But you can think beyond the chocolate spread and lashings of sugar, to make pancake day a chance to get your little ones to try new things and reach their 5-or-more a day.
How about trying these ideas for your pancake topping?
- Keep it simple with a squeeze of lemon juice and a handful of blueberries, or if that’s too sharp for you try blueberries with a little low fat fromage frais
- Soften a chopped apple in a pan and serve up over pancakes with a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Grilled peaches (canned peaches are economical) and Greek yogurt
- Swap peanut butter for almond butter and sprinkle with some defrosted frozen raspberries (economical and frozen when they’re in season) and some flaked almonds
- Sliced banana and grated dark chocolate. It has less sugar in it than chocolate spread and grating it means you’ll use less
Don’t forget savoury pancakes are traditional too! Pancakes can be a great way to get some much needed veg and fish into little peoples’ diets. Try these ideas:
- Splash out on smoked salmon (or use value-for-money smoked salmon trimmings) and serve over cream cheese topped with lemon juice, black pepper or chopped chives
- Use a pancake as a base for a healthier full English – top with grilled mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, reduced sugar & salt baked beans and a poached egg.
- Traditional ham and cheese pancakes can be very salty – try adding canned sweetcorn, spring onions and grated cheese to your American pancake batter instead
- Spinach and ricotta are age old friends and an imaginative way to get children to eat spinach
- Make a really quick fish filing by steaming some white fish (haddock works well) and stirring it through some warmed crème fraiche (or lighter cream cheese) mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice, a small dollop of Dijon mustard and some chopped dill or parsley. Sprinkle a large handful of cooked peas over the top and fold the pancake in half to serve.
How to make your batter
This healthy pancake batter recipe won’t fail to disappoint your little ones this pancake day. We’ve used wholemeal flour for extra fibre in the batter.
Ingredients (serves 8)
300ml (1/2 pint) milk
1 tsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
100-125g (3.5-4oz) wholemeal plain flour
Sieve the flour into a large bowl
Using a whisk beat the egg, milk and oil together in a jug
Pour the milk and egg mixture into the flour and whisk until smooth
Heat a little oil in a suitable pan
Pour in roughly 2 tablespoons of batter and coat the base of the pan
Cook for approx. 2-3 minutes or until the base of the pancake turns golden brown
Flip the pancake and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side
Keep the pancakes warm in the oven until they are ready to be served!
Remember you can also freeze these pancakes!