Friday, June 10, 2011

Toddler Muffins - Low Sugar

I've recently become more conscientious about the amount of sugar that can be found in toddler snacks. That's not to say I won't ever buy them, but I want to do my best to feed my kids less sugar when I have the choice to do so. Less sugar for toddlers means less chance of cavities too! I enjoy making homemade snacks because I know what the ingredients are that goes into what I am making. Here is a great site I found that has some information about sugar and  limiting your toddler's intake of it.


Gradually Reducing Sugar

  • Cereal- If your toddler has grown accustomed to sweetened cereals you can slowly wean her off of them, while adjusting her tastes, by gradually diluting the cereal with a non-sugared alternative.
  • Juice- Slowly dilute juices until they a ½ juice and ½ water mixture. Juices do count as a fruit serving but most contain a lot of sugars. Your toddler shouldn’t drink any more than 4-6 ounces of juice per day.
  • Jams & Jellies- Trade in your favorite preserves for an all-fruit spread.
  • Yogurt- Fruit yogurt is a surprising source of sugar for many parents. Opt for plain yogurt and add your own fruit to sweeten it up.

Healthier Choices to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Fruit is a wonderful and diverse way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Fresh fruit can be cut up and served in a bowl for a quick snack. It can be dried and mixed into cereals, yogurt, and cottage cheese and even paired with steamed veggies. Fruit can be sliced or blended and frozen for a healthy alternative to popsicles and frozen treats. Fruit purees can be added to hot cereals and baked goods.
If you do make baked goods, prepare them without frosting or a glaze.

When to Have Sweets

When you serve sweets is just as important as the type of sweets you serve. Having sugar first thing in the morning can cause a “sugar high” followed by a sudden drop, which leads to a tired cranky toddler. The best time to have a sweet treat is after a well-balanced meal, which has plenty of protein and fiber to temper the sugar levels in the body. Also, on a full tummy, your toddler is likely to have a smaller portion.
While sugar can’t be completely eradicated from your toddler’s diet—it is necessary for all that energy that keeps your toddler busy—it can be kept to healthy and appropriate amount without depriving your toddler of some of life’s sweetest pleasures.

Here is a healthy low sugar muffin recipe that I found and you can basically substitute the fruits and veggies for whatever you have. I replaced the zucchini with blueberries and they came out great. Perfect for our breakfast and for a snack! Give them a try! 


Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
  1. 1 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. 2 In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Beat in egg, then applesauce. Stir in carrots and zucchini.
  3. 3 In another large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. 4 Fold dry ingredients into wet, until just mixed. Grease muffin tray. Spoon batter to the very top of muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in a muffin.

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