Oh, sugar; you are delicious! It’s no wonder we love thee so! Sugar isn’t something that needs to be eliminated from your household - merely managed. By managing sugar and consuming reasonable amounts, we can still enjoy sweetness in moderation, which keeps everyone happy and healthy. But sometimes it feels like a full-time job of its own for parents to navigate the syrupy waters of snacks and meals for kids. While no one wants to completely abandon sugar, we can all agree that having more delicious and nutritious low-sugar options available for our kids can make things a whole lot easier.
We’ve created some fun, delicious ways to lighten the sugar load from morning until night-time snack time and we think - nay, we know - they’ll all be a hit with your kids. (And not too shabby for you too, Mom and Dad!)
If you have kids, you know the drill: exactly 5 minutes before bedtime, the snack requests start rolling in. As much as we often think they’re a ploy to extend bedtimes, little stomachs do get grumbly a bit after dinner. Making a snack an hour or so before bedtime can help keep little feet in the bed because you’ve preemptively shut down snack requests. The best snacks at night are those that are nutritious and filling, but without a lot of sugar.
Cereal with milk has been a long-held tradition at bedtime here, and to be honest, it is as likely to be eaten after 7 pm as it is on busy mornings. Kellogg’s Sugar Wise cereal – there are 5 of them, including the perennial favourites: Special K, Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, Rice Krispies Brown Rice and Crispix – all come in with simply 1-4 grams of sugar per serving, making them a super smart choice to beat nighttime hunger. (I’ve been known to sneak a bowl after the kids go down for the night but beware: the clink of a spoon against a cereal bowl can waken even deep sleepers if they think the “restaurant” is still open!).
Cereal is a great start – and end! – to your day and choosing a nutritious low-sugar option is an easy way to manage sugar intake. The boxes are easy to spot and all sport the “Sugar Wise” lightbulb logo. Keep the boxes in a place where kids can see them, perhaps at counter level, and you also start teaching “get your own” independence! Plus, this way, great low-sugar breakfast choices are on display first thing in the morning for quicker morning routines!
Ice cream is delicious, but so is our alternative! I’d even place it above a lot of frozen treats on the taste rating scale and it’s only a blessed side effect that it happens to be lower in sugar. Next time you want to offer an ice cream or other frozen confection to your kids, try this icy treat instead.
Blend a half cup (per portion) of plain Greek or vanilla Greek yogurt with an equal amount of frozen fruit. You can add a touch of honey to taste if the plain is a bit tangy for little palates. Use the pulse button to start blending and watch the mixture thicken. You can drizzle in more yogurt if it’s still too thick, once the yogurt is completely incorporated, hit the full power button for about 30 seconds and then spoon into serving cups. If you find your blender won’t adequately handle the frozen fruit, try whole frozen blueberries mixed into yogurt. Let it sit for 5 min and you’ll find the berries have melted enough to eat, but the yogurt will have frozen up enough, with an ice cream-like texture.
Bonus: Up the fun factor by topping each cup with some crunchy goodness like Kellogg’s Special K or any of its 5 Sugar Wise cereals. (The “Sugar Wise” cereal option, with simply 1-4 grams of sugar to help you make “Sugar Wise” choices for you and your family!)
Home movie nights are always a great time, but we all know what it’s like trying to tuck kids into bed after enjoying the treats that go hand-in-hand with watching a flick. You can easily swap out pop or sugary sodas by mixing non-sweetened soda water or seltzer with juice that has no added sugar. Try some new flavours like dark cherry juice or pomegranate, and don’t be afraid to mix it up and combine. Make sure you serve over ice and add an orange, pink grapefruit, or lemon slice. This garnish adds to the fun and won’t cause mid-movie sugar meltdowns while still keeping fun levels set at maximum.