I don’t know about your children, but mine when it comes to breakfast, were a nightmare!
Every morning I would hear them whine ‘I’m not hungry’ and ‘breakfast is so boring, why do I have to eat it’. The girls literally drove me insane because as we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. They would sit at the kitchen table and drag it out until it was time to leave for school.. any of this ring a bell?
The next 20 minutes in the car doing the school run was a nightmare.. ‘she’s looking out of my window’ – pokes her tongue! ‘she’s over the line and in my space’ – pokes her tongue back! ‘she keeps staring at me’ – poke in the ribs! And so it went on.
I really try hard not to give the kids refined sugar at home. I figure, if I give them a healthy and tasty diet that is refined sugar free, without them breaking in to a sweat because their missing out.. I’m on to a good thing! There bodies are working less hard to breakdown and process the bad, and works more efficiently at keeping them healthy. That way if they make the choice to eat sugar when they’re at scholar out with their friends, there bodies will be in tip top shape to deal with it. After all we can’t be perfect all of the time. I try to stick to an 80/20 split. 80% healthy 20% not so.. I love a glass of wine, or half a teaspoon of sugar in my tea. Its just about finding a good balance for you, and this is what works for me.
Back in 2012 when I was diagnosed with Cancer, the first piece of advice my Oncologist gave me, was to give up refined sugar. And, if I could, I should reduce the children’s intake as well. He explained to me in lamen terms, that sugar feeds cancer. So granted, I should give it up, but why the kids.. they don’t eat that much of it and always brush their teeth? Well, we all know that sugar is bad for their teeth, but, its also bad for their long term and short term health for a variety of reasons, a quick google search will show many of the effects, but this immediately made me think, and made me want to research it even further.
One of the most alarming pieces I found was about the big cover up back in the 60’s. The sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat. This was scary.. I had no idea how much sugar goes in to practically everything we buy. I felt so naive..
This all happened a few years ago. And then I decided it was time to make some changes. changes that meant the kids still had all the foods they love, but healthier. I decided one Saturday morning to ask the kids to give me a list of things they would like to eat for breakfast. Dangerous, I know.. but there was method to my madness. I was going to try and reinvent breakfast in the Griffiths household. Make it an enjoyable and healthy feast of choice. Whenever we go on holiday and stay in a hotel, the one thing that they always talk about and look forward to, is the breakfast.. I know madness, considering they won’t eat a crumb at home! So, the experiment began, and they presented me with a list –
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- Chocolate Milkshake
- Hot Cross Buns
- Honey Bread
- Chocolate Chip Bread
By now my heart sank.. all that they wanted was sweet, sugary crap.. and lots of it!
The good news I thought was, we didn’t really eat a lot of sugar. In fact our diet was pretty good. I made homemade meals everyday. We all love and eat lots of fruit and vegetables. But like most families, we had the treat shelf in the larder. After school the kids could choose a piece of homemade cake, or a biscuit, a pack of crisps. And this is when it all became clear. When I started looking in to the sugar content of these items, I was horrified. I felt so guilty, because I thought I was giving them a balanced diet, when really it was healthy, but with a layer of pure unadulterated sugar on top! Occasionally this wouldn’t make much of a difference to their health, but it was an everyday occurrence.
I spent months, and on some of the recipes years, coming up with a healthier version. One that they would love, and not miss the unhealthy alternative. I have replaced refined sugar with Coconut sugar – which is full of Minerals. Raw Honey – great for the immune system and a few other healthier alternatives. Below, I have linked to my recipes. And I have to say I am pretty pleased with myself. They have been tried and tested a thousand times and, been given the ‘children’s seal of approval’.
I have also made a list and linked to the shop bought items (yes their are some good alternatives out there) that are much healthier, because , I know that we don’t always have the time to make everything from scratch, and being busy parents we need to make things easier.
