all of these things, but since we almost always have them all on hand and Miss G enjoys the variety, we usually go for it.  In today’s lineup was peanut butter, almond butter, and a pink lady apple, plus unsweetened coconut, pumpkin seeds, sliced almonds, old-fashioned oats, sunflower seeds, and hemp hearts. Also needed is a sharp knife and small cookie cutter of some sort (though you can do without if needed).

IMG 8814Apple sandwiches are really so simple to throw together that I’m sure instructions aren’t needed, but this is how we normally make ours…  First off, I slice them up quite thinly.  We usually get 8 or 9 slices (not including the 2 end pieces) per apple.  Then we separate them into two piles – one where the seeds have to be cut out, and the other where there really aren’t any seeds at all.

IMG 8815Next, we use our small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the centres out of the seedy slices. You can use an apple corer or a sharp knife to the trick too.  These pieces will become the sandwich tops.

IMG 8816On to the bottoms!  Since these really don’t have any seeds, there’s no cookie cutter needed.  Just slather them with your favourite nut butter…

IMG 8817And have your munchkin sprinkle them with the toppings of his or her choice.  

IMG 8823Then pop the tops  on and you’ve got a yummy snack or meal ready for your little one (or you!) to gobble up!


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Flower Garden Yogurt Parfait

Flower Garden Yogurt Parfait | Mama Papa BubbaThe other day, while quickly picking up a couple of craft supplies at the dollar store, Miss G and I stumbled upon these adorable miniature clay pots.  We both laid eyes on them at the same time, and just as I was thinking, ‘Oooh!  I must have those pots!’, she asked, ‘Mama, can we please take home those baby pots?’  Ummm, yes – we certainly can, baby girl.  

At the time of purchase, I really had no idea what we’d use them for – all I knew was that there were tons of possibilities.  This morning when I poked my head into the refrigerator to give Gracen some breakfast options, however, I knew exactly what they’d be good for…. Creating tiny edible flower gardens, of course!

IMG 8383To get started, Grae helped me gather up some things – plain organic greek yogurt, homemade granola (muesli would work too), some pineapple and melon slices (about a 1/2 inch thick), some cinnamon, our clay pot, some tiny wooden dowels (short skewers or food picks would work too), and daisy-shaped cookie cutters – then she was off to play dress-up.

IMG 8404While she was busy playing, scrubbed the pot well with hot soapy water.  Then I mixed up approximately one part yogurt with one part granola, and scooped it into the pot.  Next up, I covered the yogurt mixture with a little bit more granola and generously sprinkled cinnamon on top.

IMG 8389Using a daisy-shaped cookie cutter Miss G got in her Easter basket, I cut little flower shapes out of pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

IMG 8408Then I carefully speared them onto our tiny wooden dowels.  I did contemplate colouring the dowels green beforehand, but I didn’t have any natural green food colouring on hand and didn’t feel comfortable using the real stuff since it would be directly in the food.  Oh well!  Maybe next time…

IMG 8415To put it all together, I simply placed the ‘flower lollipops’ (as G calls them) into the yogurt mixture.  Because of the thickness of Greek yogurt, and the fact that it’s 1/2 granola, the flowers stayed up really well.  

IMG 8418Gracen was tickled pink with her edible flower garden, and not only did she request additional flower lollipops during breakfast, but she also requested another flower garden yogurt parfait for afternoon snack. Yay for healthy and fun munchkin meals!


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Healthy Breakfast Banana Split

Healthy Breakfast Banana Split | Mama Papa BubbaBased on my beginning Toddler Food posts, this breakfast is an old favourite, but for one reason or another, I haven’t made it in a very long time.  I guess I kind of forgot about it.  But the other day, when Miss G’s breakfast request involved only one stipulation – something with bananas – it was the first thing I thought of.  I made her her first breakfast banana split in a long time, and she absolutely gobbled it up.  When lunch time rolled around, she requested another and convinced me with a “But Mama, I looooooooved that banana split.  You made it soooo yummy.”  I finally drew the line at dinnertime when she requested a third, but she’s had it for breakfast several times since.  

