Desserts and Sweets are the fairytales of the kitchen. While we all become children while gulping down the desserts, sweets, ice cream, and chocolates, children going crazy over sweetmeats is understandable. Children love sweet because they have sensitive taste buds that intensify every flavor and they relate the taste to the slightly sweet breast milk from which they got their nutrition for 6 whole months. Most of the packaged baby food and snacks available in the market are loaded with sugar. But sugar is also known as white slow poison and it is highly unhealthy. Doctors recommend avoiding artificial sugars and colors in your child’s diet.
But can sweets be totally avoided? It’s an interesting question. As parents, it’s our responsibility to help our children build a healthy relationship with sweets without compromising on their health. We will help you with healthy and natural options that would let them enjoy sweetness without hindering their health.
Nature’s Candies – Fruits and Sweet Veggies
Fruits have natural sugar that can satisfy your child’s sugar cravings with the advantage of providing them with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is recommended to offer whole fruits for kids rather than fruit juices. In case of fruit juice the fiber content of the fruit which plays a role in regulating the sugar absorbed by the body is lost. Research also suggests that kids who consume fruit juices have more cravings for sweets. Many times we tend to add some extra sugar in our juice which nullifies the benefits of the fruit. Nurture the habit of eating whole fruits and vegetables for a few weeks till your child gets accustomed to it. Sweet profiled vegetables like Carrot, Beetroot, and Sweet potato are healthy alternatives to satisfy your kids’ sweet tooth.
Rethink your Drink
A cold drink after a sport or playtime is definitely everyone’s favorite. Aerated drinks are sugar blasts that are full of chemicals and harm our bodies. So if you are bickering as how to chill your kids after a sunny playdate? Worry not; you will be amazed by the plenty of healthy cool drink options. When it comes to beverages keep it simple. Fresh tender coconut on an exhausting sunny day is a great way to cool your body and it improves the blood circulation and health of the heart.
Flavored cold milk/yogurt is a tasty adventure for your child. It gives a wide option of varieties with many interesting flavors. My daughter’s favorite flavors are rose milk, strawberry milk, almond milk, and mixed dry nut milk. They are easy to prepare and rich in nutrients. I add a little twist in these that enhances the taste and the nutrients. Add some freshly prepared dates syrup and serve it chilled.
Mint lemonade with palm sugar is a refreshing drink to have. Dates juice is another healthy option. Soaking a few deseeded dates in water for 4-5 hours and juicing the pulp with hands gives an iron-rich healthy juice. Dates are natural sweeteners and don’t require any additional sweetener. As parents, it’s our duty to cultivate the habit of clean eating in them. As it’s rightly said health is wealth.
Yummy and Healthy Breakfast
A healthy breakfast can give the energy they need for the whole day. Never compromise on their breakfast. Break their morning fast with teasing, flavorful and healthy breakfast. Did pancakes flash your mind? Yes, they are the sweet traps that every child would love as breakfast. But what worries most parents is are they healthy? I will share a healthy recipe to make the flipping adventures chemical and white sugar-free.
1 cup wheat flour
A pinch of salt
Powdered Jaggery/cane sugar as per taste
2 bananas (optional)
1 cup milk/almond milk
Melted butter as required
Keep a few spoons of melted butter aside. Mix all the dry ingredients. Mash the bananas and whisk the egg with it. Now mix everything and whisk well to make a thick batter. Heat a pan, add the butter kept aside and take a scoop of the batter, pour on the pan, and flip it both sides. Serve it with berries, fruits and honey. I avoid the flour for my toddler, the pancake turns out mushy but still tastes good.
You can come up with more creative recipes and shapes so that your little one enjoys the meal without the fuss.
Mind the little cravings
Most of us give a healthy meal to our kids but we fail to be mindful when it comes to snacks. We offer our kids Maida and sugar-loaded biscuits and cookies or store-bought fries and crisps. Ignoring the snacks spoils every other healthy meal given. There are plenty of easy and healthy homemade snack recipes that can be stored and served. The multigrain bars, peanut cookies, flattened rice ladoos, roasted gram barfis and Urad dal marbles are a few to name.
Kids love cake so you can bake a healthy cake for them too. My daughter loves the wheat Jaggery dry nuts cake that I prepare for her. You can try different cake recipes like carrot dates cake, wheat vanilla cake, and so on. This will ensure your kids have a nutritious diet that satisfies their sweet tooth.
Every parent dreams of a healthy child and wishes only the best for their kids. It’s very important for parents to set an example for our kids. We must follow clean eating habits before we expect it from our kids. Hence bring change in your life that will help build your child’s healthy future.
“Healthy is not a goal; it’s a way of living, instill it in your kids”