Healthy Homemade Treats for Kids – Quick and Easy Baking Strategies to Reduce Calories and Stay Healthier

Kids love to snack. Who doesn’t? Snacking is fun and it feels like a special treat. Snacking also helps keep blood sugar levels even so children have energy all day. However, snacks and treats can also be jam-packed with sugar. Too much sugar wreaks havoc on blood sugar levels. Behavior issues pop up. Children start feeling poorly and their long-term health can be affected.

Too much fat and enriched white flour are also unhealthy options that are prevalent in baked goods. However, they’re options you can change with a few alterations and substitutions. The answer to healthier baked goods may be to make healthy homemade treats at home.

#1 Lower sugar – Muffins and other baked goods can be high in sugar, particularly when you buy them from the bakery or store. However, when you make them at home, you can reduce the sugar or sweeten them with fruit juices, Stevia, or even fruit preserves.  Fruit or some vegetables can be added to muffins and baked goods as well.

#2 Low-fat substitutes – Did you know you can replace the oil in many baking recipes with apple sauce? You can! Additionally, you can use lower-fat products when baking. For example when a recipe calls for whole milk you can substitute low-fat or fat-free milk. If it calls for eggs you can use egg substitute. Take a look at the ingredients in a recipe before you bake and make low-fat substitutions when available. You can even find low-fat chocolate chips.

#3 More whole grains – Children generally seem opposed to whole grains. They prefer the fluffy goodness of enriched white flour. However, you can make small substitutions of whole grain flour to help your children develop a healthier palate. For example, when a recipe calls for two cups of all-purpose flour, use one and a half cups of all-purpose flour and a half cup of whole wheat flour. They?ll hardly notice the difference.

It should be noted that whole wheat, oat and other whole grain flour can taste sweeter or nuttier. Keep that consideration in mind when adding sugar to recipes where you’re making substitutions.

#4 Adding protein – Protein powder is a wonderful thing. A little protein added to a chocolate chip cookie recipe doesn’t change the flavor but it does increase the nutritional value. A child eating a homemade cookie with a little extra protein will digest that cookie more slowly. The sugar will enter their bloodstream more slowly and they won’t experience a sugar rush. Nuts are another easy way to add protein to baked goods.

With a few simple changes, baked goods can be both healthy and delicious. Take a look at the baked treats you make at home. How can you make them better? Can you replace the fat with low-fat options? Can you reduce the sugar? Can you add whole grains? Can you add protein? Simple substitutions can make your homemade baked goodies healthy and nutritious.