Today’s Tip: Whole Wheat Pancakes

today tip for kids with cancer


pancakes Everybody loves pancakes, especially kids!

Trouble is, for many diabetics, eating anything made with standard white bleached flour is like ingesting a carb bomb. Which is why whole grains and whole wheat are much better choices. They take longer to digest, so don’t dramatically raise blood glucose levels.

Making sugar-free whole wheat pancakes yields a lovely, tender, nutty tasting result. Here’s our favorite recipe and suggestions for even healthier variations.

Serve with sugar free syrup (if you’re okay with artificial sweeteners) or other syrup of your choice. Also great cold wrapped around cooked turkey sausage or turkey bacon for a snack!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. buttermilk*
1 egg
2 tbsp. sugar-free applesauce or melted butter (or margarine)
2 tbsp. sucralose, Stevia, or other artificial sweetener (optional)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Whisk together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, beat together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Don’t worry about any small lumps. Let batter sit 15-20 minutes on the counter.

Lightly oil a non-stick skillet or griddle pan and put over medium-high heat. If using an electric griddle, preheat to 375º F (190° C).

Check non-electric skillet or griddle for readiness by flicking a few small drops of water in the pan. When the water sizzles and evaporates within a few seconds, it’s ready. If the water sits or evaporates slowly, the pan is too cold. If the oi is smoking or the water evaporates on contact, the pan it too hot. Take it off the stove, let cool, wipe out the burned oil and wash before using.

When pan is ready, add batter by 1/4 c. scoops. Let cook until small bubbles form on surface. Flip over with a spatula and cook until other side is golden brown. Remove from pan and serve at once, or place on oven-proof plate and keep in warm oven until ready to serve.

Healhy & Delicious Variations Diabetic Kids Will Love!

Banana “Bread” Pancakes – Add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract to pancake batter. Cut a ripe banana into slices. Chop 1/4 c. toasted walnuts or pecans into small pieces. After adding pancake batter to prepared pan or griddle as detailed above, place banana slices directly on top of the wet batter and sprinkle a few walnut or pecan pieces in the spaces between. Cook pancakes as usual.

Blueberry “Muffin” Pancakes – Add 1/2 rsp. vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon to pancake batter. You’ll need 3/4 to 1 c. fresh blueberries (if using frozen, don’t thaw but do remove any large ice crystals). After adding pancake batter to prepared pan or griddle as detailed above, sprinkle blueberries on top of wet batter – how many is your choice. Cook pancakes as usual.

Strawberry “Shortcake” Pancakes – Add 2 tbsp. quick cooking oats and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract to batter. Cut 1 c. strawberries into slices. After adding pancake batter to prepared pan or griddle as detailed above, place strawberry slices on top of wet batter. Cook pancakes as usual.

*If buttermilk isn’t available, add 1 tsp. vinegar or lemon juice to 1 c. milk. Let sit until milk curdles (you’ll see little lumps formed in the milk)


Today’s Tip: Pumpkin Cookies

today tip for kids with cancer


pumpkin cookiesKids crave sweets because they taste good. While diabetic children can have room in their diets for candy and cookies, healthier options for school lunch boxes and snacks are always good to have on hand.

While this recipe for soft, delicious Pumpkin Cookies does contain sugar,  you can substitute Splenda® if you’re okay with artificial sweeteners. If not, just remember that the serving size is small and these treats pack nutrition in every bite. And you can use coconut oil instead of butter to avoid saturated fat, too.

We don’t recommend substituting stevia or agave nectar for the sweetener in this recipe because it would alter the cookie’s structure, causing a less-than-satisfactory outcome. However, if you want to experiment and tell us the results, leave a comment. 🙂

Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup sugar or Splenda®
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (use dark brown for more “molasses” depth to the flavor)
1 cup softened butter, margarine or coconut oil
1 cup canned, cooked pumpkin* (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. ground flax seeds (omit if using oatmeal, see next ingredient)
2 c. whole wheat flour (or 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 c. quick cooking oatmeal)**
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. toasted pumpkin seeds, shelled
1/2 c. toasted walnut or pecan pieces
1/2 c. raisins or dried cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon + 1/4 tsp. ground dried ginger + 1/8 tsp. each nutmeg and cloves
OR 1 heaped tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a flat cookie sheet and line with parchment paper. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat together sugars with butter or coconut oil until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla extract and pumpkin puree. Stir in flour, flax seeds, baking powder and salt. Add pumpkin seeds, nuts and dried fruit with spices. Stir to combine well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet about 2″ apart (the cookies will spread a little while baking). Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from sheet onto cooling rack.

*Don’t have pumpkin on hand? No problem. Butternut squash makes a delicious substitute and it’s naturally sweet, too. Just cut your fresh squash in half, put upside down in a roasting pan into which you’ve poured an inch or so of water, and bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until the squash is soft. Remove from oven, turn over and let cool, then scoop the flesh from the rind and mash. You can treat a fresh pumpkin the same way.

**If using the whole wheat flour/oatmeal combination, you may need to add another whole egg or egg white to the dough if it’s too dry. The dough should stick together smoothly, not crumble.

amazon - cooking up funWe recommend Cooking Up Fun for Kids with Diabetes  (Patti B. Geil, American Diabetes Association, 2003) for ideas on snacks and treats – and games and activities – for diabetic children. Each recipe, ranging from simple to those needing a little more skill in the kitchen, contains full nutritional and carb exchange information, making it easy to keep track of your child’s diet. 


Today’s Tip: Managing Your Child’s Diabetes (LINKS)

today tip for kids with cancer

A child’s diabetes diagnosis affects the whole family. Parents can get just as overwhelmed in dealing with this new health problem and all the things that go along with it. Here are some sites offering top tips – if your child is newly diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes, we recommend these places to start…

10 Tips for Managing Your Child’s Diabetes offers a very practical and information collection including the following tidbit: “Be mindful of your facial expressions and what you say, especially when you see an out of range blood glucose.  Stress to your child that there is no ‘bad’ blood glucose, because you want him or her to be honest about their blood glucose levels.”

Of course, the American Diabetes Association is going to be one of your first stops in the quest for information.

And although this is a UK site, you can still get a lot of information at – and there’s a section of fun games for the younger kids, too!

Finally, here’s a good guideline on dealing with your child’s feelings about their diabetes. It’s an emotional time for everybody and being prepared means less stress all around.

amazon everythng guideWe also recommend starting with this great cookbook, The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Diabetes by Moira McCarthy. Children resist change, especially when it comes to their diet. You’ll find tempting recipes even for picky eaters that will help manage their disease and change their eating habits for the better.