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Mar 6, 2013 11:22 AM

Healthy (nut-free) Muffins for Kids

My daughter has a minor egg allergy and in order to help her overcome her allergy, the doctor has asked me to give her baked egg (in a muffin) a few times a week. The problem is that I don't want to give her sugar or a lot of white processed flour. I would like to be able to make a zucchini muffin sweetened with applesauce, but I would love recipe suggestions.

Ive made an egg-free muffin before and she's refused to eat it. She's a toddler so she's picky so I need a good recipe that she will hopefully eat (and will hopefully be good for her).


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  1. I used to make this for my daughter, cut half the sugar and use white whole wheat flour for the ap flour. The sweet potato already adds sweetness and you don't need it all. I used to cut half the oil w/ applesauce, too.

    1. Is there a reason for nut-free?

      21 Replies
          1. re: sandylc

            Some toddlers have not been introduced to nuts. The theory is that after a certain age it's not as much of an allergy risk. Also, lots of daycares and preschools are nut free...

            Check out picky palate and weelicious
            I've made a lot of picky palate ( with applesauce (no oil) and equal parts whole wheat and white flour

            My toddler will eat anything with a few chocolate chips on top....even fiber one date muffins!

            1. re: cheesecake17

              "My toddler will eat anything with a few chocolate chips on top...."

              My 6 year old son is picky. I make banana muffins and even sometimes put finely chopped apples in them. I also mix in a handful of chocolate chips, call them chocolate chip muffins and he loves them.

              If I called them banana apple muffins, no way would he eat them!

              1. re: valerie

                I used to do that too. The zucchini chocolate chip muffins I make used to be just known as "chocolate chip muffins" in our house. Now they are "zucchini chocolate chip muffins". Same with banana muffins -- my son is not a big fan of bananas, so I would add a handful of chocolate chips so he would eat them. I gradually phased out the chips, but he still ate the muffins. I still add a few chips sometimes for a little extra treat.

              2. re: cheesecake17

                Yes, the nut fear has been trendy for about twenty years among some folks.

                The current thinking is to introduce potential allergans as early as possible.

                1. re: sandylc

                  I wasn't aware. My daughter was accidentally given pb ice cream at 8months. Now... At 2 she enjoys a fingerfull of pb

                  1. re: cheesecake17

                    I just gave the kid a wide range of healthy foods and he grew up strong and healthy - I ignored the whole nut thing.

                    People were fine for centuries without nut concerns.

                    1. re: sandylc

                      "People were fine for centuries without nut concerns."

                      Fine until you're the one w/ the child w/ the nut allergy. I wouldn't consider it "trendy", although scarily it's on the rise. I would do anything not to have to worry about a deadly anaphalactic reaction from cross contamination. Calling it trendy is like calling diabetes or cancer trendy just because more people have it these days. It's a serious issue and giving your child a wide range of healthy foods doesn't guarantee anything. Sorry, this is just one of my buttons, the implication that somehow it's the parents' fault.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I agree that there are people out there with very legitimate and sometimes dangerous food allergies. But too many parents in the last couple of decades have gone overboard and potentially created situations by withholding potential allergans. In the news quite a lot recently.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          "potentially created situations by withholding potential allergans. In the news quite a lot recently."

                          I've read allegations but never peer reviewed studies that nut allergies are caused by overreactive parents. Can you provide links to legitimate sources?

                          1. re: chowser

                            Sorry, saw it on the national news recently and several months ago.

                            Are you implying I'm not "legitimate"? ;-)

                            1. re: sandylc

                              We all border on being illegitimate which is what makes it so much fun! I've read both that keeping allergens away helps and that keeping it away aggravates it. I have two kids, both raised somewhat the same but one has allergies, the other doesn't. I guess I should count my blessings because there is a genetic component to it, too, theoretically.

                              1. re: chowser

                                Allergies are a tangled mystery. Mine went away when I moved out of the cigarette-smoke-filled house a few decades ago. Imagine that!

                        2. re: chowser

                          If you read up on the peanut allergy, you will find that in countries that said it was fine for mothers to eat peanuts while pregnant the peanut allergy is low. "A study conducted jointly in Israel and United Kingdom in 8600 children noted a nearly 10 fold increase in incidence of peanut allergy among U.K. children compared to Israeli children. It was found that Israeli children were given peanuts at a much younger age than those in the U.K. following recommendation of pediatricians in the U.K.."

                          1. re: escondido123

                            I'm editing this...I think I found the study.


                            What I question is that nut allergies were on the rise which is why they started recommending parents avoid giving nuts to children; it wasn't the reverse. I wonder if it all comes down to genetics. Giving nuts to kids who might be predisposed to having allergies can aggravate, holding back nuts to some might cause it and some make no difference. The middle group might be making the biggest difference in the rising numbers. There was a study done on children w/ peanut allergies where they were given trace amounts daily to build up against their allergy. Most made improvements but then one child died so they stopped the study.

                            I need to finish reading the article but it's interesting. I've also read that it's boiled nuts vs roasted nuts that make the difference and that countries that give their children boiled nuts early have much lower rates of allergies.

                            That said, we've probably scared off the OP w/ talk about allergies, glycemic values and loads, the unhealthiness of flour. For all we know her toddler or someone in the family has nut allergies which is why she's avoiding it.

                          2. re: chowser

                            The American Academy of Pediatrics recently reversed their recommendation that ALL children avoid peanuts until 2; some research (including one study that compared American Jews to Israeli Jews, who share genes but diverge on peanut consumption, Israelis giving their kids large amounts of a peanutty puff snack thing) has suggested whether exposure keeps kids from developing an allergy. In fact, this is the very same theory the OP's child's doctor is operating under, by suggesting the child receive small exposure to the allergen (egg) to avoid future serious reaction.

                            1. re: willownt

                              Bamba! I was practically raised on the stuff, now it's a shocker to see it in the hands of a toddler

              3. re: sandylc

                My daughter has tested positive for nut allergies.

                1. re: idealist

                  I'm curious--did the allergist also recommend introducing trace amounts of nuts?

                  1. re: chowser

                    I wondered this, too. This new thinking regarding food allergies is interesting. I wonder if there is a window of opportunity regarding age?

              4. Using white whole wheat or half whole wheat/half AP is a great idea.

                As for muffins, some faves in this house are:
                Flaxmeal w/ apples, carrots, raisins
                Pumpkin or sweet potato
                Avocado Chocolate

                1. I don't know if these are healthy enough for you, but they sure are delicious!


                  The problem with healthy muffins is that if you make them too healthy, no-one will eat them.

                  You could also try other forms of cooked egg that are less sweet like homemade pasta, French toast, pancakes, etc.

                  1. My kids love zucchini muffins and banana muffins in their lunch boxes and for snacks. I skip the nuts because neither kid likes nuts in their muffins.



                    2 Replies
                    1. re: boogiebaby

                      Like the other posters have said, replace AP flour with white whole wheat, these recipes you could use 1 cup WWW plus 1/2 cup AP without a noticeable change. Also, I'm happy with just 1/2 cup of sugar in my muffin recipes, as long as a sprinkle a little sugar on top... I use the coarse raw sugar because its pretty too.

                      1. re: firecooked

                        I can cut sugar considerably, too. It makes for a cakier muffin. I drizzle glaze over the top and it's sweet enough. Also, a scattering of dried fruit, if the child will eat it, or dark chocolate will add some sweetness w/out a lot of extra sugar.