How to Free Your Family From Sugar Without Losing Your Mind

Tips from celebrity nutritionist and mom Keri Glassman on changing your family’s food culture.

Begin with these five tips and incorporate them into your family’s lifestyle over the next 10 days or so. Breaking it down little by little will help you all ease into the process.

Tip #1: Ditch the nonsweet sweets

It begins in your own home. Get rid of anything that’s “sweet” and has added sugar but isn’t “sweet” at all.
Not sure what I mean? Open up the fridge and check out the salad dressing. Now check the labels on your sandwich bread. Go on, take a look at the box of “healthy” crackers you serve peanut butter on. Oh, and check that peanut butter while you’re at it. Sugar, fructose, corn syrup, brown rice syrup — it’s all sugar. Ditch all of this. They’re not worth it and can be easily replaced. Here’s a place to start: http://naturallysavvy.com/recipes/made-by-me-kid-friendly-salad-dressing

Tip #2: Set your food culture

Chances are you have a food culture, but you just haven’t looked at it or talked about it openly. Meatless Mondays, grocery delivery, organic and unprocessed as much as possible, pizza and movie night, are just some food culture traditions and practices. But when you don’t set out with a plan or value system for food in your home, things often go awry — and fast, especially once kids come into the picture.

I’m not going to tell you that you should never have dessert, or that organic foods are always best. That’s something for you and your partner to decide together. If your kids are old enough, ask them what they think are family food values. Bringing everyone into the conversation, maybe at your next dinner, is one of the best ways to stay on track.

Tip #3: Plan your weeknight dinners

You’ve heard this one before: Planning is key to dinner success. But, in reality, when we’re running to pick our kids up from school and dropping them off and running errands ourselves, that’s easier said than done. One of the moms I work with makes planning meals for the week almost a game. At the beginning of each week, she takes out the calendar and her three kids go in order picking dinner for each day. They have mentally committed to the menu and are genuinely enthusiastic about it.

Tip #4: Snack time is nutrient time, not dessert time

Yet, it’s far too easy to get caught up in the “I just want them to eat and get calories in” so as not to mind the cookies. But the truth is, snack time is the perfect time to get in nutrients. Not just calories, but real nourishing nutrients. The trick isn’t to redefine or get rid of snack time, but to adjust it. So if that whole sandwich wasn’t eaten at lunch, serve the other half at snack time. Or, if lunch was finished, take a different approach with sliced turkey rolled up around a carrot or a sliced pear with almond butter.

Tip #5: Hydrate right, and don’t fall for ‘all-natural’ juice

Sugar is sneaky. It doesn’t just hide in foods, but in most beverages too. Read the label carefully and remember that If you’re consciously consuming it for the fruit benefits, know that one piece of fruit has approximately 15 grams of sugar. So perhaps you’d be better off eating a banana instead. And just say no to soda and fruit-flavored juice. Go for plain water or even seltzer with a spritz of lemon or a splash of 100 percent juice instead. Another key thing to remember is all rules apply for your kids too. Kids don’t come out of the womb asking for apple juice. We get this habit started and we can break it for them too, because if you’re sipping on water, then they’ll likely follow suit and do the same.

Written by Keri Glassman, MS, RD | Excerpted from www.healthline.com › Food & Nutrition › #BreakUpWithSugar , October 24, 2016