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Tips for eliminating refined sugar from our diets


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We eat fairly healthy, but I have noticed more convenience foods sneaking into our diet of late. I would like to get back on track, eliminating processed foods and in particular eliminating refined sugars. My boys don't get tons of sweets but they definitely like a fix of something sweet each day, whether a homemade cookie or a scoop of icecream. I am trying to make this MUCH less frequent, perhaps 1 x a week. But I know I need to substitute some healthy alternatives for them.


Would love sites or books that might give me advice or encouragement for this change. Oh, and if someone knows how to get hubby on board, that would be great too! He eats very well himself, but "indulges" the kids with sweets when they watch a Netflix movie or go out.

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A few suggestions. Some of these are unsweet, some of these are unprocessed, and some of these are both:


Fruit juice popcycles (put fruit juice in a popcycle maker and freeze yourself)

Milk shakes (just milk and fruit, or perhaps a little honey if they don't go for that)

Iced tea (you make it yourself and add just a little honey - sweet but not anything like the amount of sweet in one of the bottled varieties)

"Punch" (half home made unsweetened ice tea and half juice)

Bananas and milk

Apple and peanutbutter



Gorp (peanuts and raisins)

Fruit kabobs (cut up fruit and put on a skewer)


Cheese melted on bread


Cinnamon toast

Bagel and peanutbutter

Popcorn instead of chips

Peanutbutter on crackers

Cheese and crackers

Cocoa (make your own with milk, cocoa powder, and just a little sugar - much less sugar than a bought mix)

Pretzls (make your own with bread-maker)

Bread and butter and honey


Edemame (get the kind in the pod)

Hard boiled eggs


Rice balls

Peanuts in the shell


You can make and freeze fingers of French toast and pizza. They can be heated in a toaster oven. Those are pretty convenient.


Perhaps you could convince your husband to make popcorn as a treat for movie watching?



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We eat desserts pretty infrequently. My kids do eat fruit every day, lots of it in the summer. While you are trying to transition, make sure you buy whatever their favorite fruit is and have lots of it on hand. Also, for some bizarre reason, combining a variety of cut up fruit into a fruit salad feels decadent where just eating a piece of fruit does not. DH always used to have sugar on his strawberries. Then one day, for whatever reason, I cut up a fresh pineapple and mixed it in with a bowl of cut strawberries. The pineapple sugared up the strawberries and he was happy as a clam. (Bananas do this too, but I think that is blechy, personally. :tongue_smilie:)


We also make all kinds of smoothies. A common one here is frozen wild blueberries, a banana or two, and vanilla yogurt (this is sometimes plain yogurt with a splash of vanilla). You can add a bit of OJ, honey, or maple syrup if it needs sweetness. You can also use overripe bananas for extra sweetness. I make homemade ice pops too. Just pureed watermelon with a bit of added water makes a great popsicle. I've made cantaloupe-sicles for DS10, who loves melons, raspberry for DD, kiwi...whatever you have on hand or they like. I made a peach mango one a few weeks ago that was a big hit. It had just fresh peaches, fresh mangoes and some kefir.


One of my kids' favorite things? Of all things? They will take my popsicle molds, fill them with frozen wild blueberries (we always have these on hand), pour water to fill and freeze them. Seriously, LOL, blueberries and water. The sweetness of the blueberries seeps into the water and they are shockingly sweet.

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