How To Keep Sugar At A Minimum This fall

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With fall comes so much joy and fun!! The cooler weather lends itself to cozy mornings filled with PSL’s and evenings enjoying a hearty bowl of chili by the fire.  The pumpkin patches and corn mazes of Austin are summoning you for a visit, and of course, who can forget the belle of fall in the eyes of our children– TRICK OR TREATING!! 

There seems to be an endless amount of parties over the fall & Halloween season, and with holidays & parties comes treats, alcohol and SUGAR! 

As a Mom trying to nourish my family, and a person who loves to celebrate, I struggle with balancing our sugar intake… Especially during the holiday season!!  I’ve been known to completely remove sugar from our diet for periods of time, as well as go completely crazy, stocking up on every fall treat at Trader Joe’s. Total contradiction, right?!?….  I have good intentions, but I’m a sucker for holiday marketing! 

Unfortunately we can’t wave our wands and change how our culture celebrates holidays with truck loads of sugar, {and maybe we don’t want to?}, but we can take a few simple tricks to mitigate some of the sugar consumption without taking away ALL of the fun this fall. 

  1. Teach Nourishment & Moderation! My #1 tip is to educate your family about the benefits of nourishing their bodies with real food, while enjoying treats in Moderation!! Kids as young as four can begin to learn the benefits of eating whole, live food from the Earth.

    At meal time, create teachable moments and talk about how a protein rich food is building muscles or how a Vitamin C rich food protects the body and helps keep the flu bug away!

    The way to teach moderation is to allow treats, with limitations. After trick or treating, allow your child to pick three to five pieces of their favorite candies to enjoy. Sit with them, help them make their selections, and savor the treats together!  I also ask my kids to donate a portion of their candy to Treats for Troops. Our amazing pediatric dentist does a candy drive every year and makes it really fun and easy to gift your Halloween candy to soldiers!! It’s a total Win-Win!!!

  2. Fuel Up With The Good Stuff! Before attending a party, be it trick or treating, a pumpkin carving gathering or a neighborhood costumer bash, make sure to prepare and serve a protein & fiber rich mini meal!  Kids are generally pretty good about recognizing when they are hungry and with a belly full of something like carrots + hummus or a chicken leg they won’t completely destroy the dessert table upon arrival. Same goes for you Mom!!! Make yourself a plate with veggies and protein. SIT DOWN and enjoy a meal before headed to a room full of chaos. You will arrive nourished, with leveled blood sugar and the brain power to make good decisions.
  3. Clean Up The Daily Diet. Keep the sugary treats out of your pantry this month!  Plan for the upcoming added sugar in your diet(s) this season and clean out the added sugar around the house and at meal time!! If you normally serve yogurt or cereal for breakfast, try making protein heavy items like scrambled eggs, apple chicken sausage or a green smoothie. Additionally you can trade the afternoon granola bar for ants on a log or a crisp apple. The goal is to reduce overall daily sugar consumption! 
    There might be a bit of resistance at first, but in time they will get used to the new snack menu! Out of sight, out of mind, right?
  4. Don’t Drink Your Sugar! This one is hardest for the adults in our home. When you are looking at a month with a super full social calendar there is no need for a mid-week glass of Pinot Noir or skinny marg at home! Even if the alcoholic bev is “sugar-free” it’s still metabolized the same way.  Use your downtime to hydrate in preparation for the upcoming festivities! Make water a bit more exciting, and upgrade your water with lemon and mint, or drink hot tea with a fun, fall cinnamon stick. For the kiddos, try to stick to water and milk as much as possible! No need to add sugar in places they won’t even notice!
  5. Celebrate In Other Ways! Fall is a wonderful time to celebrate family and community and remember what we are thankful for. There are so many other ways to have fun and enjoy fall without sugar and candy. Make a little more room for things like, carving or painting pumpkins with your littles, perfecting your scariest costume, making a fall wreath, roasting yummy fall veggies, and making homemade apple cider.

Life is sweet enough this season without the added sugar 🙂

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