And, I can honestly say that mornings are 1000% easier! Theres hardly any arguing.. unless someones eaten the last pancake and not offered it out before eating it themselves (face palm moment). The children always have a full belly, and I get to drive them to school in silence while they read 🙂
Oh and one last thing.. all of the recipes I have listed below can be frozen.. which makes life so much easier. You just need to have baking parchment in between each item and seal well in a freezer proof container, and voila! Every recipe is refined sugar free.. so they’re not bad for you! and they’re super easy to make. If you don’t have one, I would recommend buying a bread machine. Its a godsend! you chuck everything in and a few hours later you’re presented with a beautiful looking loaf 🙂
I’ve made things easier for you by linking to all the ingredients used. If you have any Nut allergies in the family, you can just omit them and add in a few more raisins. I hope you find these recipes useful and fingers crossed theres some favourites in there that your children will love too :-).
Love, Davina x
Recipes for you and the children to enjoy –
- Pancakes – Wholemeal flour is full of fibre and will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
- Waffles – These are delicious topped with the Chia and Berry Jam.
- Muffins – These muffins will keep you going right through until lunch. They’re so moorish and can be easily taken in a lunch box to school or work.
- Chocolate Cupcakes – Cacao is a superfood. Its great for the brain and fighting fatigue. The Antioxidants protects the body from ageing and disease caused by free radicals. Raw cacao contains up to four times the antioxidants of traditional cacao powder, and is thought to be the highest antioxidant value of all the natural foods in the world. Macca powder will give you an extra energy boost, and extra nutrients.
- Rocky Roads – These are not bad for you, like you might think! There aren’t any bad fats or refined sugars. Raw Cacao is fantastic for the brain and for fighting fatigue. The nuts will keep hunger at bay and leave you feeling fuller for longer.
- Hot Cross Bun Loaf – I love this loaf. Its slightly sweet, doesn’t take more than 2 minutes to add the ingredients to the bread machine and press go. And it will make your house smell like the best bakery in town!
- Honey Bread – This bread is great for fulfilling a sweet craving, but without any refined sugar. The wholemeal spelt will keep you fuller for longer and is a great source of fibre.
- Toast – This is real bread at its best. Once you try it.. you’ll never want to go back. Keeps you feeling fuller for longer and its full of fibre, vitamins and nutrients that we need to maintain our health.
- Chocolate Chip Bread – This is my saving grace when it comes to my youngest. She doesn’t like raisins, or any dried fruit at all. If I can make as many things made with Chocolate, she’ll eat it. The funny thing is, she doesn’t like shop bought chocolate.. only the Dark Raw Chocolate that I make.
- Chia and Berry Jam – A healthy, immune boosting alternative to the traditional jam.
Here are a few of my favourites to buy –
- Chocolate Milkshake– Organic, Dairy, gluten and nut free.
- Coffee Milk– Organic, Dairy, gluten and nut free and tastes so good!
- Bircher Muesli – This muesli is great to keep in the larder. Its Wheat-free. Has clean ingredients. Whole grains and High in fibre. It is nut free and hasn’t any refined sugars. No added salt. No artificial anythings. Non-GM. Vegetarian. I add a grated apple and yoghurt.
- Honey Puffs – These taste just like they were made by the Honey Monster 🙂 They’re Organic and are made from only 2 ingredients – They’re Whole grain. Theres no added salt and no refined sugars. Non-GM. Non-extruded. Vegetarian.
- BEAR Alphabites – These taste just like Cherrios, but without the sugar and additives. They also come in Chocolate flavour.
- Puffed Oats –High fibre. Unsweetened. Whole grain. Clean ingredients. No refined sugars. Non-GM. No added salt or sugar. I add raisins, grated apple and hemp seeds.
- Bread – Rye
- Bread – Seeded
- Baked Beans (beans on toast..yum!) Organic, Made with natural ingredients, Gluten free, Source of fibre, Absolutely no added sugar. Perfect for keeping you full, especially when eaten with Khorasan toast.
- Protein Balls – Cocoa & Almond and Hazelnut & Raisin. My Kids love these, especially the Cocoa ones. They’re perfect for days that your running late. They can be eaten in the car or popped in to lunch boxes.