Children just love sweet treats. Isn’t it? Most of the packaged foods liked by children have added sugar. According to the NIN, your child should not eat more than 20gms or 4 teaspoons (20 gms) of sugar each day. Sugar is an energy-dense ingredient that provides only calories but no vitamins, minerals & fiber. So what to do? Here is the good news! It’s possible to make sweet and healthy recipes for kids without sugar.
Here are sugar alternatives that not only provide calories but some amounts of nutrients too.
1. Raw honey -Raw honey is a super-food that is healthy and adds the required sweetness naturally. It contains small amounts of minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, and potassium. These minerals help in the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Please remember to use honey in its raw form only. Don’t heat honey as it can cause changes in its chemical compounds leading to health hazards.
2. Jaggery - Jaggery is made from cane or palm. Jaggery is a source of minerals like iron, calcium, and phosphorus. It also has B vitamins in small amounts. Jaggery goes well as a natural sweetener, especially for desserts. It can be used to sweeten desserts like kheer, and cakes.
3. Coconut sugar - Coconut sugar is extracted from the sap of the coconut palm. It is a source of potassium and sodium and also has small amounts of minerals like iron and zinc. It goes well with cakes, puddings, and smoothies.
4. Dates - Dates are a source of iron and Vitamin B6. Dates are easy to digest and help in easing digestion of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. You can prepare dates-puree by soaking the dates in warm water and then blending them.
Our kids mostly consume the added sugar hidden in processed foods. Although some amount of sugar is fine, keep a watch on your child's eating habits and choose foods and drinks without added sugar. Try these 4 natural sweeteners to make healthy meals for your kids. Find tips on Inculcating healthy eating habits in kids by reducing sugar intake here