Breakfast Banana Split Ingridents | Mama Papa BubbaIt’s such a simple morning meal, but it’s healthy, can be made a ton of different ways, and almost tastes like dessert for breakfast. ☺  They change from one time to another, but here’s our usual line up of ingredients…  1/2 a banana cut lengthwise, plain organic greek yogurt (you could use sweetened yogurt if that’s what you’re used to), some almond butter (any nut butter would be delicious), a strawberry sliced up, and something to serve as sprinkles (today we used unsweetened coconut, but we’ve also used chia seeds and hemp hearts). 

IMG 8276This morning, I set out the ingredients as a little ‘build your own breakfast’ station and Miss G assembled her own banana split.  Just as we’ve done together previously, she laid the banana pieces down first, added a couple of big scoops of greek yogurt, topped them both with almond butter and strawberry slices, then sprinkled the whole thing with coconut.

IMG 8282Breakfast is served!


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Chia Granola {with clusters!}

Healthy Homemade Chia Granola | Mama Papa BubbaHomemade granola is somewhat of a staple in our house…  Gracen and I usually made a big batch once a month or so, jar it up, and eat it as a cereal, serve it with yogurt, sprinkle it on nut butter toast, or use it as a smoothie topper.

IMG 7955Though it can be full of sugar and not-good-for-you fats when purchased in stores, we jam pack ours full of nutrient-rich nuts and seeds, use a good pure maple syrup to sweeten it, and include a relatively small amount of oil, so I can feel good about giving it to Grae {and eating it myself}.

IMG 7956While I’ve posted about our granola making adventures in the past, we’ve tweaked our recipe just a bit and I love the effects it’s been having on finished product.  Normally, the one downside to healthy homemade granola is that it’s nearly impossible to make it all clustery like its store bought counterpart… That is, until you add chia (magical little seeds that they are – just look at those clusters!)  Now not all of your batch will look like this obviously, but 1/3 to 1/2 of it will, which is good enough for me. ☺

Chia Granola {with clusters!}

  • 2 individual cups ‘just apples’ applesauce
  • 1/4 cup of pure organic maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, in liquid form
  • 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (optional)
  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups of raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup of wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup of ground flax seed
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened coconut
Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Mix the wet ingredients, spices, and chia seeds in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes or so.  

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the wet chia mixture into the dry ingredients and combine well (use hands if needed).  Spread the mixture onto two parchment-lined baking sheets and let sit for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour until golden, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even browning.



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Lime Refresher Green Smoothie

Lime Refresher Green SmoothieMiss G and I continue to start most of our days with a big green smoothie each, and I must say, we’re loving it.  It’s become a morning routine for us… Grae retrieves the blender and fresh produce, I grab the freezer ingredients and chop things up, she puts everything into the blender, and together we enjoy our mason jars of green goodness.  

I really shouldn’t even say this, but we’ve managed to make it through the season of sickness, with friends and playmates all around us dealing with endless bouts of flu and colds, without getting sick once (*knock on wood*).  And I have to say, I think these vitamin/nutrient-packed immune boosters may just have had something to do with it. 

Here’s our newest favourite…

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Lime Refresher Green Smoothie

  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 an apple
  • 1/2 a pear
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mango
  • 1 large lime, peeled
  • 3 stalks of kale, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of cold water, depending on desired consistency

Blend on low until everything is combined, then blend on high for an additional 45 seconds.  Serves two (plus a wee one if you’re willing to share a little).



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Grae’s Favourite GREEN Smoothie

Grae s Favourite Green SmoothieI know that green smoothies may seem a little trendy with all of the New Year’s resolutions happening right now, but the truth is that they’re really easy, really healthy, and pretty much a fool-proof way to start your day.  

Grae and I have been making green smoothies for a long while now (and even made one with all green ingredients for last year’s St. Patrick’s Day), but I decided I’d make a habit of making one each morning after slipping into a routine of skipping breakfast for the last couple of months of 2012.  So far, we’ve pretty much started each day of the New Year with a green smoothie of some sort (we often just add a couple of giant handfuls of kale or spinach to this trusty standby), but this particular one has quickly become our very favourite.  

Green Smoothie IngredientsHere’s the lineup of ingredients… Some cold water, several ice cubes, pure orange juice (or better yet – a fresh squeezed orange), half an apple, a pear, a banana, and a few kale leaves.

IMG 4405To get started, peel the banana, chop up the pear, and peel and chop the apple (as long as you don’t mind some added texture, feel free to leave the apple peel on).

IMG 4407Now pop those things into the blender {while sneaking a few bites of course}.

