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Sugar Overload

One Katyite is rewriting holiday traditions to include less sugar and more nutrition 

When holidays roll around, the pull towards the kitchen gets stronger.  My desire to bake to make every occasion special is so deep rooted that I have had the hardest time breaking the trend.

I should stop and present this disclaimer: I’m not against sugar intake.  On the contrary, I love all things sugar.  But at some point, when the kitchen is overflowing with candy and my daughter brings home cupcakes from Nana’s house, the need to bake sugar cookies just because it’s a holiday deserves an honest assessment.

This Easter, I realized that we, as a family, are on sugar overload without me adding to the baking mix.  I knew this cognitively, but there was a powerful inner force that kept bringing me back to the kitchen, over and over again, reaching for the mixer.  “But baking a bunny cake is tradition,” I’d tell myself.  Or, “Sugar cookies at every holiday is so much fun!  I want my kids to have fun, don’t I?”

Honestly, though, our counters were piled high with chocolate cake from the great-grandparents, cupcakes from the grandparents, and endless eggs full of candy.  All delicious.  And also sufficient.

So, this Easter I squelched the need to bake for fun’s sake.  But it did still leave a void in our home that I am hoping to get creative ideas to fill.  If I don’t need to bake, is there something more nutritious I can do with my children that will still make the holidays special?  Can I find a way to get veggies in front of my children instead of sugar, while still in the spirit of the season?

My first idea is to use raw veggies on a pizza crust covered with a Ranch dip to decorate a bunny, like I would a cake.  I didn’t think of it this year until the day after Easter, but I am excited to think ahead to other potential sugar traps. 

The Fourth of July, for example, comes complete with a fruit pizza, homemade ice cream, cookies, and sometimes a cake.  I do not need to add to the delicious dessert stash.  But perhaps my children and I can use fruit in a healthy way.  Maybe we’ll make a flag on homemade whole wheat toast spread with low-fat cream cheese icing. 

My goal is to begin collecting healthy alternatives for kitchen fun long before each holiday.  If I’m prepared with my bowl full of colorful fruits and vegetables, with a plan in hand, hopefully I can add health to the season.  As long as the sugar is also readily available, that is!

I could really use some help.  Do you have a healthy kitchen alternative for any major holiday to share?  Post your comment below. 

Blog Post Entry

Title: Sugar Overload
Subtitle: Rewriting holiday traditions to include less sugar and more nutrition
To be posted under Katy Parenting, Katy Kids and Healthy Katy
Text:

When holidays roll around, the pull towards the kitchen gets stronger.  My desire to bake to make every occasion special is so deep rooted that I have had the hardest time breaking the trend.

I should stop and present this disclaimer: I’m not against sugar intake.  On the contrary, I love all things sugar.  But at some point, when the kitchen is overflowing with candy and my daughter brings home cupcakes from Nana’s house, the need to bake sugar cookies just because it’s a holiday deserves an honest assessment.

This Easter, I realized that we, as a family, are on sugar overload without me adding to the baking mix.  I knew this cognitively, but there was a powerful inner force that kept bringing me back to the kitchen, over and over again, reaching for the mixer.  “But baking a bunny cake is tradition,” I’d tell myself.  Or, “Sugar cookies at every holiday is so much fun!  I want my kids to have fun, don’t I?”

Honestly, though, our counters were piled high with chocolate cake from the great-grandparents, cupcakes from the grandparents, and endless eggs full of candy.  All delicious.  And also sufficient.

So, this Easter I squelched the need to bake for fun’s sake.  But it did still leave a void in our home that I am hoping to get creative ideas to fill.  If I don’t need to bake, is there something more nutritious I can do with my children that will still make the holidays special?  Can I find a way to get veggies in front of my children instead of sugar, while still in the spirit of the season?

My first idea is to use raw veggies on a pizza crust covered with a Ranch dip to decorate a bunny, like I would a cake.  I didn’t think of it this year until the day after Easter, but I am excited to think ahead to other potential sugar traps. 

The Fourth of July, for example, comes complete with a fruit pizza, homemade ice cream, cookies, and sometimes a cake.  I do not need to add to the delicious dessert stash.  But perhaps my children and I can use fruit in a healthy way.  Maybe we’ll make a flag on homemade whole wheat toast spread with low-fat cream cheese icing. 

My goal is to begin collecting healthy alternatives for kitchen fun long before each holiday.  If I’m prepared with my bowl full of colorful fruits and vegetables, with a plan in hand, hopefully I can add health to the season.  As long as the sugar is also readily available, that is!

I could really use some help.  Do you have a healthy kitchen alternative for any major holiday to share?  Post your comment below. 

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