I think I might just have the pickiest eater in the world. And not only is she picky, but what she will actually deign to eat changes day to day. One day, she will gobble something up and you breath a sigh of relief, thinking you’ve found a food she actually likes. The very next day, she won’t touch it. She picks up a bit, turns it over in her hands and daintily tosses it over the side of her high chair. She looks at you reproachfully, letting you know in her wordless way that she is hurt you would stoop so low to even offer her such a repulsive food. It is infuriating, to say the least. With my older two, I could count on certain foods being acceptable every time, but this one, she likes to keep me on my toes.
Since she seemed to do well with Fig Newtons, I thought I would try my hand at a homemade, healthier (and tastier) version. I myself am not a Fig Newton fan and never have been. I find the crust really bland and uninteresting, and if I am going to have a cookie, I am going to have a cookie with a capital C, preferably chocolate and very gooey. So I figured there was considerable room for improvement. I went with berry filling because I didn’t actually have any figs and I thought that might be more palateable to all of my kids. I found a good crust recipe on Beantown Baker, and made a few changes to up the health factor, including reducing the sugar, using whole wheat flour and adding some flax seed meal. With a picky eater, you have to sneak it in where you can.
In that vein, let me tell you about the giveaway now. This is specifically for the parents of small children, picky eaters or not. I was contacted recently by Kidfresh, a company devoted to making healthy, convenient frozen meals for small children. I don’t normally buy pre-packaged meals, but given the amount of grey hair I’ve grown from trying to find foods this little one likes, I thought it was worth a shot. Let me rephrase that…I thought it was worth a shot AFTER reading up about their products, that they are all natural, in BPA-free and environmentally friendly packaging, and nutritionally balanced. So I picked up two of the varieties that they carry in my local grocery store. One was a hit with the baby (the mac and cheese), the other was not (pasta with meatballs). But don’t take that to mean it wasn’t good, she is just THAT picky. It smelled wonderful and the other two kids hovered around and ate up the leftovers.
And now Kidfresh would like to present a few of my readers with some coupons to try their products for free. Whether or not you have a picky eater, it’s always helpful to have a few healthy, convenient meals on hand. Kidfresh also has an amazing contest going on to win a $100 gift certificate to Patagonia by uploading a picture of your little one enjoying the outdoors this winter. Check out the details on the Kidfresh Facebook Page
Coupon Giveaway Rules:
1. To enter, just leave me a comment telling me about your picky (or good) eater and what foods you know that they will eat every single time. Please, people, I am looking for suggestions here!
2. Open only to US addresses only. Not because I don’t love my fellow Canadians but because they have only just expanded their reach outside of New York State into the rest of the US (mostly the Northeast so far). I am pretty sure the products are not available in the Great White North. If you want to double check that it’s available in your area, click HERE.
3. Contest will run until 11:59pm, Sunday February 13th.
4. Please leave me a way to contact you, I can’t send you anything if you don’t!
The Results: As for my homemade newton experiment? I cannot lie to you, she won’t really eat them. I don’t consider them a failure at all, I think they are really very good and my older kids like them a lot. The crust is much tastier than a storebought newton, it is almost a bit like pastry crust. And with the reduced sugar and the whole grains and flax, these are a far healthier version of the famous fig cookie. They aren’t difficult at all to make, so if you have kids who aren’t as picky as my little one, give these a shot. Maggie wouldn’t agree, but I think they are worth it!
Homemade Berry Newtons
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, chopped
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
For the dough, in a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Add egg whites, vanilla and water and beat until well mixed, scraping down beaters and bowl as needed.
Add the flour, flax and cinnamon and beat until dough comes together. Form dough into a rough rectangle and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours.
For the filling, combine blueberries, strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Mash berries with the back of a fork.
In a small bowl, stir cornstarch and water together. Add half to hot berry mixture and stir until the thickness of jam. If necessary, add remaining cornstarch mixture until appropriate thickness is achieved.
To assemble cookies, preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to a 12 by 16 inch rectangle and cut into four equal 4 by 12 inch strips. Spoon filling down the middle of each strip. Fold the edges over the filling and pinch to seal.
Using a sharp knife, cut off ends of logs and discard. Cut logs into 10 equal pieces and place cookies seam-side down on prepared baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light golden brown.
Let cool on pan.
Makes about 40 cookies.