Cutting sugar from children’s diets can be tricky, especially if they are beyond the defined threshold of 7 years old. Most experts agree that behavioral eating patterns are established in children by the age of 7, not to say these patterns can't be changed! This is why instilling healthy eating and letting kids participate in food preparation is important to start as early as possible.

One of the easiest things to do is start to substitute monk fruit for sugar in recipes as well as healthy fats like coconut oil. Please understand that coconut oil is still a fat and carries 9 calories per gram, but these are healthy fats particularly for children as they greatly contribute to cognitive development and function of the brain. Note the brain is made of DHA fats and oil like coconut helps to replenish and restore this needed nutrient.

Monk fruit, unlike stevia has a sweeter taste without any type of after taste that kids can pick up on. This type of sugar substitute can be used in most recipes and is fairly easy to find in natural and main line grocery stores. Monk Fruit is also widely available in single serve packets making it easy to take on vacations or include in school lunches.

There are also great food alternatives like Zevia, a stevia sweetened zero calorie soda. I am not advocating soda, but at outdoor events especially during the summer making sure that kids feel like you are not saying "no" but rather "this is better" is so important!

Another great alternative is using a protein like, Plant Head, which is non-GMO and high absorbability. This can be fun to use in making fudge pops or ice cream substitutes! This is a great option that allows both portion control and nutritional density. Simply by making the protein and then freezing into popsicles or whatever shaped mold you have you can create a low/no sugar option that is fun and creates another opportunity for kids to enjoy a better treat choice.

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