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Old 05-22-2010, 09:17 PM   #1
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How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

We've been slowly falling into in terrible habit of giving the kids more and more sugary foods. In the past month, it has been really bad. (We've been w/o a kitchen for a month d/t remodel, so it has been all processed everything!)
I know it is taking a toll on them.

My baby is a sugar junkie already, I can tell, but he is still willing to eat healthy, as well. The twins are almost three, and are currently anti-vegetables, anti-water... just want flavored everything. I need to kick this habit NOW or it'll just get worse, I know.

Any advice on how to nip this problem in the bud? The kitchen was put back together today, so as soon as I can find my pots, pans, and dishes I can start cooking again. However, time is limited (about to put our house on the market), so I want to keep things easy for the time being.

Also, peanut and soy, and sesame allergies make everything a little more complicated.

So, all that said... any advice? Recipes, anecdotes, anything to get us off this processed garbage right now would be fabulous. Do I just make them starve until they eat what is offered? I really am at a loss here.

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Old 05-22-2010, 09:20 PM   #2
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

Try really a little over ripe fruit it is healthy and will give them there sweetness they crave
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

We also are trying to eat less sugar, it's hard because it's in EVERYTHING! But a few things I do regarding meals is I let them eat what is offered if they want it, but I don't force them to eat it. I don't give them anything else though. The choice is eat what is cooked or be hungry. I don't make it a battle though, it just is what it is. I do always try to have at least one healthy thing on the table that I know they will eat.

One of my kids favorite after dinner treat is homemade sorbet. We have a vita mix, and it is HUGE in helping get fruits and vegetables into the kids. To make sorbet I just blend frozen fruit with a small amount of water or juice to make a dessert. It spoons just like soft ice cream and is so tasty! They think it's as good as ice cream, but it's all fruit!

We also eat a lot of smoothies in our house, using the Vita Mix again. They are very filling and a great way to sneak in vegetables. They are a little different each time. I usually start with bananas and some other fresh fruit or berries. Then I add a little frozen fruit, a vegetable or two to hide in it (carrots and spinach both work great) and then a small amount of juice or soymilk to get it blended. It's as good as a shake! You can experiment and be creative. Sometimes they turn out awful, but that's how you learn.

One other idea, I hope I'm not going too long... is I have a section of our counter where I keep "anytime foods." I keep bananas, apples, grapes, nuts, oranges, etc... sitting out on the counter that they are allowed to eat as much as they want or any time they want. When they say they're hungry and it's not time for lunch or a scheduled snack, I say they can have an "anytime food." We talk about our foods with the terms "anytime foods," "sometimes foods" and "never foods." Anytime foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, etc. The sometimes foods are dairy, meats, crackers, treats, etc. The never foods in our family are cigarettes, alcohol, illegal drugs, etc. We talk about never putting those things in our bodies.

Good luck with your quest to eat healthier.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

Oh, I should probably mention, they are FRUIT ADDICTS. Like, I have to limit their consumption b/c they would only eat fruit if I allowed it. So fruit is definitely not an issue! It's more of figuring out how to get them to drink water (if I give it to them, it just sits there), and that sort of thing.
I guess, in truth, I'd really like us to go primarily vegetarian, and I wonder how to get protein sources into them?
(look at that, I didn't even realize what my true issue is until finally asking questions!
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

You can substitute raw honey for sugar, like in oatmeal, or put a little on toast instead of jelly (which tends to be full of sugar). I grew up on stuff like this because we always had tons of honey since my dad keeps bees, and my kids eat honey instead of sugar a lot of times, too. It doesn't seem to have the same effect on them as refined sugar does, and it would be a way to kind of ease off in your case, a transitional thing maybe.

As for drinks, I went through the juice addiction, too. That one's just a matter of sticking to your guns, and giving them only water unless it's time to drink milk or whatnot. They will drink it eventually, and as long as you're offering, they're at no risk of dehydration from turning it down. You can also try as a transitional thing, iced herbal teas with just a small touch of honey. It's less sweet than juice, but still flavored, so a good transition.

As far as being vegetarian, and getting enough protein, there are so many ways. We were veg for five years, and it was definitely easier than a lot of people think. Mushrooms have a lot of protein, and yes, many kids will eat them. I had parents tell me that there was no way their kids would eat mushrooms, only to watch them wolf down slice after slice of portabello and shiitake pizza with my daughter. All mushrooms are not created equal, so if your kids don't like one kind, try another. Then there's the old standby, which is a favorite of mine, beans. My kids are suckers for hummus and falafel!! These things are so unbelievably easy to make, and pure protein!! Of course, there are also the usual bean dishes such as lentils and rice (try Kusheri!), beans and rice, or bean soup. All of these are very good, as I'm sure you know very well already, and they have tons of protein. As far as iron and stuff, dark green veggies are the best source. I find that kids will eat anything you put on a pizza. This helps a lot (or did for me) when it is necessary for them to eat lots of dark green veggies and plant proteins because they're not eating meat.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

Thanks! The pizza is a good idea; so far, it is the only way I have gotten them to eat veggies. A lot of things they refuse to eat based on look; they won't even try it. Pizza always works, though.
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Old 05-23-2010, 04:35 PM   #7
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

just dont buy it!!! Luckily for you kids wont let themselves starve but they may play hardball and hold out to see if you cave and give them what they want. GL!

We have to detox the kids everytime they come back from the grandparents they wont eat for a day but then its back to normal.
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

With the sugar, I agree with the pp in that you just have to stop buying it. That's what had to happen in my house. I do still make cookies and granola bars, etc., but it's in an atmosphere where I can control the amount of sugar and proportion it to the other healthier ingredients in what I'm making.

I second the smoothies idea. I just did a blog entry about it (check my siggie if you are interested). Smoothies are also a way to add protein. Besides using yogurt and milk, I have added pureed chicken in the past with no effect on the the taste. If you are trying to go the vegetarian route, you could probably do the same thing with beans (maybe cook down some navy beans and puree them). It's something that you'd have to play with to get it right, but it might be worth it.

A thought I had about the water consumption... if your kids are big fruit eaters, is it possible that they are getting quite a bit of liquid from the fruits making them not so thristy for other things? Just a thought.
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Old 05-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Re: How Do I Get my Kids Off Sugar?

Stop feeding them the junk and they will stop craving it. It will suck for a little while as they detox, but bodies respond to junk food the way they respond to drugs- it feels good and tastes good, but it's horrific.

No little by little- stop feeding them the junk. Stop buying it, throw it into a bag and take it to the food bank- eat the good food that you want them to eat and they will follow your lead.

Hugs to you, mama! I hate to say it this way, but if they refuse to eat it, then oh well! They will eat when they are hungry
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