Whilst my 12 month old baby-led-weaner enjoys his food and remains a relatively adventurous eater, breakfast is a bit of a non-event for him. Our co-sleeping breastfeeding relationship means that he spends much of the night snacking at 'the best restaurant in town' so when we get up at about 8am he is rarely hungry. He might nibble on the odd piece of cereal, but is generally happy not to bother. However by mid-morning he is definitely ready for some food, a potentially inconvenient time as we are usually out and about by then.
He is a huge fan of the 'Goodies' baby oaty bars made by Organix (and I am too, they're delicious!), but while I appreciate the convenience of these pre-packaged baby/toddler foods, I am always more inclined to try and make my own versions. I did experiment with my own oaty bar recipe, but so far have only managed to make bars that are crumbly rather than chewy (I will continue to experiment though, so watch this space!), but I wanted a portable snack that wouldn't make quite so much mess.
Some food-forum advice, plus some internet searching brought me to this recipe on the Baby Led Weaning website, and I have now made 2 batches with slight variations, both well received.
The basic idea is this:
Mash up one Weetabix, one ripe banana, 100ml of milk and 20g of cornflakes. Add a second Weetabix and stir until you have a 'cement-like' mixture (which sounds so appealing!). Then divide into 6 greased fairy-cake trays and bake at 190 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until firm and beginning to brown.
I have taken this very much as a template and played with it somewhat. We didn't have cornflakes in the house so I used oats instead (I like to use oats for their slow-release energy). I also didn't have full-cream milk so used a semi-skimmed plus a large dash of double cream (to make sure he gets enough fat). For the first batch I added some very ripe strawberries mashed in with the bananas, and in the second batch I used extra banana as I had 2 that were turning black, and also threw in a handful of raisins. With both batches I just added some extra oats to get what I thought was the right consistency. I also used a very shallow jam-tart tray so ended up with 12 'discs' of cake rather than 6, and therefore they only needed about 20 minutes' cooking.
They turn out as a slightly chewy, cakey creation... I'm not entirely sure that I'd recommend anyone without small children to make them for adult consumption, but they're not bad to eat, (although obviously I'd rather have some real cake!). I like the fact that they're basically what you might have for breakfast; cereal, milk and fruit. Weetabix does contain some sugar, but you are not adding any extra, so I think they're generally a 'good' option for a toddler snack. They hold more-or-less together without crumbling messily into thousands of pieces, but are still soft enough for gumming.
And despite the serious face, this one-year-old thinks they're good too!