My name’s Mariana Sala, a busy mum of 2, owner of Quantum Vis cafe & creator of Miss Keto meals. This is my little corner where I’d like to share what works for me on a clean keto life, recipes, wellness, nutrition & stress-management.

Our kids live in a sugar-saturated environment. Most sugar as we know it nowadays is not just the plain old white crystalline sugar. Now, we consume it in hundreds of different forms like corn syrup, fruit juice concentrate, and other disguised forms of sugar. American kids consume an average of 17 teaspoons of added sugar daily. That’s over 6,200 teaspoons a year! Slowly incorporating sugar-free snacks into our kids lunchboxes & afternoon tea can hugely impact their health and mood.

Babies are naturally born with a preference for sweet flavours, however as parents we can teach them and guide them towards a healthier diet.

Sweetness sells. Most toddlers and infants are consuming added sugars on any given day because nearly every product designed for this age group is sweetened baby formulas, pouches and toddler foods – you name it!

The typical family dynamic nowadays is time-restricted. It’s hard to prioritise choosing the right foods to eat in a world abundant with choice while supermarkets are geared towards generating profit rather than investing in your health. 

Below I have put together a short list of ideas and suggestions that work for me and my family. Remember every little thing counts and something is better than nothing. 

Start small and easy

We all want the best for ourselves and our family but you don’t have to be a superhero. Keep it simple and start somewhere.

Food choice can be overwhelming these days.I find replacing some food items is a good starting point towards creating a low-sugar or sugar-free kitchen for ourselves and our family.. 

Examples include replacing regular chocolate with dark chocolate, or creating a regular milk with unsweetened coconut or almond milk. Perhaps replacing that highly processed snack like crackers and chips with a piece of avo, a hot cacao, a piece of orange or some delicious crunchy almond nuts? Keep it simple & try a few options until something sticks.

Become a food label detective 

Don’t get fooled by product label jargon such as “healthy” “reduced sugar” “probiotic” “prebiotic” etc. Always check the back of the package for more nutritional information on ingredients and sugar content. 

Here’s 3 things to look out for:

1- Ingredients are a must read. If it feels like you’re reading words in another language, that means the product has loads of preservatives and conservatives.

2- What type of sugar is it? Natural from fruits and vegetables (fructose) or is it added sugar (glucose)

3. Make sure the serving size is comparative to carbs or sugar content and stick to the serving size when comsuming! Don’t eat the whole box! 

Take those extra 5 minutes to look into labels and nutritional information boxes.

DIY sugar-free kid snacks

Try to make your own snacks if you have time. Good examples are yoghurt, mylk, smoothies, breakfast muesli & bars and snack balls using whole food ingredients such as peanut and almond butter, cacao, fruit & vegetables, meat and nuts! 

Raise awareness and educate to empower

Educate your little ones on how sugar disrupts growth, development, sleep & learning. Kids are very receptive and they learn best by following your example so be authentic and don’t expect change while you indulge in a bag of peanut M&Ms! You will be amazed at how fast kids learn and how smart they are. Include the kids in cooking time & talk to them about the benefits of a sugar-free diet while they are getting their little hands dirty in the kitchen.

These are just a few ideas that have worked well for me and my kids. 

Below you will find a recipe that I use as a family breakfast option. It’s a delicious sugar-free granola that the whole family can enjoy.

Sugar-free Chocolate Granola

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of hazelnuts
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut 
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes or chips
  • ¼ cup of chia seeds
  • ¼ cup of dark chocolate powder 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence 
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup of 85% cacao chopped Lindt chocolate 
  • ⅓ cup of stevia 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 C
  2. Chop nuts roughly
  3. Combine and mix well all ingredients in bowl except the chopped dark chocolate 
  4. Spread mix onto baking tray and bake for 25 minutes turning mix half way through.
  5. Once mix is completely cooled, add chopped chocolate & transfer it to a container
  6. Add coconut yoghurt or unsweetened milk, some berries & sugar-free maple syrup
  7. Enjoy!
Keto sugar-free chocolate granola with coconut yoghurt

“I love Miss Keto slice pack. I’m a health coach and FYI you don’t need to be following a keto plan to enjoy these. It’s a healthy sweet treat option for anyone. Low sugar & low carbs”

Olivia Stubbs