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Way to Reduce Sugar for Kids

We’ve been playing around with Paleo meals and diet plans for the past half year, but haven’t really committed to this route full time (mostly cost of meat and fresh produce is an issue, as we LOVE the foods on this diet plan).

A Paleo or Primal style diet generally avoids sugars, grains, and dairy. I’d love to raise Paleo kids (see my pinboard!) who will not struggle with giving up sugar the way I do!

The more I read about the effects of sugar on our health – the more concerned I get. Sugar in our diets (too much) spikes spikes insulin levels, leading to all sorts of medical issues like diabetes and worse! Yet sugar is added to just about every packaged food on the shelves it seems.

I thought we were eating healthy foods in our house by going organic and using a lot of fresh foods, until I realized how much hidden sugar was in everyday “healthy” and organic foods: added cane sugars, high fructose, lactose.

I’ve been working to sneak sugar OUT of our daily life little by little. Here’s some of my strategies:

Whole foods. Obviously, you won’t be getting added sugars in whole foods… but I know it’s not easy (or cheap) to eat a 100% whole foods diet! So here’s a few more tips!

Swap flavored yogurts for plain yogurt with a few scoops of unsweetened applesauce (some sugar but less of it).

Offer rewards other than candy – stickers, prizes, a special activity

Substitute honey, maple syrup or applesauce for white sugar in recipes. It’s still sugar but less processed.

Make treats with sugar a special (rare) occasion. It’s not necessary to have dessert EVERY night. Or eat all the Christmas stocking candy by New Year’s.

Try halving your sugar in your coffee or tea. I’ve been reducing my sugar in my coffee a little at a time over the past month.

Look for brands that are reducing sugar in their products (and remember “sugar free” most likely means they used an artificial sweetener – which is generally not good in my book! Look for honey, stevia, xylitol as sweeteners, not aspartame, sorbitol, or sucralose).

I was happy to find out Earth’s Best Sesame Street Oatmeal just released their new, improved formula. Instant oatmeal is a fast and easy breakfast for families, but often comes packed with sugar.

If you need a quick brekkie option, now Earth’s Best has 25% more fiber and 25% less sugar (8 grams versus the former 12) than before! I taste tested both versions the other day. While I could tell the new version was not as sweet, it still tasted great!

Earth’s Best Yummy Tummy Oatmeal comes in Maple & Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon, plus it’s non-GMO verified!! This is just the kind of product I’m looking for to help me cut back on sugar in my family’s diet.

What are your strategies for reducing sugar intake? 
Earth's Best Blogger ProgramThis post was written as part of the Earth’s Best Blogger program. I was provided product samples to facilitate this post, and may be eligible for additional blogger rewards. All opinions are 100% my own.

Sonya Morris

Monday 25th of March 2013

While dealing with gestational diabetes, I was shocked to see sugar in so many unexpected products! I wish companies would take out the hidden sugars in their products so our kids can grow up healthier.

Sonya Morris

Monday 25th of March 2013

While dealing with gestational diabetes, I was shocked to see sugar in so many unexpected products! I wish companies would take out the hidden sugars in their products so our kids can grow up healthier.

Lolli S

Monday 25th of March 2013

I agree that it is so important to get the sugar out of our childrens diets. I love that you mentioned whole foods on here as that is what I believe is a good strategy as well. Love your blog.

Lolli S

Monday 25th of March 2013

I agree that it is so important to get the sugar out of our childrens diets. I love that you mentioned whole foods on here as that is what I believe is a good strategy as well. Love your blog.

Shari

Monday 25th of March 2013

I'm finally leaving a comment! :-) I have been trying to do the same with my family over the last year, but as you know, some of my kids are older and it's been harder to "convert" them. One thing that is a constant challenge is the treats given out for sunday school or the like... Processed chips full of hydrogenated oils and "non-food" ingredients, or candy, etc. My kids dentist says they are better off to binge on all of the Christmas and Halloween candy at once than to graze on it over days and weeks. And in addition to the teeth health part of that, is the fact that they will get a nasty tummy ache from the binge and won't ask for it again. I haven't found that part to be true, unfortunately! They still ask. But I still say no. We almost never have dessert, but if they beg, I bring out slices fruit or make smoothies with plain yogurt, fresh squeezed oranges, and ice or cocoa powder, unsweetened organic pb, frozen banana and a tablespoon of honey or pure maple syrup. If I make baked goods, I find alternate sweetening options, like you suggested. I replaced granulated sugar with unsweetened applesauce, mashed sweet potato or maple syrup and reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. It changes the texture, but if I add a few chocolate chips or raisins they don't seem to mind at all. Reducing sugar is def a challenge with kids already used to it. For yogurt with my kids I do plain and add a dash of vanilla and teaspoon of maple syrup. They rave about it. Now if only I could make up a carton and put it in a squeeze tube, even better so it's ready at the quick! As for the $$ of eating whole foods, I have found, so far, that it's been about the same $$ on our budget when I buy in season and with sales. And if produce is looking like it's on it's last good leg at home, I'll freeze it to use later instead, like the fruit in smoothies or cook then freeze the veggies to add to a one pot meal... I also found that having no options for snacks in the house other than the fruits/veggies/almonds works best. They learn to choose them or choose nothing, and I'm not spending $$ on 'back up' snacks.

Wow, first comment was a book. I should have just called you. But that's kind of not the point of commenting on blog, I suppose. Haha

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