Feeding the Finicky Part 1: The Charm of Crumpets

One of the biggest stress-causers of raising the Punkin is feeding the child. Not only does she have tons o’ food allergies, she also doesn’t like to eat. It’s just not high on her to-do list, and so she has to be reminded constantly to take a bite of this or that. I spend a good portion of her waking hours trying to get her to open up. An added problem is that she hasn’t connected an ouchy tummy with hunger-pains, so if you ask her “Are you hungry?” more often than not she’ll say “No hungry,” and then be an absolute bear until I figure out what the bottom line is and get some food into her.

So I spend a great deal of time trying to come up with novel ways to interest her in food.

I’ve had very good luck with crumpets. As in tea and crumpets. With lots of melted butter. I have a recipe for my bread machine that I’ve adapted using soy milk, vegan butter, and egg replacer. You make the batter in the machine, then cook them on a griddle like pancakes. My recipe comes from The Big Book of Bread Machine Recipes (which is just an awesome all-around book, with many yummy allergy-adaptable recipes) Here’s a link to a much more involved non-machine version.

My mother started the Great Crumpet Caper with “Gotta get a crumpet!” She’s not sure where that came from, but she would randomly yell “Run, run. Gotta get a crumpet!” which would send the Punkin scurrying from wherever she was to find her plate and grab a piece of crumpet.

After that got old (you know how toddlers are), the crumpet choo-choo came in, also courtesy of my mother. The Punkin looooovvvves trains. Really, really loves them. So Memere tore the crumpets up into segments and lined them up like a train. The Punkin would play for a bit, then at the announcement of “Crumpet Choo-Choo!” she’d come running to eat a “car” of crumpet.


Then last week I got the bright idea to use a couple of old heart-shaped pancake forms that I’d gotten as a wedding gift. So now we had heart crumpets. Oh boy, the Punkin was all over that. Rather than wait until she tired of the hearts, we got a lot on Ebay of metal cookie cutters. Tonight the Punkin ate an airplane crumpet, a whale crumpet (aka “fishie”), and a big rig crumpet (“big truck”). More Crumpets We also made a collie (which the Punkin called an alpaca, and I can see her point), a car, a tree, a gingerbread man (aka “person crumpet”), a bunny, and snowflakes.

Some suggestions if you want to try this:

  • Cutters smaller than 3″ x 3″ don’t work well (the bunny at right).
  • Neither do cutters with lots of narrow areas (the bunny’s ears, and the collie’s legs above. The airplane was pain to do too.).
  • Forms

  • Forms with large open areas work best (such as the heart and semi to the right)
  • Also, forms with handles (such as the heart) are easiest. Otherwise use a pair of pliers to flip the cutters without burning yourself. You may also have to push the crumpet through with a spoon or something similar.
  • An old soup can works just fine if all you want is a traditional round crumpet.

These suggestions may not be true when making pancakes–crumpet batter is stickier and thicker than pancake batter, so it doesn’t flow into small areas well.

Look for Feeding the Finicky Part 2: The Power of Pasta

Follow-up:  Pancakes didn’t work particularly well.  I didn’t spray the cutters first, and my batter was a bit too thick.  But I did use the cutters to make “people toast” today, and she enjoyed that. 

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