November 1, 2013

Instead of Syrup : 2 great alternatives for lower sugar mornings!

My kids love pancakes, waffles, and french toast, but I don't love them starting their day with what often amounts to refined white flours with sugar poured on top.  My husband is a little less of a sugar dictator than I am, and he scoffs at the idea of serving pancakes with anything other than syrup on top, but when he's not around, I serve all of the usual syrup covered breakfast items with alternative toppings and the kids still gobble them up and ask for more.  

My first syrup alternative, and the one that I prefer, is a dollop of fruit yogurt.  Now, be aware that not all yogurts are created equal.  Many are no better than syrup.  But if you are a pro on the yogurt isle, you can find some that are pretty darn good.  I appreciated this blogger's charts that crunch the numbers on a variety of yogurt brands.  My dad is a nutritional number cruncher if ever there was one and he's always told me that Stonyfield Farms is the way to go if you're looking for actual yogurt benefits in terms of cultures and fewer preservatives.    

Even if you grab a higher sugar yogurt, you've at least got the protein in there, which you don't get with the syrup.  You can always get plain yogurt and mash in your own fruit or a teaspoon of jam.  Sometimes I give the kids plain yogurt and toss a hand full of blueberries on top and no one complains.  And generally the boys, instead of asking for their usual seconds of whatever I'm serving, just ask for more yogurt, so yay for more protein and less of the bleached grains.

My second alternative to syrup, and really, my secret to a lot of things, is a shaker of powdered sugar.  I bought one of those large holed shakers like they put Parmesan in at pizza joints, and I keep it filled with the powdery white stuff.  Yes, it's still sugar, but a small shake of it gives everything on your plate a small, even coating of sweetness, without the gobs and gobs of sticky stuff that they would otherwise get.  I use this for all kinds of things.  It's the only thing we ever put on french toast, When I make homemade doughnuts, I leave them unglazed and just shake a whisper of sugar over them and call it good.  Even a hearty, multigrain bread loaf can be transformed into breakfast cake if you just shake some snow over the top.  So, I can get them to eat healthier things than they normally would by breaking out the shaker.  It's a morning time miracle, if you want to know the truth of it.  

So, if you want to skip the sugar rush, and subsequent crash, that your kids are getting with every pancake, waffle, doughnut, and slice of french toast, grab some yogurt and a sugar shaker and spare yourself the 10 am meltdown.  


  1. I keep syrup out of the house because fake syrup is one of Sam's worst chemical-sensitivity offenders. And real stuff lasts about 5 mintues - too pricey for such transience. We use almost exclusively powdered sugar, aka "fairy dust," with the occasional jelly or small handful of chocolate chips. When I need a power boost, I smother my pancakes/waffles in cottage cheese and fruit or jelly.

  2. Fairy dust? I like that! I don't think I could ever go for cottage cheese on my waffle, though.


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