The problem with sugar

The last 50 years have seen a lot of controversy about sugar. First it’s a sweet and harmless snack, then it’s causing the world’s obesity epidemic. But despite the argument, one thing is always clear – eating too much sugar is bad for your health. But with sugary snacks so easily available at school, how do we get our kids to eat anything else? By making tasty, sugarless snacks that they can take with them wherever they go! Here are 6 sugarless snacks that your kids will love.

 

1.  Popcorn

Popcorn is the very essense of fun and healthy snacking. It’s wholegrain, light and crunchy, and filling! Try getting your kids in on the action by making this taco popcorn with them. You can leave out the chili for sensitive little tongues, and add it back a little at a time to gradually get them into spicy food.

 

A spicy twist on regular popcorn

 

2.  Peanut Butter

Make sure to by the “no sugar added” kind of peanut butter to get the most out of this delicious favorite. Spread it on celery and top with raisins for the classic ants-on-a-log. Squish it between two rice crackers for a crunchy, nutty sandwich. Or, if you want to get really creative, make little fruit and peanut butter turtles for an adorable at-home snack!

 Peanut-butter-fruit turtles - adorable!

 

3.  Cheese

In small amounts, cheese is a healthy and protein-packed alternative to sugar. Kids might not appreciate the blues and goudas of the cheese world, but they’ll go nuts for cubes of milder cheeses, like cheddar or swiss. When I was a kid, my mom would put cubes of cheese on a plate on the living room floor, and I would pretend to be a roadrunner and come peck at them. Then she’d jump out from behind a door, and I’d run off giggling. Exercise and healthy snacking, all in one!

 

4.  Fruit

Almost all kids love fruit, but even the fruit salad can get a little boring. Try fruit kebabs, fruit cars, or fruit icy-pops for the summer! And yes, fruit does have sugar in it, but the calories aren’t empty. Fruit also contains vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and other bioactive components, so the sugar is well worth it. Just make sure to keep your fruit fresh and crisp by keeping it cold all day long!

 

Fruit is fun and delicious!

 

5.  Chips

No, I don’t mean the store-bought Lay’s chips! I mean the huge variety of chips you can make at home, from the hearty zuchinni and parmesan chips to the deliciously more-ish sweet potato chips.

 

6.  Infused waters

Infused waters are the best-kept secrets in the snacking world. They’re a great alternative to sugary drinks like Coke, Sprite, or even homemade lemonade. If you haven’t tried infused waters yet, try this compilation of refreshing recipes. But my personal favorite is “Heaven Water”: a large jug of water, a cup of ice, 1 lemon (sliced), ½ a cup of frozen raspberries, ¼ of a cucumber, and some fresh mint leaves. Mix and chill for at least an hour, and enjoy! If you make it ahead of time you can even put it in a bottle or jar for later – just make sure to keep it cold!

 

Cool, refreshing, and sugar-free