If you are a busy, time-and-cash-strapped parent trying to figure out what it means to reduce your family’s sugar consumption without the faff of excessive research and having to constantly convert sugar-laden recipes, then you are in the right place.
I’m Claire, the founder and content creator of Raising Sugar Free Kids. You can find out more about me and my family here.
I created Raising Sugar Free Kids after discovering how difficult it was to find information, tips & tricks, and recipes for families trying to reduce or eliminate their sugar consumption. You can find out more about our sugar-quitting story here, and the way we now eat as we try to be a low sugar family following the World Health Organisation’s latest guidelines on sugar consumption here.
The aim of this website is simply to help you, my dear frazzled parent. I know how tired you are. I know how busy you are. I know how much guilt seeps into every aspect of modern parenting, especially when it comes to food. I am not here to tell you what you are doing wrong. I am here to help you do it even better. Because I’ve been there. I’ve made all the mistakes. I’ve made the inedible sugar free bakes. I’ve inwardly screamed while people hand out yet another biscuit or slice of cake to my kids. I’ve done the endless hours of tedious research. And I’ve learned how to do low sugar better. I’ve learned how to keep it simple, how to keep it affordable, how to keep it from becoming time-consuming, and how to keep it realistic.
And this website is my way of sharing that information with you.
So where should you start?
I’d say it depends what you are looking for. If you cannot see your question or problem listed here, or you have a more specific or personal question, please do contact me here to ask me. I try to respond to all queries as quickly as possible, and if I am not able to answer your question I may still be able to point you to someone who can!
I think our family eats too much sugar – how do we reduce our consumption?
There are two main roads to eating less sugar: reducing slowly or going cold-turkey. Temporarily quitting is definitely the most effective way to curb sugar cravings and be sure low sugar living sticks, and if you think this might be the rout for you, why not check out the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program, which is how our own family originally came off sugar addiction successfully! If you think your family are not ready for that step, reducing slowly can be a good gentle technique. Sign up for our newsletter (see below or in the sidebar) to gain access to the free 7-Day course on reducing your sugar intake as a family, and check out our resource page and recipes or blog for more inspiration.
Our family has cut out most refined sugar but we are struggling to find truly sugar free recipes that don’t include honey, maple syrup, fruit juice, dried fruit or dates!
All of the recipes on the website are clearly marked as “sugar free” or “low sugar” according to the World Health Organisation’s definition of free sugars (we also include dried fruit and dates as free sugars in our family). Have a browse of our sugar free recipes here.
Parties and celebrations can be really difficult with kids – what should we do?
This is one of the most common issues I see regarding how to stick to a low sugar lifestyle. While I believe everyone should enjoy a treat every once in a while, I know that these days kids sometimes have back-to-back parties and those times can be difficult for parents. This is a big enough issue that I felt it worth devoting quite a lot of time to, so I put together all of the information, advice and even some unique party recipes I had gathered and created into one 7-day course for you. You can find out more about it here.
I want to make a truly sugar and sweetener free cake for my toddler but cannot find a recipe anywhere that doesn’t use one or the other!
I got so frustrated in my search for a sugar and sweetener free cake for my daughter’s second birthday that I created one myself. You can find the recipe here.
How do I talk to my children about sugar without creating emotional problems around food?
I wrote a review of a wonderful resource called The Sugar Story by Emelie Kamp around this that you can see here. I also talk about this issue on the 7-Day Party Survival course you can find out about here. One great way to create positivity around food with kids is through getting them involved in the kitchen preparing healthy foods, and getting them excited about healthy foods. See below for a great post for this one!
How can I get my kids interested in healthy eating?
Studies have consistently shown that one of the best ways to get kids to eat more healthily is to get them involved in the preparation of healthy foods. This can mean anything from taking them to a market to choose some fresh produce, to growing a small vegetable patch or herb garden together in your back yard or on your windowsill, to choosing healthy recipes and meal planning together, to preparing and cooking food in the kitchen together.
If you are unsure how young children, in particular, can get involved in the kitchen, check out my post suggesting 10 ways your 3-year-old could help you out with food preparation.
How can I increase our vegetable intake as a family?
A recent study suggested we can all seriously benefit from eating at least 10 portions of vegetables and fruit a day, yet most of us struggle to even get the currently recommended 5! If you’d like to increase your family’s vegetable intake, I recommend reading through this post, which takes you through some great tips to get your 10(or at least 5)-a-day.
I’d like to read a bit more about sugar and its effect on the body – where should I start?
I have created a resource page that I try to update regularly that collects some of the websites, films, books and articles that have most helped me in learning more about this. Have a read of it here.
Do I need to give up fruit, carbs and dairy?
Unless this is something you particularly want to do and have discussed at length with a doctor and/or qualified nutritionist, I would say no. We personally still eat all of these things. Although we did temporarily give up fruit for 4 weeks on the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program just to reset our tastebuds and curb sweet cravings, we brought them back in at the end of the program (as is recommended), and continue to eat them. I do not advocate cutting out any food groups (sugar is not one!) unless instructed to by a medical professional. However, I would recommend switching from refined, processed carbohydrates to wholegrains (wholemeal pasta, brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wholemeal couscous, wholemeal bread, etc). You can read more about our food philosophy here.
I’m starting to remove the high sugar items from my pantry but I’m not sure what to use instead?
I put together a pantry guide to stock for sugar free success here. You might also like to have a glance through my top 8 kitchen gadgets that have save me time and/or money in our low sugar journey here.
I’ve heard that meal planning is a good way to ensure my family eats more healthily as well as keeping costs down but I suck at it!
It’s true, meal planning will definitely help you to eat more healthily and stick to a budget. And I know full well how difficult it can be. I’ve always sucked at meal planning, too. I feel like I’ve tried every trick, read every book, and made every mistake and it’s still taken me years to feel like I’ve got the hang of it. I put together an article with my top meal planning resources to help make it easy here, so make sure you take a look!
What are your favourite recipes on the website?
Since creating Raising Sugar Free Kids, I have shared a lot of recipes with you, all of which I love (I wouldn’t share them if I didn’t), but I do have a few personal all-time favourites that I could eat all.the.time and never get bored of. I’ve chosen my very favourite recipe(s) from each category to share with you here:
Breakfasts – Low Sugar Peanut Butter Granola
Light Meals – Squash & Apple Soup
Snacks – Low Sugar Sweet & Salty Cereal Bars
Vegan – Sweet & Sour Vegan Stir Fry
Want to keep up to date on the latest tips, tricks and recipes from the blog? Fancy joining the FREE “7 Days to Lower Your Sugar Intake” course? Why not sign up to our newsletter?