Despite our county being rated the wealthiest in the country, we still only have half day kindergarten here, probably because we’re also one of the fastest growing counties in the country.
In anticipation of full day first grade, I signed him up for a couple of full day camps this summer. He wanted to do nature camps, so despite cringing at all the extensive tick checks I would be doing, I signed him up. He was tired at the end of each day, but he loved it.
But this is my son’s first full day school experience. As expected, he’s coming home a little over-stimulated and tired. He’s waking up like a champ with his new Ninjago alarm clock. And since he’s trying to earn money to buy Skylanders and he gets the bulk of his earnings from behaving and following the rules at bedtime (our previous biggest battles), he’s going to bed at a decent hour.
Also as expected, he told me on day two that he hated school. I reminded him that his Kindergarten teacher had said that this would be a rough couple of weeks and that he would be tired and cranky and think that he hated school, but that was all part of the transition. That he would get used to it. Love going to school again. I think that helped because he seems to be accepting that this is only a temporary feeling and that it will pass.
On to the food challenge of first grade.
His teacher is a long term sub while his regular teacher is on maternity leave until mid-October. Her own daughter has an anaphylactic allergic to garlic, so she gets it! Hooray! He sits at same table as his class, but he’s the end of it with a couple of other kids who have food allergies, so he’s in good company without being segregated or feeling left out.
I think we’ve got a system going with some rotated breakfast and lunch options. I’ve had to adjust the lunch a little though, because I was shocked to learn that the first grade teachers decided as a team NOT to have snack time. Let me explain why this is such a surprise. The bus picks up at 7:25a, the first graders have lunch at 10:40a, and he gets off the bus at 2:55p. That makes for a LOOONG stretch of time with no food. Surprisingly, there are older kids at his school who DO get snack and who also have a more normally schedule lunch break. I don’t see how this makes sense!
But I digress.
In addition to finding good recipes for pizza crust and pancakes, I have also found a great graham cracker recipe, a very versatile quick bread recipe, and an awesome breakfast cookie recipe. Of course, I did have to adjust them to varying degrees so that they would work for my son.
For the graham cracker recipe, I used 1 cup buckwheat flour and 1/4 cup teff, and instead of an egg white mixed in, I used 1 tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with a 1/4 cup water to make a gel like slurry. Instead of doing an egg wash and sprinkling with sugar, I used a mix of teff flour and sugar to roll it out between sheets of parchment paper. This stuff is STICKY so I highly recommend flattening it out with your hands and dusting LIBERALLY before trying to roll it out.
For the quick bread, we have to avoid xanthan gum because it’s mostly grown on corn, and guar gum is related to soy. So more chia seed slurry! I think I used 1 teaspoon of chia seeds and one teaspoon of water. I made pumpkin chocolate chip bread and was winging the spice measurements. The kid likes it! It’s not overly sweet at all and the spices are pretty mild, so all in all it’s a good breakfast option for the kid palate. Since I used a bean based flour mix, it’s got some protein in it too. Bonus!
The breakfast cookie is really awesome, I must say. I have to taste test, even though it has things in it that I’m avoiding for various reasons, to see if it’s something he would like and eat, and these were gooood. Very peanut butter-y, which is no surprise since they are flourless and the main ingredient is nut butter. I did not grind the chia seeds for this recipe, but I found that I was digging seeds out of my teeth for a while, so I will be grinding them for the next batch. (If you’re not familiar with chia seeds, they’re about the size of poppy seeds.) I used straight cane sugar instead of xylitol, skipped the stevia, and I used two teaspoons of starch. Oh, and a threw in a handful of mini chocolate chips. Let me warn you, the recipe makes two humongous cookies. For a ravenous adult, I can see one cookie being a complete breakfast. My son has been satisfied after eating only a quarter of one, so next batch will be made into 8 smaller more kid-size appropriate cookies.
I’m still searching for a good bread recipe (sandwich or flatbread) that will work with the flours we can use. When I find one, I’ll report back!