Find the best ingredients and products and add a dash of moderation to promote healthy food choices with your family, without telling the kids your secrets.
If your youngsters have an unquenchable sweet tooth, you’re not alone.
Sugar has become a staple in our households and, like many of our customs, kicking refined sugar to the curb, seems impossible.
Aside from the daily routines, children also have special days like Halloween, birthday parties, school celebrations and Christmas where sugar is in abundance.
We all know that too much of a good thing can be bad—sugar included. Here are five practical ways you and your children can work together to lessen your sugar intake, while still enjoying some sweetness.
- DIY Sweetening:
Add some Do It Yourself spirit in the kitchen. Next time you’re at the grocery store, reach for items low in refined sugar. When you get home, you and your family can join forces and add your own sweetness to your snacks. Unsweetened apple sauce boasts a delightful flavor with a naturally sweet taste. Instead of adding tablespoons of sugar, try sprinkling cinnamon on top for a new kick in place of empty calories.
- Smart Shelf Stocking:
We all know that if it’s on the shelf, it will eventually be in our tummies. Rather than having candy or cookie jars lurking on your counter, try having a fresh fruit bowl, or a jar of dried fruit and nuts. Stock your shelves with foods you and your children enjoy, but avoid too many high-sugar options.
- Portion Police:
All things in moderation, right? It can be a chore to reason with our children in this area. Don’t completely eliminate desserts and sweets, just choose healthy serving sizes. Rather than serving your children a small portion of ice cream in a big bowl, give them a small bowl full of ice cream.
- Wise rewards
Try not to use sweets as a reward for things such as good behavior. You can change up your reward system by swapping out smarties for stickers, pop for new markers, or cookies for a book. You get the idea.
- Fun alternatives
Thankfully not all sweet foods are bad for us. There are plenty of healthy alternatives that will satisfy our sweet tooth and promote a healthy lifestyle.
- Get your children to help you create new smoothie recipes to be enjoy for breakfast or after school. You can even add a spoon full of spreadable fruit for mouthwatering flavor.
- Next time your children have a hankering for cupcakes, make a big batch of pancakes and load them with fresh fruit. To indulge, you can drizzle them with low sugar fruit preserves.
- Often we overlook fresh fruit, nature’s candy. Take your children apple picking or get them to choose new and exotic fruits to try. You can even try a fruit salad for dessert.
- If you’re ice cream fans, try making your own frozen fruit pops. You can even pour your favourite smoothie into a popsicle tray and voila, you have a cool, sweet treat.
Lessening our sugar intake seems daunting. But with these practical steps, you and your family will be on the road to a more balanced lifestyle, while satisfying your sweet cravings.