Yesterday, I was trying to figure out how long it’s been since I quit sugar. I was shocked to learn that I now have exactly 14 weeks under my belt. Holy crap! Time sure flies, doesn’t it?
During this time I’d like to think that I’ve learned a thing or two about transitioning a family of 5 toward a sugar-free home. Let me be the first to tell you, it hasn’t been easy. My boys are finicky eaters; and like most kids, they love the sugary- sweet stuff. My husband, well, he doesn’t eat sweets at all so he was easy! He’s more of a salty and savory type guy.
Today, I thought it was high time that I shared a few of my best-learned
tricks tips on how I made that transition in my household.
*Warning – there may be some trickery involved*
Please feel free to use them as you transition your home as well.
1. Keep their curiosity peaked
My boys (ages 9, 8, 5) are extremely curious little beings. I like to think that most kids are. When I began my journey to quit sugar they asked a lot of questions. They still do actually. And, like most people who are on a new journey, I was eager to share absolutely everything about it with them, BUT I didn’t. What I did do was answer their questions with brevity without going into semantics. I wanted them to be curious and STAY curious and continue to ask questions so I could teach them how to make better choices one step at a time. Keep it light and don’t get discouraged.
2. Let them help in the kitchen
This one was a huge challenge for me. I’m such a Virgo when it comes to spills and messy kitchens. I had to really get over myself and out of my comfort zone and let the kids help me with the baking and cooking from time to time. What I found was that Kids really do love to lend a helping hand in the kitchen. And if you get them involved in the process, they will want to taste everything they make! They’ll never say it tastes bad…they made it ;).
3. Fake it till you make it
At first, when I started baking with products other than refined sugar, I would tell them “There’s no sugar in these brownies (or cookies)!” – BIG Mistake! Don’t tell them, even if they ask because they won’t eat it (at least in the beginning stages).
I love creating my own recipes that I know are going to taste like the “real deal”. I don’t think anyone needs to sacrifice taste (even though they have quit sugar) but baking with substitute products (other than refined sugar) takes a lot of trial and error. If you don’t have the time to invest in creating your own sugar-free recipes, use mine or search the Google for other sugar-free recipes. There are plenty to go around.
4. Stall and stall some more
This post is kinda making me sound like I’m a really bad mom. But you know, you gotta do what you gotta do. For me, being a short-order cook and making a separate meal for everyone in the house is not an option. I like easy PLUS I want my children to be healthy without being too extreme about the whole “no sugar” thing.
Two of my kids enjoy their cereal in the morning. One prefers the plain, no-sugar-type cereal like the puffed wheat. The youngest, well…let’s just say he loves the Leprechaun’s with the Pot O’ Gold/Marshmallows type cereal! Ya, breakfast is a real challenge in my house 🙂
So, the way I transitioned him and his less than healthy eating habits is to tell him every bloody day that I hadn’t gone shopping to buy more cereal. He’s 5 remember. Eventually, he stopped asking and switched out to a new favorite breakfast (that is sugar-free). It took several weeks but I lied through my teeth everyday until he stopped asking. It does works! If you have the patience, this is a good trick! Just make sure you don’t bring them to the grocery store with you 😉
And, last but certainly not least…
5. Let them be kids for goodness sake!
At the end of the day, you know you’ve done your best at home. You can’t be with your kids 24/7 and they are going to eat sugar when they’re at a friends house or at special occasions such as birthdays or holidays. That’s ok. Let them be kids. Soon they’ll be off to college and doing their own thing anyhow. Just trust in the fact that you’ve done your best and hopefully you’ve instilled a thing or two in them about healthy eating.
Good Luck with your transition to a sugar-free home.
I hope you’ll get some use out of these tips. I have plenty more but will save them for another day.
What about you? Do you have any tips or tricks that you’re using to transition your kids at home? I would love to hear them in the comments below.