If you’re anything like me, the holiday season is stressful…for a lot of reasons. One thing that stresses me out every year is the sheer volume of sugar that abounds. We really try to be a low-sugar family. Now, I intentionally choose not to be militant about it, for fear that my rigidity pushes my children in the other direction…craving ALLLL the sweet things.

But I do try hard to keep my kiddos’ sugar intake at a minimum. I truly believe it improves their moods, allows them better rest, and is simply healthier for their developing little bodies. This time of year, it feels like we have no sooner thrown away the last of our Halloween candy than all the chocolate Santas are flooding into our home. And I swear, the chocolate Santas are still lurking around when the Easter eggs invade a few months later. I can’t handle it.

how to curb sugar intake in kids

No matter the ages of your kiddos, here are a few things that our family has done to minimize our sugar intake. If these don’t work for you, that’s ok! Sometimes you just can’t care about everything. But if they do help your family, I’m so glad!

Tips to reduce sugar intake in kids

We drink water. Lots of it.

You would not believe how much sugar you can eliminate in your family’s diet by avoiding juice, soda, and similar beverages. So I don’t buy it…ever. If I’m really feeling fancy, I keep sliced lemons in the fridge to add to our cups.

We made our own baby food.

I know, I know, this one is time consuming. You do you, sister. But if you’re worried about what your infant is eating, it truly isn’t hard to make yourself. Time consuming, yes. Difficult, no.

We buy lots of fresh fruit, and very few sugary snacks.

Fruit can often stave off sugar cravings, AND it has far more nutrients! We love Aldi and Trader Joes for good fruit and lower prices!

We make very clear to our family what we hope for when it comes to our kids’ diets!

Of course, this doesn’t always mean our wishes are respected. It has taken me YEARS to get my mother-in-law to stop sending our kids candy in every care package.  AAAAND there’s a good chance she thinks I’m a lunatic. But every mama has the right to do what she believes is best for her children, so I think she is finally coming around.

On the topic of Halloween, we allow our kids to trick or treat, but then we “trade” them an object for most of their candy.

It’s a win-win for everyone. After a few days of a couple pieces of candy per day, our kids are kind of over it. That’s when I swoop in and ask them what they want to trade it for this year. It could be a book, a small toy, or a lunch out with mom or dad. Honestly, anything goes within a small spending limit. They get something special, and I feel better about their health. This same idea can really be used with any holiday or excess of candy in your home.

Good luck, mama! If you have any additional tips that your family uses to reduce sugar, please comment below!


Stacy grew up in Minnesota but spent the next several years of her life traversing the globe, temporarily setting down roots anywhere and everywhere. Stacy is extremely passionate about the world of adoption and foster care, having spent a year in Uganda adopting her oldest daughter in 2008. Stacy married her husband Jesse in 2011, and they moved to Oklahoma City to grow their family. They currently have three children; a 12-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, and a 1-year-old boy. Though she will be parenting for the rest of her natural days, she deeply appreciates the age differences between her kids. Stacy obtained a Master’s degree in child psychology in 2007, but currently uses it only on her own children! A stay-at-home mama since Baby #3 was born, Stacy has stayed busy keeping her children alive and relatively entertained. She loves her little crazy crew fiercely and uses writing as her creative outlet. When she’s not chasing her kiddos, Stacy is likely traveling or daydreaming about traveling. She also enjoys coffee shops, copious amounts of “cop drama” shows, and perusing Pinterest for ideas that have little chance of ever getting done. But they’re good to have. Just in case.

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