Educating children on how to balance food choices paves the road to a life of healthy living. Given my kid’s dad and I see differently regarding sugar, it has been a constant battle of the sweet tooth. Recently, I had an epiphany that I could not “tell” them what to do; I had to empower their knowledge to make quality food choices. By instituting the below tips, my kids are now excited about new ways to curb their sugar cravings. Surprisingly, they enjoy the natural sugar options much better and are having fun testing out new recipes.
- Educate on naturally sweet foods. Designate time to testing out new combinations of fresh and dried fruits. Include options that could act as sprinkles such as unsweetened coconut, goji berries or cacao nibs. Explore making fruit sundaes, one option is pineapple topped with coconut and cacao nibs. Point out interesting history facts, for instance, cacao nibs are touted as the “Food of the Gods” for its superior nutritional profile and exceptional flavor.
- Introduce spices. There are countless spices that enhance flavors. For example, baking an apple with cinnamon or using ginger and cloves in a cranberry and orange sauce.
- Experiment with recipes. Cooking with children benefits everyone and teaches a life skill. Test out new recipes on a regular basis and encourage personal creations. Show them how to make treats with avocados.
- Teach how to read labels. Instilling the practice of label reading empowers kids to make their own choices and brings consciousness to the amount of sugar in many store bought items.
- Bring awareness to feelings. Discuss the importance to bringing mindfulness to feelings that surface for cravings. Whether the desire is for candies or salads ask them to identify emotions driving the decision. Simple awareness can lead to better and easier choices.
- Allow sweets. Keep a variety of fresh and dried fruit accessible to aid in healthy selections. On special occasions, let children select their favorite treat and agree to even if decadent.
Kerry is the founder and visionary of Zendoway, a holistic wellness firm. After years of personal exploration, Kerry has discovered that focusing on overall wellness replenishes energy, creates healthier relationships and provides excellent insight into life. To schedule a FREE coaching session email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Zendoway.com
Photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography