Every once in a while I like to bake brownies or cookies with my girls. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Ms. Balsamfitsecret lets her kids bake, let alone eat, sweets?
Why yes, yes I do. I absolutely wholeheartedly believe in allowing your children to indulge in sweets once in a while- maybe even everyday. The key is to not go overboard and make it an all day option.
Junk food should be limited to one after school, or pre-swim practice or (fill in blank activity) snack and it is in no way ever to be referred to as a “treat” because treats are organic farm fresh cherries that are only available a few months out of the year, not processed chemical saturated and trans fats wrapped in BPA toxic plastic that can be purchased at every gas station, convenience store and vending machine.
Please, let’s just be honest here people, junk food is served and made readily available in every school, camp and at pretty much every event I have ever attended. It’s hard NOT to allow your kids junk- because we are a fast food nation and fast food is everywhere.
In my defense, I do not bring junk into my home. When my kids come home from school they are presented with a platter of freshly cut up vegetables and hummus to dip them in- and sometimes pita chips. One could easily argue that the GMO’s in the produce outweigh the health benefits but thats a different blog.
I’m a firm believer in ‘if you build it they will come’. If you present your kids with healthy options- and ONLY healthy options, they will eat if hungry enough. I do take them for Starbucks fraps and dunkin’ donuts here and there- but again, this is not a daily activity it’s a once in while thing and I ALWAYS make sure to step up on my soapbox and give them my lecture on just how bad it is for them- (at which point they cut me off and finish the speech for me – and then dig in).
So when my friend came to visit me with her kids a few weeks back, she asked me if I bake with healthy ingredients or do I use the non-healthy recipes?
Well, the answer is ‘yes’.
Let me explain. I do use “healthy” ingredients like: coconut sugar, coconut oil, Greek yogurt, oat flour, unsweetened almond milk, and egg whites in lieu of the processed cake mixes but I am in no way fooling myself that these are diet friendly.
Sure, they are healthiER than the store bought, as they don’t contain shortening and stabilizing agents and other cancer causing chemicals, but when eaten in quantity- like say, more than ONE at a time, they certainly add up.
I learned this lesson the hard way. I got on a kick of baking and experimenting with healthy ingredients to try and encourage my kids to eat healthier. So I came up with so many new recipes and concoctions like: quinoa cacao muffins and Greek yogurt brownies, avocado pudding, oatmeal pancakes and cacao chip cookies- there are plenty of recipes online that I have tweaked to adapt to my own standards and taste buds. The result? I gained 5 pounds. I realized that every little BLT (bite, lick and taste) of these delicious recipes were, in fact, adding up- to my waistline.
I am well aware that Abs are made in the kitchen and I do eat clean and exercise daily. I eat A LOT actually- more calories in a day than most women eat in a week (Albeit all nutrient rich and wholesome). So when my clothes started feeling tight I had to figure out what I was doing differently and make that change…..which meant no more regularly baking “healthy brownies”.
Healthy options are great and there are so many available these days. You can easily find healthy replacements for your favorite recipes. Just understand that a brownie is a brownie and a cookie is a cookie and when you eat them every day they will give you the same results regardless if they are “healthier” or not.
Stick to an apple for dessert and save the quinoa cupcake for a special occasion.