I have two beautiful children, with lots of energy and boundless joy. My only son was having some difficulties with behavior, I suspected he had food allergies so we had him screened and now we are a gluten free home.
Obviously, being myself a Sugar Mama and doing 7 day sugar cleanses with my clients, we are now a gluten and sugar free family. This journey of finding alternative foods for the usual social event, birthday party, holiday gathering, school field trip, can be a challenging endeavor.
I assure you that with a little meal planning and healthy conversations with your children, all of this can be accomplished.
Here are some tips to help you eliminate sugar from your child’s diet:
1. Eat in balance:
Every time you eat, be sure to eat protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in my book are vegetables and no more than 2-3 servings of fruit a day. An example of a balanced snack could be;
Almond butter, 1/2 apple
Organic goat cheese, blueberries and 1 slice of turkey without nitrates.
Hummus and veggie sticks and a chicken stick
When you eat in balance, you control your blood sugar and insulin levels. This will control cravings, mood swings, improve behaviors and brain productivity for better learning.
2. Eat a balanced breakfast and cut out the sugary cereal:
When it comes to sugar, breakfast cereals are a key offender, with two-thirds of the top 100 classified as “high in sugar.” Understand that 4 grams of carbohydrates is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Alternatively, swap your cereal for protein in the morning. Great breakfast ideas are:
A. Eggs, sweet potatoes sautéed in coconut oil, spinach sauteed in coconut oil.
B. Green smoothie: kale, blueberries, banana, organic yogurt, and hemp seeds.
C. Gluten-free oatmeal, sliced almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, berries or sliced apples with coconut milk with vanilla and stevia to taste.
3. Become a tag detective:
Adding white sugar to our food is not the only way to include sugar in our diet. Most of the sugar we consume is found in prepackaged foods (including deli meats, condiments, yogurts, bread, and crackers), which means the only way to know is to read the labels.
Consider the many names of sugar. Some are: maltodextrin, corn sweetener, corn syrup, cane juice, dextrin, any word that ends in “ose”, any word that ends in “tol”, which is a sugar alcohol. Stevia would be an acceptable sweetener without raising blood sugar levels.
4. Hydrates naturally:
From vitamin water to carbonated beverages, fancy syrup-sweetened lattes, and sugary cocktails, beverages are just as guilty as they are for infiltrating sugar, with numerous studies linking sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity.
Beware of drinks that claim to be sugar-free. They may have replaced it with artificial sweeteners that will disrupt our hormones and damage our cells. Many of these artificially sweetened beverages will trigger cravings even if they are calorie-free.
Healthy drink options are: plain filtered water, coconut water, herbal teas, sparkling water, cultured whey water, kombucha.
I’ll put a gallon of water in a spout glass container and fill it with cucumbers, berries, sliced apples, and fresh herbs like mint, ginger, etc. This is a refreshing way to enjoy drinks.
5. Commit to improving your favorite foods with love.
Incorporate the above elements for a week and observe the changes in your body, mood and energy. You will be amazed at how your children will respond best. It is not about eliminating or avoiding, but about eliminating the foods that do not serve you and adding those that do serve you and love you. You will find that your children will want foods that are rich in nutrients.
Take a pantry purge by donating your closet items that are of no use to you. If you need more help in this area, hire a health advisor to purge for you and help you choose healthy replacements.