Kids and the battle against sugar

Ok, I know this is such a touchy subject and we all have our differing views on it. And that’s ok.  I’m writing from my own perspective, without judging or deliberately trying to annoy anyone.

The problem is this: whenever we celebrate basically ANYTHING with kids, there’s a sugar overload involved. Weather it’s a birthday, a holiday, a sleepover, a get together, a play date, anything, sweets are sort of mandatory.

I’m not saying the occasional treat is bad in any way, but the amount of pretexts these days, and the amount of sugar that goes with them just keeps adding up.

And the expectation of sweets is always there.

Sugar is the one substance that shouldn’t be debated anymore. There are differing opinions and lack of scientific evidence regarding many other foods, but for sugar the evidence is more that plenty and very clear: sugar is bad for us, it’s addictive and responsible for a whole range of chronic diseases in our society today. It’s also more widely used than ever before in history. Sugar only brings us empty calories, meaning it makes us fat, but doesn’t include any nutrition.

I could go on a rant about the sugar industry and how immoral it is, but I’ll let you look into it yourself if you’re interested.

If you want to cut back on sugar, where can you start?

  • sodas and fruit juices: make water your go-to drink and drink it often
  • commercial sweets and cakes: make your own healthy versions
  • flavoured yoghurts: choose natural (and vegan) options and top with berries instead
  • convenience foods: ready made meals, cereals and sauces are often sugary and low in nutrients. Cook big batches of home made food instead
  • foods high in quick carbs: bread (even wholegrain), pasta (even wholegrain), cakes. They rise blood sugar in the same way as sugar and make you crave more sweets when your blood sugar drops.

Try cutting out sugar from your diet even for a week or two to see how different it makes you feel. Common effects are better energy, better concentration and less brain fog. Sugar is also at the root of many chronic diseases and symptoms might start to ease when cutting down the consumption of sugar.

And now, a refined sugar free treat. Try these muesli bars as a snack for the kids or yourself:

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Energy bars:

  • 50 g pumpkin seeds
  • 50 g sunflower seeds
  • 50 g brazil nuts
  • 50 g hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tsp (himalayan) salt
  • 170 g dates (fresh or soaked for a couple of hours

Grind nuts and seeds coarsely in a food processor (or blender), mix in vanilla and salt (you can also add cinnamon and cardamom if you want to). Then mix in the dates on low speed and mix until you get a sticky paste. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and form the dough into bars (or any shape you like) and bake at 125°C for 25-30 minutes.

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