Cookies are always a favorite with children, but they are often loaded with empty calories. Change up your recipes to make your cookies healthier by limiting the amount of sugar; substituting whole grain flour for white; and adding nutritious ingredients such as dried fruit and nuts. Then, keep the cookies kid-friendly by encouraging your children to help you bake them.
Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are a perpetual favorite with children. Fortunately, you can make this classic recipe healthier without losing any of the delicious taste. This version calls for 1 cup of almond meal in the place of traditional oats, which increases protein, and whole-wheat flour instead of white. To make these cookies, combine the almond meal with 1 cup of the flour and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Add a dash of salt. In a separate bowl, cream together 1/4 cup of softened butter, 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and one large egg. Finally, add 1 tsp. vanilla to the wet mixture and blend it in. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until it is blended, and then stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips. If you want to increase the fiber in this recipe, use only 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with 1/2 cup of walnuts or other nut of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Nutty Apple Squares
These sweet cookies contain nuts and oats, and are sweetened with applesauce for a delicious but healthy treat that your children are sure to love. Combine 2 cups of whole-grain oatmeal with 1 1/2 cups of whole grain flour, 3/4 of softened cup butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture, and press the rest into a greased, 9 x 13-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Spread 1 1/3 cups of applesauce over the mixture and sprinkle it with any nuts of your choice. Then, add the cup of reserved mixture and put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Cut into squares when cool.
Nutty Chocolate Meringues
These cookies contain no butter, margarine or egg yolks, yet they are full of rich, chocolaty goodness. They are also simple enough for children to make. Sift together 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. In a separate bowl, beat two egg whites until they are stiff, and then fold in the sifted cocoa mixture. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts. Bake for about 20 minutes at 300 degrees on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.