Children and Treats? Try the Healthy Way!

Every mom knows that sweets aren’t the best thing for a child’s organism. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to say no to a child who wants some chocolate or a piece of candy. Next time your little one wants something sweet, you can try a healthier alternative.

It seems like many people would agree that sweets and children belong together. This is especially true when it comes to older generations. Surely you can remember visiting your grandparents who always seemed to have a piece of sweet candy in their pocket or used to bake amazing cakes for you to enjoy. Now that you have your own children, the situation is exactly the same. You may be trying to protect your children from sugar and sweets, but there will always be grandparents who will give their grandchild anything, sweets included. What’s bad about sweets anyway?

Chocolate for children
Children younger than one year should avoid chocolate completely. It contains substances similar to caffeine.

Why are children hyperactive after eating sweets?

Most sweets have a high glycemic index (GI). The GI issue needs to be looked at from a wider perspective but we can briefly describe it using the following example: The food we eat is the same for our body as fuel for a car’s engine. The engine works best when the blood sugar levels are the same or about the same. That’s the problem with food that has high GI – it causes an increase in energy and a good mood which then vanishes and results in fatigue and hunger. That’s one of the reasons why children are hyperactive after eating sweets.
According to research done by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), children that consume food with high amounts of refined sugars tend to have a lower IQ than children who consume food with a low glycemic index. They also have insufficient levels of iron, zinc, calcium, and folic acid.

Sweets cause hyperactivity in children
Foods containing refined sugars that are bad for the IQ of children.

Healthier cooking and baking

How? You can try to substitute classic sweets with a healthy cake in which you use spelt flour instead of white flour. Television presenter Miriam Kalisová is a mom who cares about what her child eats. Paradoxically, she grew up with classic home-style food. “I remember when I first began using true vanilla instead of ‘perfumed’ vanilla sugars. It was a long haul and, for a very long time, I didn’t like the taste of traditional vanilla in my cakes. It takes a while for your taste buds to get used to natural flavors again.”
Nowadays some of her favorite ingredients include couscous, flax seeds, coconut sugar, olive oil, spelt flour and many others. She shared a healthy beetroot cake recipe with us. Miriam’s first cookbook will be published soon. The majority of the recipes are her own inventions, while some are classic recipes which were changed based on the ingredients she uses in her own kitchen. The photos were taken by her good friend and a photo blogger, Martina Dorkinova. You can find more of Miriam’s healthy recipes at www.miriamkalisova.sk.

Mia’s Beetroot Cake

Ingredients:

  • 380g of cooked beetroot
  • 2 tbsp of flax seeds
  • 1,5 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1,5 tsp of dried crushed vanilla
  • 3 tbsp of light carob (dark carob has a very strong taste)
  • 80g of ghee butter or melted classic butter
  • 200ml of milk
  • 130g of coconut sugar, it has a low glycemic index
  • 60g of spelt flour
  • 100g of wholemeal spelt flour
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ tsp of bicarbonate
  • Almonds and coconut sugar to sprinkle on top
Healthy beetroot cake
The main ingredient in a beetroot cake is a vegetable puree.

Instructions:
Cook the unpeeled beetroot until soft. Heat up your oven to 175°C. When the beetroot cools, peel it (I recommend using gloves to keep your hands from getting dirty), measure the correct amount, dice, and use a hand blender to mix it into a puree. Add the other ingredients one by one and mix them together. As the last ingredient add bicarbonate and briefly mix again. Prepare your baking sheet, line it with baking paper and pour your mix into it.
Be careful and make sure that your sheet is big enough so that the mix can spread, else the resulting cake might be too thick and not bake properly all the way through which will make it soggy. Smoothen out the top of the mix, sprinkle the almonds and coconut sugar on top and bake in the oven for an hour. The resulting cake will be a little sticky once you take it out, even after an hour has passed, but don’t worry, it will become tougher as it cools. Wait until the cake cools to cut it (it’s hard to cut while it’s still warm). You can cut it into small squares that your children can nibble on while playing at home. If you have small children, leave out the almonds.

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