When it comes to food, I'm fairly certain I have the pickiest toddler in the world. It pains me (and my wallet) that he doesn't like to eat the same types of foods (albeit prepared differently) that my two older children eat. I have no doubt that he'll grow out of the if-I-don't-want-to-eat-it,-I'll-throw-it-on-the-floor phase, but until then, I'm forced to get more creative by adding extra nutrition to the foods he is willing to enjoy.

Little toddlers are like monkeys when it comes to sugar. They may not be accustomed to loads of sweet stuff, but if they're exposed often enough, it won't be long before their tiny taste buds will be begging for more. In all seriousness, type 2 diabetes is a very serious problem in the Western world and is only getting worse. It's highly likely that you know several small children who will develop this lifestyle disease. Unlike out liver, our pancreas (the motor for the hormone, insulin) can't be regenerated. Once it's shot, it's shot. There are no re-dos. Of course, I'm talking to you, too!

Sugar is omnipresent in processed foods. Our collective sensitivity to sugar is fairly low, meaning it takes a lot of sugar for us to stand up and take notice. Fortunately, we can turn this desire for sugar around simply by avoiding it, and eating less of the super sweet stuff, opting for foods that contain less. I know people who say that they can't imagine not eating or drinking something with sugar. They're addicted. Many of us are. If you think it's an uphill battle for you to cut out sugar, imagine how tough it is on kids who are probably eating or drinking more than you!

Enter my Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. I added honey. If you're vegan, you can substitute agave nectar in the same amount. This recipe makes 18 cookies. With a mere 1/3 cup of honey added to the entire batch, I rely on fat for flavor. All in all, there is less than one teaspoon of honey added to each cookie. Buffered with the fiber from the oats and fat from the almond butter, your blood sugar levels should stay nice and even. That's a very, very good thing...even if you opt for two cookies.

The chocolate flavor in this recipe comes from cacao (ka-COW) powder, the unrefined cousin of cocoa. I regularly use cacao in place of cocoa because I prefer the flavor and I really love the benefits. Cacao powder contains 4 times more antioxidants that a good dark chocolate.  Are you ready to give these cookies a try?

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Yields: 18 Cookies

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup almond butter (if you have a nut allergy, substitute sunbutter)
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tablespoon cacao powder (I like this type)
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a small bowl, mix together almond butter, honey and eggs. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine oats, cacao powder and salt.
  4. Add almond butter mixture to the oats. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add a dollop of cookie batter to ungreased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Allow to cool & enjoy!