IMG 4410Next, remove the stems from the kale.

IMG 4413And add it to the blender along with the orange juice, water, and ice cubes.

IMG 4415This part isn’t necessary and certainly doesn’t change the flavour, but we always add a big scoop of chia seeds to our smoothies.  The nutritional benefits of chia are amazing and it keeps your smoothie from separating if you store extras in the fridge overnight.  Bonus!

Green Smoothie in ProgressNext, blend everything up.  We normally start on a low setting until the ingredients are combined, then crank it up and let it blend a while longer so that it doesn’t feel as though you’re drinking a salad. ☺

(If you really don’t like the idea of drinking leaves and want your smoothie to be as smooth as possible, blend just your liquids and leafy greens first, then add in the other ingredients afterwards.)

IMG 4424Now pour into cups and enjoy!


Gracen’s Favourite Green Smoothie

  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 ripe pear, chopped
  • 1/2 an apple (we usually use Galas, Ambrosias, or Fujis), peeled and chopped
  • 3 big leaves of kale, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 1/2 cup of pure orange juice (or the juice from 1 large orange)
  • 4 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for approximately 45 seconds.




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Mango Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding

Mango Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding

This is a breakfast both Gracen and I love.  I love it because super healthy and I can throw all of the ingredients into a mason jar before I go to bed and wake up to an already prepared breakfast.  I’m sure she loves it because it’s sweet, creamy, and it feels like you’re having dessert for breakfast.  And that’s okay with me. I agree!

If you haven’t yet tried chia seeds, you definitely should.  They’re often called the “super seed”, and for good reason.  They’re packed with essential fatty acids, fibre, calcium, and a bunch of other vitamins and minerals, plus they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid.  Besides using them in puddings, around here we add them to yogurt, muffins, cereal, and smoothies too.  In fact, they quickly became my secret smoothie ingredient when I learned that adding a tablespoon of chia to a blender of our favourite smoothie would keep it thick and prevent it from separating (even when kept in the fridge overnight!)

IMG 1716But onto the recipe.  Here’s what we use to make our overnight mango coconut chia pudding…  Your choice of milk (coconut milk is especially delicious in this recipe), pure maple syrup, chia seeds, pure vanilla, unsweetened coconut, and a mango (not pictured because it isn’t needed until morning).

IMG 1718I like to make this recipe in a mason jar because it seals well and I can give the jar a little shake every now and then, but any sort of bowl or container that has a lid will do.  

To get started, add your chia seeds to the milk.

IMG 1722Then add the coconut…

IMG 1728The maple syrup…

IMG 1730And the vanilla.

IMG 1735Give everything a stir…

IMG 1736Pop the lid on and put the jar in the fridge.  If you come back to the fridge again that night, give the jar a gentle shake to prevent clumping.  If not, it’s not a big deal.

Now go to sleep.


IMG 1740When you wake up in the morning, retrieve your mason jar of pudding.  It’ll be thick  and creamy by now and will resemble the insides of a passionfruit. Grab a mango too.  (Though mango / coconut is one of our favourite combinations, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries pair well with the coconut too.)

IMG 1742Now peel and chop up your mango into small pieces…

IMG 1744And add them to the jar.

IMG 1748Mix everything together well.

IMG 1749Breakfast is ready!

IMG 1753

Serve with fresh or frozen berries, mint leaves, or almond slices.
Mango Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding
Adapted from this recipe from SkinnyTaste
  • 2 cups of your favourite type of milk
  • 6 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
  • 1 medium-sized ripe mango
Put the first set of ingredients into a jar and stir. Put the lid on the jar and put in the fridge overnight.  If you come back to the fridge later in the evening, give the jar a shake or two (if not, don’t worry about it).  
In the morning, retrieve your jar and a mango.  Peel and dice the mango, add it to the jar, and give everything a stir. 
Serve with berries, mint leaves, or almond slices.
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Healthy Wholewheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin Muffins‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, so today Grae and I decided to experiment with making a healthy, but delicious, pumpkin treat.  I must say, we were definitely ‘winging it’, but our version of pumpkin spice muffins turned out great! They’re soft and moist inside, full of flavour, and perfectly sweet.  Not to mention, they contain no white flour, butter/margarine, or refined sugar.  Yay for that.

