Dear Caring Parent,
Holidays are especially fun with our children, who bring an incredible sense of unhinged joy and spontaneity. For many families it is a time to decorate cookies, enjoy eggnog, make zeppole or sufganiyot (donuts) or even grab a candy cane off the tree. No matter what you are celebrating, children are always a part of it all.
Something I know for sure is that we need to reduce the amount of refined sugar we use AND food needs to be fun. And for that we always need more parenting resources so we can up our parenting skills! So here is Jennifer Knollenberg, the Sugar-Free Alchemist, to share some of her thoughts and sugar-free tips on holiday goodies. Jennifer is the author of Sweet Synergy, which is a cookbook dedicated to gluten-free and sugar-free desserts and treats. Now that’s a treat! Jennifer tells us:
How to Make Sugar-Free Fun!
I love to bake and I love to see my son enjoy my baked goods. There is something primal about seeing the people you love feel loved and nurtured by food. I also admit, seeing them smile with expectation that it will be sweet can be a bit of a double edged sword. On the one hand it is fun to see them get excited about sweets, on the other hand knowing that the sweet treats are not exactly nutritious certainly makes every mother pause (or cringe at times!).
Decorating cookies is a passion of mine. I love to bake during the holidays and send tins full of decorated cookies and treats! Everyone is so excited to receive them because they are not only beautiful but also absolutely delicious. Here are two simple tips to help make this fun healthier:
Cookies and hot cocoa are among kids’ favorites at this time of year. Try my recipe for Sugar-Free Window Cookies . In this recipe I show you how to use these candies in cookies!
When making hot cocoa, make it with unsweetened coconut or almond milk, use stevia sweetened chocolate chips, a toothpick of cinnamon bark essential oil, or sprinkle with sugar-free starlight mints topped with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream. Here’s my recipe in full for Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate – eliminate the pepper for children!
BONUS TIP: Going to a holiday party? See my blog for 6 Simple Tips to Decrease Sugar during the Holidays
Thanks, Jennifer! Loving these tips! Happy baking everyone.
Take care now, Natasha. Enjoy your sweet tooth without worrying about its health.
Jennifer Knollenberg is a nutritionist and recipe developer for one of the leading nutritional companies in the world. She is a pastry chef, mother of three adult girls and a five year old boy in Boulder, Colorado. Jennifer began her sugar-free journey over 20 years ago but had trouble finding a sugar-free alternative that was healthy until recently. She tells us, “What really helped me to transition to a truly sugar-free lifestyle is understanding what sweeteners work well together and do not have an impact on my health or blood sugar. Then it was simply a matter of creating recipes that work!” Want more fun and yummy dessert recipe tips? Check out her book Sweet Synergy!