When my oldest son Zackary was younger, he would eat everything that was put in front of him without a complaint. Whether a food was sweet, salty, spicy or bland, he would happily gobble it up. Right around the time he turned three, however, that all changed. Suddenly, he was the world’s pickiest child. He didn’t like tomatoes. He didn’t like onions. He didn’t like cucumber. He didn’t like potatoes. I tried to remind him that he had eaten and enjoyed all of these foods in the past, but to no avail. I tried sneaking some of the foods he had turned against into sauces or casseroles. “This has onion in it, doesn’t it?” he would ask me with a scowl.
Finally, I gave up (for the time being) in despair. I started setting food aside for Zackary before I added the ingredients he didn’t care for just to make sure that he actually ate something. Plain noodles and chopped chicken might not be my idea of a good time, but if he’ll eat it, that’s what counts! Yet even with my efforts, his appetite remained far too birdlike to suit me, especially considering how much effort he put into trying to procure junk food in between meals!
Obviously, with such a fussbudget to cook for, I am always looking for ways to make mealtime more fun and easy for both of us. Recently, I was able to do just that when I was given the chance to review the brand new Toy Story 3 5-1 Tasty Baker from Pop Art Toaster.
The Tasty Baker is an ingenious device that works in basically the same manner as a waffle iron. However, instead of the traditional waffle plates, the Tasty Baker features molds that are filled with batter to create sensational, kid-friendly pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits and more! No matter what I decided to cook first with the Toy Story 3 Tasty Baker, I knew that Zackary would love the fact that his food was shaped like Buzz Lightyear, Woody and his other Toy Story friends.
I decided to make my boys Tasty Baker pancakes the next morning for breakfast. In the interest of saving time, I used a store-bought pancake mix to make a batch of batter, but I was pleased to see that the Tasty Baker’s information sheet had a great recipe for whole-wheat pancakes as well. I like to be as health-conscious as I possibly can when I cook, so I was happy to have the whole-wheat recipe at my fingertips when I needed it.
Before using the Tasty Baker for the first time, I followed the included instructions and sprayed the interior plates lightly with nonstick spray. After heating the unit for five minutes with the lid open and wiping away the excess oil, I was ready to make my first batch of Tasty Baker pancakes!
The Tasty Baker has four different numbered temperature settings to ensure that various batters all cook properly. I chose temperature level 3 and let the unit preheat. The Tasty Baker features two indicator lights on the lid that make the preheating process completely painless. The power light let me know that the unit was turned on, and the temperature light lit up as soon as the Tasty Baker had reached my selected temperature. Preheating took only a few minutes, and I was soon filling the molds with batter using the included batter scoop.
Once the molds were full, I closed the lid of the Tasty Baker and waited about three or four minutes. The first batch of Tasty Baker pancakes smelled delicious, but I saw when I opened the lid that I had under-filled the molds a bit. The pancakes had the shape of the Toy Story characters, but not the details. When the unit had reheated to the proper level, I refilled the molds with the second half of the batter, this time ensuring that every mold was completely filled. Sure enough, when I lifted the lid three minutes later, I had five perfectly detailed little pancakes!
Zackary and Benjamin both loved the little cakes and devoured the entire batch between the two of them. Even the lack of details on the pancakes from my first batch didn’t slow them down! I was thrilled to see Zackary eating a full meal instead of the few bites he usually takes.
Thanks to the nonstick cooking plates and the cooking spray I applied, I didn’t really find that the Tasty Baker needed much cleaning. The unit includes a cleaning brush for the times when a thorough cleaning is needed, but I found that wiping off the few drips of batter and the excess oil with a paper towel left the Tasty Baker completely spotless and looking like new.
Pop Art Toaster carries three other varieties of Tasty Baker as well as an amazing assortment of Pop Art Toasters, Creativity Coloring Kits and even a themed sandwich maker! The products are all designed to make food fun for both children and adults, and the great range of products ensures that even the pickiest eater will find a toast print or Tasty Baker shape to love!
Pop Art Toaster is also starting a wonderful new program that focuses on how the company’s products can benefit children with autism and are looking for parents of autistic children to test items and give detailed feedback of their child’s progress in conjunction with the Pop Art Toaster product line. If your family fits the criteria for this new program, contact Pop Art Toaster to learn more.
Since receiving the Toy Story 3 Tasty Baker, I have used it to make muffins, cupcakes, biscuits and of course, more pancakes! Thanks to the amazing collection of recipe cards included with the unit, I have had no shortage of ideas for the things that I can create with the Toy Story 3 Tasty Baker, and filling the treats I make with good-for-you ingredients like bananas, pumpkin puree and grated carrots is so easy. I have even used one of the ideas on a recipe card and created scrambled eggs shaped like Buzz Lightyear and his friends! I love the Tasty Baker’s versatility, and I also love the fact that no matter what I make with it, Zackary is sure to devour it with glee. When you’re feeding a child, adding a bit of fun to a meal is never a bad decision. Check out the great products at Pop Art Toaster for yourself, and see just how much fun mealtime can be!
Buy It: Pop Art Toaster is very generously offering Mommy Kat and Kids readers $5 off any order of $25 or more! Visit www.poparttoasterstore.com and use coupon code LTD5809. Code expires December 11, 2010
Win It: One lucky reader is going to win a Toy Story 3 Tasty Baker from Pop Art Toaster
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Giveaway ends 11:59 pm CST on October 21, 2010. Open to US and Canada