So, I've been trying to do more cooking again lately for many reasons; I need to get my eating back on track, I LOVE to cook and I am trying out the cook for an afternoon and eat for a week concept (so far so good!). Why didn't I start doing this long before now????
As I've been trying these new recipes...I keep coming back to the idea that there are so many foods that we can use as a "blank canvas" when it comes to adding different textures and flavors for our picky or cautious eaters. We start with a basic recipe and as our eater becomes more adventurous, we add "color, texture and flavor" into/onto the canvas.
One of the most flexible of these, what I'm now calling "blank canvas foods" or for short BCF's, is Baked Oatmeal. I've tried it two different ways now and BOTH of the changes I made, which incidentally were easy peasy, turned out wonderfully. My cautious eating daughter has loved both varieties and is now back to eating a nutritious breakfast that has that "hearty" quality that we all long for in the winter months.
I bet you want the recipe, don't you? :) Well, here it is...and because I appreciate when people give me credit for my creativity (it doesn't happen often but when it does, I'd like credit!) I'd like to thank www.skinnymomskitchen for the great website and Baked Oatmeal Recipe. Stop by her website for some great recipes that freeze well, are kid friendly and are actually great BCF's (home made Hot Pockets and Bean Burritos and freezable PB& J's)
Basic Baked Oatmeal
Serving size: 1 baked oatmeal square
Approximate nutritional information:
Calories: 210 * Carbs: 26 * Fat: 10 * Protein: 6 * Fiber: 2
3 cups rolled oats
2 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup 1% milk
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup applesauce (use homemade if you have it)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Reheating InstructionsRemove plastic wrap and warm in microwave (1-2 minutes) or in oven on 350 for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
****I've added 1/2 cup of blueberries to the recipe AND have also substituted 1/2 cup of pumpkin for the applesauce and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon in another trial.
***** I think you could experiment with sooooo many different flavors here; add peanut butter and chocolate chips, add fruits that you would normally put into oatmeal anyway, add nuts, add protein powder to further increase the "staying power." Sky is the limit really.
*****My daughter and I have been adding about 1T of REAL maple syrup to ours after we warm it. HEAVEN.
So many options to try for your cautious and picky eaters and what a "safe" way to begin creating a flexible feeding environment. The other great thing (s) about this recipe is that it is a sound nutritional choice but will seem like it is a store bought product to your kiddos and it saves money too! Gotta love that. What are you waiting for? Get those creative juices flowing and make that blank canvas a MASTERPIECE...
Did you know that speech therapy is an approved, reimbursable expense for your flexible spending account? If you didn't, keep reading...
For many parents the idea of trying to finance much needed speech therapy (or any therapy) services, when denied by health insurance, is enough to produce gargantuan-sized parental guilt. I have watched far too many families struggle with having to stop therapy, not even begin therapy or decide on "less" therapy because of the financial burden of this much needed service. Thankfully, for these parents, the Flexible Spending Account can alleviate some of that feeling of guilt and even works in their favor with regard to taxes.
By definition, an FSA (Wikipedia) " allows an employee to set aside a portion of earnings to pay for qualified expenses as established in the cafeteria plan, most commonly for medical expenses but often for dependent care or other expenses. Money deducted from an employee's pay into an FSA is not subject to payroll taxes, resulting in substantial payroll tax savings."
You read that right...the FSA allows you to set aside money for therapy services AND it SAVES YOU MONEY on your taxes! Come again? An FSA allows you to set aside money (sometimes up to $5,000 per year) to pay for medical services (therapies and other services) AND it lowers your total income for the year which means you PAY LESS IN PAYROLL TAXES.
So what are you waiting for? November is often the enrollment month for these programs. Don't delay! Talk to your financial planner, health insurance provider and/or Human Resources contact TODAY. Alleviate some of that parental guilt, financial worry and burden.
If I can assist you in ANY way with this process, please do not hesitate to contact me.