Let’s face the facts. Kids love sugar. It’s as simple as that. They love it and they want it as often as they can get it. However, sugar can not only reak havoc on their health, but their sugar buzz can drive you up the wall. I know from experience. So I’m sharing a few of my favorite healthy “candy” alternatives you can use to help beat the sugar rush, and set your children on a path to enjoying healthy food. These foods will give them energy while satisfying their sweet tooth, and keep them healthy at the same time:
1. Toast With Peanut Butter – You can’t go wrong with peanut butter. This is a fan favorite in my house. If you want to give it a little added natural sweetness, drizzle a small amount of honey on top. Start this one on them when they’re young, and they’ll be craving it forever. Just be sure you’re buying an all natural one without the added preservatives and sugars. This is the perfect solution for feeding your kids the healthy fats they need to grow.
2. Greek Yogurt With Delicious Toppings – Your kids need protein, and greek yogurt will give it to them while satisfying their sugar craving. Costco has a very affordable Greek Yogurt in a huge container. Buy that and give it a twist with any kind of topping. I recommend diced fruit (dried works too!), nuts, or a small amount of granola. This is a quick snack that’ll have them asking for more. To get them to really like it, have some with them so they feel like they’re eating a ‘grown up’ treat, and don’t forget to add a little crunch in every bite. Kids love a good crunch in their snacks.
3. Dark Chocolate, Or No Chocolate – Train their taste buds young by giving them dark chocolate instead of the sweet kind, over time they will crave that. Sweet Milk Chocolate conditions your kids to crave sweets, whereas dark chocolate is less sweet, but still quenches that craving. Over time the sweeter deserts with loads of sugar become less appealing.
4. Fresh Juice Popsicles – Summer is right around the corner, and so brings the season of cold snacks. One that’s always (or 9 times out of 10) a winner is popsicles. Sneak in some healthy nutrients with this one by making your own with fresh juice that has no added sugar. Take it one step further and give them a twist with chunks of fresh fruit mixed in. Your kids think they’re getting dessert, but little do they know they’re getting their fruit serving in for the day.
5. Homemade Trail Mix – There are tons of recipes online you can find for different variations of homemade trail mix, but I like to keep it simple. Head to Costco or your local grocer and buy a bag of mixed nuts, one bag of dried fruit (cranberries are my favorite) and a small bag of dark chocolate morsels. Keep the chocolate light, but add enough so they have at least one surprise in every bite. They’ll love the sweet and salty mix!
These are just a few of my favorite candy alternatives for kids. Looking for more? Sign up for my healthy & affordable weekly meal plans, where I apply these concepts and more so your family can enjoy healthy meals and snacks together.