Tasty jam-filled pikelets which are perfect for lunch boxes.
Swiss Eating Habits
My son started kindergarten last summer and, like in many Swiss schools, it is customary for the children to sit down to a hot lunch each day at a shared table. This practice starts as early as daycare where the children are taught to remain seated at the table, to develop social skills when eating, to clear their plates and put away their cutlery after a meal, and, above all else, good table manners.
It is in stark contrast to my upbringing in Australia where lunch was often a home-packed cheese and Vegemite sandwich with a frozen apple and blackcurrant popper, eaten under a shady tree in the school playground!
Every Monday morning, I always look forward to seeing the weekly menu at the daycare and kindergarten because I am constantly amused by how grown-up the menus are; they often sound better than the menus at my office and they are probably even more nutritious!
Lunch is always a hot meal – sometimes pasta, sometimes rice, sometimes homemade pizza. There are always two salads on offer, and even the afternoon tea is planned out in advance.
For example, this is what my daughter ate at daycare yesterday:
Couscous with chicken and vegetable tagine
Grated carrot salad
Spinach salad with raisins
Natural yoghurt with apricot halves (Falsche Spiegeleier or false fried eggs)
The menu at my son’s Kindergarten is not so different, except that I am required to pack his morning tea everyday. I ought to be grateful that I don’t ever have to pack his lunch, yet his morning tea box remains a constant source of stress for me!
The school’s guideline is to simply pack a healthy morning tea, with no sugary or sweet food.
At first, I was very enthusiastic about letting him snack on chopped apples and homemade oatmeal and raisin cookies … until he was told that the latter were not permitted, even though I had drastically reduced the sugar content when making them. Yet, when I asked my son what the other children were eating, it seemed that yoghurt with caramel bits were permitted? Hmmm …
So, until otherwise advised, I continue to pack my son’s morning tea with what I think amounts to a healthy and nutritious snack, and with food which I feel comfortable with him eating at school.
I don’t think sugar should be completely banned – the children need energy after all, and they benefit from snacks which include, for example, honey and dried fruits. I should also add that the children are required to brush their teeth after every lunch, thereby reducing the risk of cavities – again, another stark contrast to my own upbringing in Australia.
Generally speaking, I think pikelets fall into the category of healthy snacks. Pikelets are small Australian pancakes, commonly referred to as drop scones in the UK. If you look at my recipe for pikelets, it only uses 1 teaspoon of sugar in a batter which makes about 20 pikelets. Plus, my children tend to eat their pikelets plain, which means there is no added sugar. So, in my opinion, pikelets are a guilt-free snack.
It is, of course, a different matter once you slather jam and cream onto a pikelet, like I always do! And when I came across a recipe for jam-filled pikelets in the January issue of Super Food Ideas, I thought it was indeed a brilliant idea!
These jam-filled pikelets are simply perfect as a snack on-the-go, and I am going to be brave and pack some for my son’s morning tea tomorrow.
I have made his pikelets with just the smallest drop of jam in each – it can’t be worse than a jam sandwich, right?? And, oh, his batch was also made with half wholemeal flour, just in case his teacher has some doubts about their nutritional value. Teamed with some freshly cut fruit and a tub of natural yoghurt, these jam-filled pikelets can only be healthy, right?
Or to put it another way, there could be far unhealthier foods to eat 😉
What do you serve to your children for morning or afternoon tea? I would love to have some more ideas!
What to Serve with Pikelets
If you like to make your own jam, may I suggest one of the following as a delicious accompaniment or filling to these pikelets?
Tasty jam-filled pikelets which are perfect for lunch boxes.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: Makes 20 pikelets
- 100 g (3/4 cup) plain flour
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- tiny pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) full cream milk
- some butter
- raspberry or strawberry jam
- Measure the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, salt and sugar into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Whisk the egg and milk together in a measuring jug.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until the mixture is smooth. If you think the batter is too thick, add a dash of milk to thin the batter.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan or crêpe pan over medium heat.
- Drop a small amount of butter into the pan and wipe it around the pan with some kitchen paper.
- Using a tablespoon measure (15-20 ml) or large spoon, pour small drops of batter into the pan. For this recipe, I find it easiest to make 3 pikelets at a time.
- Quickly drop about 1/4 teaspoon of jam (or more) into the middle of each pikelet, and then use about a teaspoon of batter to cover the jam.
- As soon as small bubbles start to appear on the surface, flip the pikelets over and cook for a further minute or so. The pikelets should be evenly coloured and lightly golden on both sides.
- Remove the pikelets to a silicon tortilla or pancake warmer until all of the batter has been used.
- The pikelets can be served warm or cold.
- Any leftover pikelets can be kept on a plate covered in clingfilm and stored in a cool place.
- You can use 1 teaspoon of baking powder in place of the 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar in this recipe.
- You can substitute the plain flour for wholemeal flour, or use half of each.
- I recommend doubling the recipe – these pikelets disappear very quickly!
- Calories: 32
- Sugar: 1.6g
- Sodium: 123.2mg
- Fat: 0.6g
- Carbohydrates: 5.6g
- Fiber: 0.2g
- Protein: 1g
- Cholesterol: 10.2mg