Things have been a bit topsy-turvy at our house since the holidays. My daughter picked up a few bad habits when we were traveling and right after—it’s rough when your routines are all a jumble and it’s easy to relax the rules a bit. She’s been munching a lot more between meals, demanding snacks at all different times of the day and then wandering around the house with them because I haven’t asked her to sit at her table and eat.
But I want to change all that. I really think we are too frivolous with food in American culture, and I would much prefer to emulate the French in their routine of le gôuter: one sit-down snack between lunch and dinner to tide a child over between meals.
The way we have D’s routines structured now (on a good day), she eats breakfast between 6 and 7am, lunch around 11am before her nap, and dinner around 6pm, so le gôuter at around 3pm is a perfect mini-meal.
This week, we hosted two of her little friends and their moms for a play date that started right around snack time, so I wanted to provide something healthy and fun. One of her little friends has dairy and egg allergies, so she is effectively vegan when it comes to baked goods. Her other little friend is a picky eater—but he gobbled down my low-sugar carrot cupcakes (served without frosting, as muffins) on a previous visit, so I thought muffins were a pretty safe bet.
This recipe is very easily adaptable to any fruit or spices you like or have on hand. Substitute 1–2 cups of diced fruit or berries for the pears, and any spices you like for the cinnamon and ginger. You can also choose to omit the ginger if you have a particularly sensitive child eater.
However you choose to mix these up, they are still delicious.