Low Sugar Holiday Swaps
- Sweeten with Seasonal Fruit
- Bake Bread Instead of Cookies
- Sugar Free Fun
Without a plan, the holidays can easily become a sugar overload. Too much sugar can put a damper on the festivities by causing bellyaches and, if prolonged, even tooth decay. If you are worried that your home will have more treats in it than Greenbush Bakery, read on for some tips on how to sift out excess sugar from your holidays.
Sweeten with Seasonal Fruit
There are plenty of types of fruits in season at this time of year. Use them to your advantage by sweetening your foods with them instead of regular sugar. Unlike sugar, fruit contains vitamins and minerals that are essential to teeth and gum health.
Cranberries, for example, are packed with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps fight gingivitis and improves gum health. Oranges also have vitamin C, as well as vitamin A, which helps prevent dry mouth and promotes wound healing.
Pumpkin, technically considered a fruit, is also a dental superfood. Pumpkin is full of lots of vitamins and minerals that can boost your dental health, including zinc for strong teeth and healthy gums, and magnesium that protects your tooth enamel from decay. Dates are an especially sweet fruit that are also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Serve festive food and drinks that showcase the naturally sweet flavor of these fruits. Enjoy the natural sweetness of cranberries and date with this no added sugar cranberry sauce. For a special holiday breakfast drink, skip the hot cocoa and serve an immune boosting smoothie with bananas, cranberries, and oranges. Or bake up healthy pumpkin muffins that are naturally sweetened with a little honey.
Bake Bread Instead of Cookies
Holiday baking is usually esteemed as an essential tradition. Nothing warms up our homes and hearts like an oven full of sweet treats.
However, the average frosted sugar cookie–topped with a generous heap of sprinkles from the kids–can pack a walloping thirty-five grams of sugar or more. That’s more sugar than should be consumed in an entire day!
Take a little sugar out of your baking by swapping out cookies for holiday bread. Many religions and cultures have a long tradition of baking special breads at this time of year. Challah is a rich, eggy bread that is often braided in beautiful patterns. Lucia bread is another bread that incorporates the fun of shaping before it’s put in the oven. Sweet potato Kwanzaa bread offers lots of nutrition and natural sweetness.
Sugar Free Fun
Who can resist a gingerbread house, with its beautiful candy shingles, icing icicles, and gum drop paths? But after one rock hard bite, we have to admit that as adorable as they are, sometimes the gingerbread tastes stale and is a potential tooth-breaking hazard!
Hear us out, but perhaps another way you can swap out some sugar during the holidays is to instead make a crudite house. Your kids can have all the food construction fun of gingerbread houses, none of the sugar, and as they build they may just eat some of those crunchy veggie beams, which act as tiny toothbrushes to help brush away plaque and bacteria.
If your kids give you trouble about the crudite house, you can send them our way. We’ll back you up with lots of reasons about why cutting down on sugar is so important for maintaining a healthy smile.
To schedule an appointment for your child, contact our office today. Affiliated Dentists offers pediatric dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin.
We hope you and your families enjoy a very healthy and happy holiday season!
Low Sugar Holiday Swaps brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson