It is truly astounding how much I hate babysitting.
I love my own children with an intense, unending, smothering love and literally never get tired of the blessing of getting to stay home with them. But, schedule me to be in a room with 10+ children, such as in our church nursery, and I literally break a nervous sweat days in advance. I am a person of routine, structure, mutual understanding, and order. I want to take every one of those children and put them in one space and make them stay. I don’t want anyone to cry for more than a second – 2 minutes of crying and any inkling of sympathy I had mustered is long gone and I am wondering how quickly I can get that sadness away from me. I watch the clock like a hawk, which undoubtedly makes things worse, and I get home and feel like I need 32 showers.
I cannot think of a single required task in my life that I dislike more than mass babysitting.
This intense hatred leaves me feeling guilty more often than not. What kind of a person hates taking care of other people’s children? What kind of mom detests nurseries, which are supposed to be a break, simply because I have to take a turn? This is the kind of personality detail I feel is best kept to oneself, but what are blogs for if not to open oneself up to mass judgement?
You may find it amusing to know that I agreed to be on the Nursery Committee at church, where the mandate is certainly not “abolish nurseries”. Irony and acquiescence, you twisty beasts.
It doesn’t help that our nursery doesn’t allow snacks, to minimize issues with things like food allergies, ant infestations, and choking, to name a few. If we could serve food, like these peanut butter, Nutella and jam oat bars, I would feel a lot calmer and I’m sure there would be a lot fewer sad faces and moody toy snatchers.
At least I can have them at home to feed my own kids, and to distract myself with chewing while I try to forget the horror.
THE HORROR. It’s too fresh.
So yes. Breakfast bars, because they are chock full of breakfast ingredients, they taste delicious at breakfast, and they are healthier than many a cereal masquerading as a healthy breakfast option. Oats continue to be one of my life’s true loves, so much more predictably lovable than children. Don’t hate me.
- 2 cups large flake rolled oats (quick-cooking also work ok, or a combination of the two)
- ⅓ cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
- 2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- ¼ cup Nutella or other chocolate spread
- ⅓ cup raspberry or strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, extending the parchment paper up the sides to make it easy to lift the whole works out to cut later, or grease lightly.
- In large bowl, melt butter and peanut butter together in the microwave. Add Nutella and stir until smooth. Add oats, flour, flax, brown sugar and salt and stir thoroughly until everything is evenly coated.
- Reserve ½ cup of oat mixture for topping, then press remaining mixture into prepared baking dish. Having slightly damp hands makes this easier, or spray the back of a spatula with cooking spray to press it down. Spoon jam in 4 evenly-spaced-ish lines over the oat mixture, then crumble reserved mixture over the top, pressing it down lightly before baking.
- Bake for 30-33 minutes, until set and edges are slightly golden. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Adapted from The Yummy Mummy Kitchen (2013) via Culinary Covers.
Sniggering with amusement at your opening line, how politically incorrect it is but how 99% of women in this world relate and agree (secretly or openly!). I can see how those bars saved you. :)
Yum! I love the flavour. BUT…mine ended up super crumbly. I’m not sure why. I’m pretty sure I got all the ingredients right. Other than one small change :-) Because of some non-jam-lovers in my family, I replaced the jam with nutella. Yum – Maybe not really a “breakfast” bar anymore though :-)
More nutella is never a bad thing :) They are quite crumbly at room temperature, but I made them again today and found refrigerating them before cutting and storing them in the fridge makes them quite sturdy. Did you have yours in the fridge? It might also help to press the mixture more firmly into the pan, and press down the extra topping after crumbling it on as well. Let me know if you try again how it works!
Made these…very tasty :)
Leah @ lovemefeedme says
Wow these look so incredible! I’m definitely going to have to try veganizing these. I wonder if coconut oil would work in place of butter. YUM!
I think that would work great!
These look amazing! I smiled at your hatred for babysitting. I could never be a kindergarten teacher, or even a preschool teacher, but I babysit four kids in my own home every day. I think I’m okay with this arrangement because it’s ‘only’ four kids, I’m home so I can still do my baking, laundry, etc, and they’re all teacher’s kids. Since my husband is also a teacher, that means we have pretty much the same schedule and the same holidays.
That sounds like a good arrangement – it probably also helps that you have them every day, so they can get used to the rules/expectations a bit more?
Sarah Vandergugten says
I’ve been babysitting in the church nursery for over 50 years, and probably enjoyed it only for the first five or six when I still loved it when babies cried, ’cause then I had an excuse to hold them! But I still do it. I love knowing the little ones names, and seeing their parents.
I admire that – I so appreciate the ladies who babysit past the years when they “have to”, but it remains to be seen whether I can bring myself to be one of them :)
I’m with you on the nursery thing…and I’m also on the Nursery Committee. Plus, I feel like I’m always the mean babysitter because I don’t tolerate misbehaviour. I swear, the kids give me dirty looks for weeks afterwards.
I always like a good, easy breakfasr recipe that can be made in advance, so I’ll definitely have to try these! Do you know if you can use natural peanut butter in them?
I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would work – the flaxseed helps bind them and you could always add a 1/4 tsp salt to compensate compared to regular pb :)
I have to say I feel the same about nurseries…if you’re going to feel bad about it at least know you aren’t alone :)
You are so like me, its scary! Had to laugh :)
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
I cannot wait to try these! I love having breakfasts like this on hand for our busy mornings!
I feel vindicated somehow. I always thought that once I had kids I would love the church nursery but at the moment, I’m sort of thankful that I have an excuse not to volunteer:)
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
Haha… Im not big on kids in general, so babysitting them would be about as close to hell as I could get. Your Peanut Butter & Jam Oat Bars however, look heavenly! :)