Most of us can agree that we wouldn’t buy a dessert from this pastry shop every day let alone for our children. We’d be plagued with sugar highs, cavities and obesity (oh wait, we already are). From that statement alone it’s quite evident that in the United States we have an epidemic. A sugar epidemic.
In no other country do we like our sweets as sweet as we do. It’s always evident right away when I visit Spain and walk into one of their pastry shops filled with luxurious eclairs and chocolate covered torts. The only difference is when you bite into one they’re not sweet. Ask any American traveling abroad and one of the first things they notice is the sweets in other countries are bland.
My question is are other countries sweets bland or are ours ridiculously sweetened? According to our weights and statistics, we are consuming too much sugar and our taste buds have adapted to the latter.
Here in this country we are used to eating cookies, brownies, ice cream, cake and pie on a daily basis. What I’ve noticed is that it’s not just people eating a Standard American Diet but people eating a Real Food Diet as well.
Baked goods and sweets should be just that… special treats.
Even in the real food movement we are addicted to sugar and sweets. Nourishing brownies, nutrient dense chocolate chip cookies, oh so good for you velvety ice cream swirl and, don’t forget, taste just like the real thing coconut flour raspberry cake.
Even though a pastry is made with wholesome sweeteners and nutrient dense ingredients they are still made up of too much sugar and shouldn’t be a regular staple in our kitchen.
One thing I would encourage you to think about… Did you grow up in an environment filled with these type of pastries? Now, regardless if they’re made with nutrient dense ingredients or not, are you passing down this sort of “habit” to your children?
To a child a cookie is a cookie. A piece of cake is cake. A brownie is a brownie. Our little children are becoming used to eating these types of foods and will crave them as yes, they are sugar. When they grow up, will they take on your habits and continue to crave these foods? Are you 100% positive that when they get older they will bake or make these foods themselves or do as most Americans do and buy them… processed and all.
It’s these questions we need to ask ourselves in order to realize the power of influence we have on our children right now and how we are directly shaping their tastes and taste buds for the rest of their lives. I am so blessed that my mother didn’t bake sweets. Believe it or not, not seeing my mother bake growing up has made it very easy for me not to bake. I do bake bread but I never have a craving to bake treats. I didn’t grow up in that environment so it wasn’t instilled in me.
Instead of sweets give your children (and yourself) nature’s candy… raw fruit!
My kids love fruit. Why? Because it’s their only option. Of course fruit does contain sugar and fructose, however, it also contains natural fiber and antioxidants which help regulate our blood sugar levels. Fruit, organic, is a truly nourishing option.
I stock up on seasonal fruit every week as they are my families treats. Currently I’m buying 18 bananas, 16 oranges, 5lbs of clementines, 3-4 mango’s and 3 lbs of organic fuji apples a week. We’re also snacking on frozen blueberries.
Since my children are used to eating fruit every day, they crave it. When my son wants a snack, he asks for an orange not a cookie or ice cream. He was thrilled to discover blood oranges. His new “favorite.” My youngest is constantly asking for bananas and mangos. However, you had better believe that if I have cookies in the house my children will choose that over fruit. A good reason to keep it out!
A tip: Keep your fruit visible.
If you keep your fruit in the crisper, you’re more likely to forget about it and when wanting something sweet, you’ll crave a baked good. Instead, keep it on your dining room table. If you start to crave something sweet, you’ll see it and reach for a piece of fruit. A much better option.
Yes, we do eat treats
Just because I don’t keep baked goods or sweets in the house does not mean we do not consume them. However, they become just what they were intended to be… special treats.
My kids get excited when we go out and they get to have a cookie or doughnut. It becomes special and they enjoy it. I don’t deprive them of a special treat as I know at home where they are the majority of time, they don’t have that option.
My eldest son and I have a special bond. We love cooking together and shopping at the farmers market. He’s so excited for the market to start up again in May. However, before we hit up the market I make a special stop to buy him a doughnut. He gets so excited and I know that for the rest of his life he will remember his days at the market with mama and his doughnut.
Unfortunately, many children in the United States are used to these sort of treats and they are no longer special. They are normal. I truly believe it’s that system of thinking, that training that we have instilled into our children that we need to break.
Are you instilling bad habits through baked goods and sweets?
What are your thoughts on this subject? Have you grown up in an environment of baked goods and sweets? Do you feel we need to start thinking a bit more before we bake? Is baking a hobby for you?
I would love to hear your thoughts.