Sweet Treats without the Sugar
Help Your Kids Choose Healthier Snacks
Freeze low-sugar yogurt tubes and homemade smoothies for special treats
Getting your kids to eat less sugar can be easier than you might think. In fact, a recent study showed that kids like the taste of less-sweet breakfast cereals just as well as the sugar-loaded ones. "I have found ways to ditch excess sugar that my kids don't even miss," says Caroline Dorman, a mom and medical doctor in Grand Junction, Colorado. "I try to keep a bowl of fruit out all the time and we sweeten oatmeal with raisins and milk, topped with a tiny sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar."
Deemphasize the sugar
Experiment with your own variations on family favorites, so see what low-carb treats your kids enjoy as much as more sugary versions, and then emphasize those in your regular diet. Every family is different, but here are a few ideas:
Get beyond the juice box
Drinking sugary calories has been associated with obesity and other diseases, and it's one of the easiest areas to find good substitutions, such as:
Parents with new babies, note that infants need only drink breast milk or formula. When it's time to introduce other liquids, stick with water and milk, according to your pediatrician's recommendation. It's never a good idea to give a baby or toddler sugar-sweetened beverages like fruit drinks or soda.
Try this lovely low-sugar recipe: Blueberry Nice Cream
1, 12-ounce package of frozen blueberries or mixed berries
6 dates (Medjool if they are available), pitted
1 ½ cups raw cashews
Shredded coconut for garnish
Chop cashews in food processor until completely smooth, then add dates and process until all the lumps have disappeared. Add berries and continue to mix until you have a smooth, ice cream-like consistency. You may have to stop the food processor several times to scrape down the sides.
Serves 4. You can serve Nice Cream immediately, or fill frozen juice molds and freeze for a tasty snack.
Kimberly Beauchamp, ND, received her doctoral degree from Bastyr University, the nation's premier academic institution for science-based natural medicine. She co-founded South County Naturopaths in Wakefield, RI, where she practiced whole family care with an emphasis on nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, detoxification, and food allergy identification and treatment. Her blog, Eat Happy, helps take the drama out of healthy eating with real food recipes and nutrition news that you can use. Dr. Beauchamp is a regular contributor to Healthnotes Newswire.