Healthy Date and Pecan Cookies

These Healthy Date and Pecan Cookies are so easy to make that even my two and a half year old could do it! They were a perfect choice for my Tasty Tuesday recipe of the week.

Healthy Date and Pecan Cookies ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

Date and Pecan Cookies

I have two very active toddlers who both seem to have boundless energy stores keeping them going all day long. Neither of them stop for sleeps during the day to recharge so I have found that it is important that they have a balanced diet that consists of foods which have a low GI (slow release, long lasting energy).

I have mentioned previously that we are trying to turn a healthy corner here and I have had mixed success with foods I have made that have had limited sugar in them. I am happy to compromise on this as I would rather my children ate food I made from scratch rather than highly processed bought foods.

I was stoked, therefore, that my children devoured the first batch of these sugar free, gluten free and dairy free cookies. I had to put them out of reach to stop both my children and my husband from eating them all before the week began!

My children are not huge fans of nuts so I made the decision to leave the pecans out altogether as I didn’t want to risk them having something to not like about these cookies. I may slowly introduce them in future attempts but honestly, they were so delicious as they were that I may not even bother.

Here’s the recipe – it makes about 30 cookies!



3 cups almond meal

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 tsp bicarb soda

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp mixed spice

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

1/2 vanilla pod (scraped)

1 cup medjool dates (pitted and chopped)

1/2 cup pecans (chopped) (We left this out)


1. Preheat oven to a moderate 180 degrees, Line 2 oven trays.

2. In a large bowl, stir almond meal, flour, bicarb soda, salt and spice together.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, honey, oil and vanilla.

4. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Mix in dates and pecans.

5. Roll tbspns dough into balls and flatten between your palms. Place on tray 2cm apart.

6. bake for 8 mins until golden.



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Why I Let my Children Take Risks

Risk taking is a natural part of our everyday lives. Many risks we probably don’t even think of as risky: pouring our tea, driving our car, crossing the road etc. We are so used to these things going right that we no longer associate them with danger. Other risks we take on after careful consideration of the dangers/ pitfalls, the potentials and the overall feeling of worthiness it brings. The risk is at the forefront of our brain and it takes a level of consciousness before the final decision is made. These might include such things as a new job, a big role, parenthood or embarking on thrill seeking adventures etc.

It is important for us to be able to weigh up all the risk factors to make good decisions and keep ourselves safe in our daily lives. Often this can be done without too much consideration, if any at all, as we have the benefit of past experiences telling us the likely outcome. At one point, though, nearly everything we have done in our lives was a new experience and one that came with an element of risk.

Pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone is often daunting but our ability to do this with a degree of confidence largely stems from our childhood experiences. It often goes hand in hand with how many risks we have been exposed to, how we handled them, the outcome and how the whole experience made us feel; our accomplishment.Why I Let my Children Take Risks ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

That feeling of accomplishment is what makes many of us strive to achieve more and more in life. It makes us jump at the opportunity to take on projects and roles that we might have otherwise shied away from lest we fail. The emotion of pride, stemming from  achievement made with an element of risk. is a powerful one and one our children deserve the chance to feel genuinely and often.

It is for this reason that I give my children a certain freedom in their explorations. I weigh up the risk to benefit ratio for them, consider the worst that could happen and the likelihood and then let them go for it.

Why I Let my Children Take Risks ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident KidsWatching them take risks and test their limits certainly gives me plenty of heart in the mouth moments but these moments are always out-shadowed by the feelings of pride and joy I feel as I see my children’s confidence blossoming and growing before my very eyes.

For my children, they are right at the beginning of their own personal discovery. These risk-taking opportunities  are helping them to learn more about themselves, their capabilities and their competencies. They are learning what it feels like to push themselves outside their comfort zones and what it feels like to overcome fears and achieve.

They have their own in-built sense of safety that prevents them jumping straight into a running stream of water adorned with large rocks and boulders without due care. There is no need for me to tell them to be careful. They are well-aware of the risks and they are learning to understand their limitations as their risk-taking experiences mount.

Why I let my Children Take Risks 2 ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident KidsSure, accidents happen. We have had our fair share of bumps, bruises and scrapes and these are all part of the risk to benefit equation. They help my children make decisions about how far they can push themselves, safely and as Teacher Tom said in a recent article

“No one wants children to get hurt, but at the same time every injury you prevent in childhood is just an injury pushed off into the future because as we say, the only way to learn about asphalt is to fall on it.”

So I will continue to enjoy watching my children take risks and push themselves to explore and discover their capabilities and in doing so they will feel that powerful emotion of pride through accomplishment. I am confident that its addictive nature will see my children strive and push themselves outside their comfort zone long into their adult life.

You might also enjoy reading:

Don’t ‘Be Careful’ ~ Sara (Happiness is here)

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Ravioli Bake (Aka Cheats Lasagne)

My family loves lasagne. Served with vegies or a salad, it is easily a favourite. My mother’s lasagne is second to none with a creamy béchamel sauce combined with a rich mince mixture, it is easy to get lost in the deliciousness of it and sneak back to the kitchen for extra spoonfuls, stolen straight from the dish.

