Chocolate chip cookies are a childhood staple. And while standard ones do tend to be on the very sweet side, it’s easy to make a few simple adjustments to turn them into a more wholesome treat. With three whole grains and minimal added sugar, these are our go-to cookie.
When my daughter was a baby and a young toddler, I was completely obsessed with her not eating added sugars. I didn’t want her to grow up with a sweet tooth geared towards super sweet desserts so I did my best to steer her towards more healthful options. But as she got older and I realized that we parents can’t always control what our kids put into their mouths—especially when they are at a friend’s house, a birthday party, or a playdate—and I learned to relax a little. It hasn’t been easy and I still worry when she eats more “treats” in one day that I think she should, but she actually does a great job regulating herself and she rarely finishes an entire dessert.
And she has never noticed that I drastically reduced the amount of sugar in these chocolate chip cookies.
Like me (and like most of us), the girl has a soft spot for chocolatey cookies. Chocolate, while obviously not a key nutrient for toddlers, can have a place in a healthful diet when offered in moderation and in smart ways. These cookies don’t actually have as much chocolate as regular ones do, but the chocolate is chopped up finely, which means that you get the flavor in each bite. Chopping the chocolate ensures that a little of it goes a long way—but you don’t have to worry about caffeine or sugar as much.
These cookies also include oats, millet, and whole wheat flour, so they offer complex carbohydrates to help balance out the natural sugars. Paired with milk, they make for a really nice snack. And, of course, if you don’t want to do chocolate, you can always substitute a dried fruit like raisins or snipped dried apricots.
I’ve actually made these with a gluten free flour blend, as well as this whole wheat version.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, millet, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold in the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Scoop out teaspoon sized balls onto the parchment and flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set and just starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature or even chilled.