Our (mostly) sugar-free eating plan is becoming the new normal. We have settled on one dessert and one batch of baking per week to 'leaven' our sugar-free days. This gives the children a sweet treat a couple of days a week in their lunch boxes, and even so, we are reducing the sugar in our usual recipes because they are starting to taste too sweet.
This week Rosy made a batch of Muesli Bar Cookies but decided not to cook them. Instead she rolled them into balls and covered them in coconut. SO yummy.
We also may have purchased a packet of marshmallows to make hot chocolate when we go up to the snow in the next couple of days with Daddy.. there may also be a large block of chocolate accompanying us. So clearly we are not being fanatical about sugar-free. But I do feel that we are moving towards sugar-as-a-treat rather than sugar-every-day.
I still have to find a way to get more vegies into Posy. And she has narrowed down her fruit choices to oranges, and tinned pineapple. She is as stubborn as the day is long, that child. Every night at dinner she is expected to eat one bite of everything on her plate. Last night she ate all her chicken, potato and peas, choked down one tiny piece of roast carrot, gagging and crying, and ate two pea-sized pieces of pumpkin. Whenever we have stew with onion in it, she spends most of dinner time carefully picking out the pieces of onion and draping them around the edge of her plate.
This is what she does at the table instead of eating:
Now I do have to say that all of the other children had food aversions at the same age, and they all eat everything now, but Posy has just taken it to a new level. And she still won't take fruit to school. I drool over all those 'lunch box ideas' websites, with boxes full of fresh fruit and vegie snacks, thinking, 'I could do that!' (and I do. For Rosy) But Posy won't have a bar of it. What to do, what to do?
Meanwhile, although Posy often only has pop corn and seaweed crackers for snacks in her lunch box because she refuses to take anything else, at least she isn't overdosing on sugar, and had I been tempted to slip in a little sweet something 'to fill her up', this chart I found yesterday would have soon put a stop to that.
The Sugar Content in Common Foods post is a little scary. Bearing in mind that the WHO guidelines recommend no more than 3-4 teaspoons of sugar for a child each day, a serving of any one of these foods would be an entire day's worth of sugar for Posy. The gram-to-teaspoons chart for sugar is an excellent tool for working out how much sugar per serve a food has, from the information on the nutrition panel on the packet. I just did this exercise with the last packet of muesli bars left in the cupboard, and the tub of Cadbury's hot chocolate I bought to take up to the snow. Each has around 12g of sugar per serving, which equals 3 teaspoons of sugar. So a child can have one muesli bar OR cup of hot chocolate a day, and NO OTHER SUGAR at all, and they will have reached their sugar limit. I am not even going to think about that packet of marshmallows....
Now I am not doing this to beat myself up, or make anyone else feel bad. I know that our whole family has been eating a lot more sugar than is good for us for most days of our lives. I suspect that much of our modern burden of chronic disease is linked to sugar consumption. I can't fix that by feeling guilty, but just by being aware that there is a problem - that is the beginning of change.
So here's to plain buttered popcorn in lunch boxes, and believe me, the day carrot sticks get added, there will be general rejoicing, and you will all be the first to know:)
Tired, but determinedly cheerful mother of four. One grown up son (The Boy), one grown up daughter (The Girl), two girls at home, Rosy (17) and Posy (12). Trying to buy a little less, make a little more, live a little lighter, not mess up the children too much..