IMG 0389Here’s our line up of ingredients… Wholewheat flour, organic old-fashioned oats, ground flax seed, walnuts, pecans, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pure organic pumpkin puree, grapeseed oil, organic eggs, pure maple syrup, and pure vanilla.

IMG 0390Of course, having a sweet little wispy haired sous chef helps too.

IMG 0394Start by putting the flour into a large mixing bowl.

IMG 0395Add the oats and ground flax.

IMG 0397Be sure to cram as many oats into your mouth as possible when no one’s looking.

IMG 0399Next up, add the baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

IMG 0401Give everything a good stir.

IMG 0405In a separate bowl, pour in the pureed pumpkin.

IMG 0407Add the maple syrup and vanilla…

IMG 0409The grapeseed oil…

IMG 0411And the eggs.

IMG 0413Then give everything a good mix.

IMG 0415Next, add the dry mixture into the wet one.

IMG 0417Mix until just combined.

IMG 0418Then add the nuts…

IMG 0422And gently fold them into the batter.

IMG 0425Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with silicone baking cups or a light layer of grapeseed oil.

IMG 0426Fill the muffin cups almost to the top, but not quite, then pop them in the oven.

IMG 0430Take them out once the tops are cracked and a toothpick comes out clean.

IMG 0434Let them cool for a couple of minutes and serve to your  very excited and very silly little munchkin.

Healthy Wholewheat Pumpkin Spice Muffins

(loosely based on this recipe by Bake or Break)

  • 1 3/4 cups of wholewheat flour
  • 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 cup of pure pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare muffin tin.

Mix together the dry ingredients (except the nuts) and set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.  Add the dry mixture to the wet one and stir until just combined.  Fold in nuts.

Transfer batter into the muffin tin.  Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool, then serve or store in an airtight container.



See our favourite banana muffins here and our favourite carrot zucchini muffins here.


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Sugar-Free / Dairy-Free / Flour-Free Breakfast Cookies

This morning Miss G and I decided to try making something new for breakfast…  Cookies!  Not the traditional kind, of course.  Healthy, hearty ones that fill you up and start your day off right.  And I’m glad to say that despite my nonchalant ‘Ah, sure we’ll throw that in too’ attitude, they turned out pretty well.

IMG 0051Here’s our line up of ingredients… Old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds, raisins, ‘just apples’ applesauce (we just used the store bought stuff this time around, but homemade would of course be better), ripe bananas, cinnamon, and organic coconut oil and vanilla (which somehow didn’t make it into the photo…)

IMG 0053To start, my mini sous chef peeled our bananas and popped them into the food processor.

IMG 0054Then she added a capful of pure vanilla…

IMG 0056A generous amount of applesauce…

IMG 0058Some cinnamon…

IMG 0059And a dollop of coconut oil.

IMG 0060Then we blended everything up until it was mostly smooth, with just a few little chunks.

IMG 0064With our wet mixture transferred into a large mixing bowl, Grae added some organic old-fashioned oats…

IMG 0066Some raw pumpkin seeds…

IMG 0067And some raisins…

IMG 0071And gave everything a good stir.

IMG 0072The result was oats that were completely coated in the banana/applesauce mixture, but not ‘wet’ or batter-y (if that makes any sense).

IMG 0073We then dropped large spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, using the back of the spoon to shape them into little mounds, and popped them into the oven.

IMG 0076Fifteen minutes later, out came these soft, moist little oatmeal mounds.  Now… Do they taste like a real cookie?  No.  Do they taste like a healthy bowl of cinnamon oatmeal compacted into a portable little serving? Yes!  And the best part is that they’re not at all crumbly. To the point where I let Grae snack on these while in the Ergo on our recent house hunting adventures because I knew they wouldn’t crumble all over our potential landlords’ floors… Win!

Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Flour-free Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Cookies

(recipe loosely based on this one from irocksowhat)

  • 3 small ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup of ‘just apples’ applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 capful of pure vanilla
  • 2 cups of organic old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup of organic raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the wet ingredients (plus cinnamon) to a food processor (or good blender) and mix well. Pour the contents into a large mixing bowl and add dry ingredients.  Mix until everything is evenly coated.  

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, using the back of a spoon to form them into mounds.  Bake for 15 minutes and allow a couple of minutes to cool.  Store in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or pop them in the freezer and defrost as needed.


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