For some Central Texas children, better health begins with pancakes.

April 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

With summer just around the corner, our Partner Agencies are anticipating an increase in the number of children they’ll serve.  In our Hunger in America 2010: Central Texas Report, 43 percent of the pantries, 29 percent of the kitchens and 14 percent of the shelters said that they serve more children in the summer.

To ensure Central Texas children access the nutrition they need to have a happy, healthy summer, the CHOICES Nutrition Education Program has added a new class to the Kids in the Kitchen curriculum. This class teaches children basic kitchen safety and cooking skills, along with MyPyramid nutrition guidelines.

Kendrick serves up a smoothie.

Nutrition Educator Emily Eckelkamp taught the first series to a group of 10- to 12-year-olds in Pflugerville, through the Good Neighbor Program at the Rosemont at Heather Bend Apartment Complex. “I truly enjoyed teaching this series,” she said, “and I could tell that the students enjoyed learning.”

Left to right: Kendrick, Emily and Tae

During each class, the students prepared a healthy recipe using the safe kitchen principles they had just learned. A class favorite was the “Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes.” The recipe uses whole-wheat flour and canned pumpkin, two ingredients that were new to many of the participants. Also new for many students was the idea of making pancakes from scratch.

You can find  healthy, kid-friendly recipes just like this by downloading our free iPheedANeed iPhone App at

For information on volunteering or hosting a CHOICES Nutrition Education Program class, email Monica Escobar, Nutrition Education Manager at or call 512-684-2502.

Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Serving Size: 3 pancakes Servings: 4


2 cups flour (use ½ whole-wheat)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

½ cup canned pumpkin

1¾ cup skim milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Margarine and syrup

Vegetable cooking spray


  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine egg, canned pumpkin, milk and vegetable oil, mixing well.
  3. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Batter may be lumpy. For thinner batter, add more milk.
  4. Lightly coat a skillet or griddle with vegetable cooking spray and heat on medium.
  5. Using a ¼-cup measure, pour batter onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to burst, then flip pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1½ to 2½ minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.

Source: Kids in the Kitchen recipes, University of Missouri Extension


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