I have a few kids who are all too happy to eat an abundance of sweets whenever they can get their hands on it. It’s always been a challenge and it continues to be. I’ve been able to find ways in which reducing sugar for kids can be tolerable and sometimes pleasant if you’re willing to believe that. Some of these work best when exposed to them early in their lives, but if you’re able to persevere through some whining, you can make a transition into healthier choices without too much trouble.
Cut the Condiments
The high fructose corn syrup in ketchup is without question unnecessary. I’ve gotten around this by sometimes purchasing more healthy varieties of ketchup which don’t include high fructose corn syrup, or I’ll “accidentally on purpose” be out of ketchup when there’s a meal which they’d normally like to have it with. When I first began this process, I heard a lot of complaining. Then the kids just got used to not having it.
I’ve begun replacing salad dressing with lemon tahini. This is a pureed form of sesame seeds that you can add lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley to. It is great used as a dressing for salads, or also as a dip for dipping bagel chips or whole grain pita pockets cut into triangles, then dipping them in the tahini.. Making your own dressings is a great way to forego the sugar content in salad dressing. There’s a plethora of healthy salad dressing recipes over the internet if you need ideas to get you started.
Even the so-called “natural” varieties of cereal aren’t to proud to sneak in lots of sweeteners. I’ve made the kids get used to slicing some bananas in a bowl, perhaps some apple and softer pears, combined with raisins for the sweet substitute . Then drizzling almond or cow’s milk over this to avoid the sugar of cereal. Oatmeal with stevia, an herbal sweetener which doesn’t elevate serum sugar levels at all, is a great breakfast as well.
These are great snacks if they’re made with perhaps some barley malt, or dried fruit as sweeteners, but we all know what’s in these don’t we? Many times these are topped with chocolate? Really? Why not serve them for desserts rather than mid morning lunch box snacks? Just my two cents. You can make your own granola and granola bars with dried fruit and barley malt or beet sugar. If you’d like to tackle doing a bar version, you can use maple syrup to hold it together.
Source: Personal Experience