Baked Ravioli (Cheats Lasagne) ~ Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids

Unfortunately, with the hecticness of life with children, the luxury of spending bucket loads of time fiddling around making this meal can no longer always be afforded.

It is important to me and the peaceful running of my week, to have the bulk of our meals prepared before the onset of the working week. Therefore, I dedicate the best part of my Sunday to cooking a variety of meals and snacks which I can circulate through the dinner table throughout the week.

In order to make this routine sustainable, I have sourced as many quick and simple recipes as I can so as not to take up my entire Sunday. If I can’t have it prepped and done with in less than an hour I don’t do it.

So this week, I resurrected a family favourite and made a simplified version of lasagne.

I should note that this recipe can easily be made more gourmet by making the ravioli and the meat sauce from scratch but I didn’t bother and had no complaints from the family.

So, here’s what you’ll need:

500g beef mince

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 large carrot

1 large zucchini

1 bottle of tomato-based pasta sauce

500-600g cheese ravioli

400g English spinach

1 ½ cups tasty cheese

Fry onion and garlic in a little oil until softened. Add mince, break up lumps and allow it to brown. Stir through carrot and zucchini. Add pasta sauce (or make your own from here).

In a baking dish, spread a little of the mince mixture and then layer it with ravioli, followed by spinach leaves and a little sprinkle of cheese.

Cover over with more of the mince mixture and repeat the layers with the ravioli, spinach and cheese. Repeat until all ingredients are used. I ensured the top layer was mince and covered it with cheese before baking. (At this point I covered mine in foil and put it in the fridge to bring out during the week for dinner)

Bake in a moderate oven for 25mins or until golden and bubbly. I served with a fresh garden salad but this is not necessary.

Enjoy and don’t forget you can share your cooking on Instagram with the tag #ppcktastytuesday so we can all be inspired!


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Taking the Brunt of a Child’s Anger… And Still Finding Connection

Taking the Brunt of a Child's Anger ~ Peaceful parents, Confident Kids

When I arrived home from work the other day, I was greeted with the sounds of children in distress and a husband at the end of his tether. It had been a long, sick week for the family and being the only healthy body in the house, my husband had been on night wake-up and child minding duty all week.

As he began reluctantly to make his way towards his screaming youngest child, I told him to stop, sit down, relax, have a drink; I would get this. I was feeling good. I missed spending time with my girls and this was my opportunity to reconnect with them.

I walked into the bedroom and found my youngest sitting on the floor, trying to get her clothes off and my eldest, also half undressed, beside her. Both were upset but it was my youngest who was particularly so. I greeted both of them and acknowledged that they seemed upset. My eldest came straight to me and wrapped her arms around me but my youngest screamed with venom ‘I want Daddy! I don’t want you! Go away!’

It was like a stab in the heart with a knife. What did she mean she didn’t want me? I’m her Mum, of course she wants me. Right? Well, right, but not just at that moment. At that moment she wanted me to hear something that is hard to hear but it was important to her that I hear it.

As I listened to her angry shouts, I came to realise…

I had been distant from her as I struggled in bed with the flu. I hadn’t changed her nappy in over a week. I hadn’t gone to her in the night when she woke crying. I hadn’t even been putting her food on the table. Her father had taken on all these roles and more whilst I looked after me.

My little one didn’t like it, she was mad at me and was making that clear.

I needed her to know that it was ok to be mad, I understood and my love for her remained unwavering.

I acknowledged her feelings “You are having REALLY strong feelings. (Pause) You are mad and want me to go away. (Pause) I’ll move back here a little to give you some space. (Pause) I want you to know I love you and want to help you. (Stop and wait for her to indicate she is ready to connect). I sat on the floor of her room for about half an hour. We said nothing. If I tried to, she would scream at me in anger.

Eventually, she began playing with her doll. She didn’t look at me or acknowledge my presence but I knew she knew I was there because she was deliberately keeping her eyes averted. After about five minutes, she brought her doll to me and placed her in my lap. She still didn’t look at me so I gave her a little more time. Two minutes later she removed the doll from my lap and sat herself in her doll’s position. I tenderly wrapped my arms around her and held her.

We reconnected and she was able to see that no matter how much she yells at me, no matter how much anger she has bubbling up inside, I will be her rock.

Nothing will shake my love for her even when I can’t be there to take care of her.

That night when I kissed her as I tucked her into her bed I spoke with her gently. “You know, Penny, I love you even when you tell me to go away. I love you even when you are angry with me. I will always love you and nothing will ever change that.” She gripped my neck as we cuddled and did not want to let go. I sat with her on her bed and drew circles on the palm of her hand as she fell asleep.

She no longer wanted me to go away.

You might also enjoy reading:

Toddler Tantrum Therapy ~ Kate Russell (Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids)

Go Away, Mama! ~ Janet Lansbury (Elevating Childcare)

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