Halloween, Thanksgiving, then Christmas? As the holidays come creeping on us, one month after the other, it also seems like our “added sugar” intake creeps up on us in the same way. Halloween candy, cookie exchanges, gingerbread house making, and Thanksgiving pies all start to add up. Not to mention the dozens of times you’ll pass the holiday isles in retail stores where you’ll see candy canes, chocolate oranges, and a plethora of other sweets and goodies loaded with added sugar intake.
Let’s see some of the facts about added sugar intake.
“According to the American Heart Association, the average American adult consumes 22 teaspoons of “added” sugar per day — far exceeding the guideline of 6 teaspoons per day for women, 9 for men. And the average 1- to 3-year-old consumes roughly 12 teaspoons of sugar a day (recommendation is 2), while the average 4- to 8-year-old consumes 21 teaspoons on a daily basis.” So you can see it’s not just the holidays that are affecting our sugar intake but they can seem to overload us as these dates come around every year.”
This year, try something different, try to get rid of or at least reduce the sugar overload that could be damaging your health in more ways than one. Here are 4 ways to reduce those “added sugar cravings”
Consume Natural Sugars: Instead of choosing for the processed goodies you’ll see at the bakeries and stores, try consuming sugars that come from natural sources like fruit. Eat the fruits that are in season, sweeten your goodies with applesauce, stevia or monkfruit. These are all natural sugar sources that will give you more sustained energy and reduce those processed sugar cravings.
Make Your Own Treats: Go out on a limb and tell yourself that if you’re going to consume treats make sure they are 100% homemade, from scratch. Making treats from scratch ensures that you know what all of the ingredients are and how much-added sugar is going into those treats as well. You can also make it fun for your kids by making treats with them, this helps them learn at an early age how to prepare food and what we should be putting into our bodies.
Have A Party: It’s always fun hosting a party, then you get to decide what’s on the table and how much. At your party find things that aren’t just all about the food. Let’s be real, the holidays are about food but make sure it’s the right kind of food that’s fueling your body properly and giving you sustained energy. Not the jittery up and down feeling. Play games, carve pumpkins, give out small toys to kids. Be creative and have fun! It doesn’t have to be a sugar overloaded party to have fun.
Trade the Sugar: If your kids or you seem to still be overloaded with sugary treats even after all these suggestions then make some kind of trade with your kids or spouse to trade the candy for something else. The something else could be clothes, jewelry, toys, money, even books or something creative that they like doing. Find some kind of activity your kids like doing and implement that instead of a treat.
As you implement these things, remember it takes time, and maybe you just change one thing this year, and then one thing next year. Starting small has always helped me out! Happy Holidays!