Every since I used m&ms to encourage Sam to use the potty, we've been trying to avoid sugar altogether. I got the "good" kind (cane sugar, food-based coloring etc.), but they were still a steady dose of sweet throughout the whole day and it made him kind of crazy. He's so much happier and more pleasant to be around when his blood sugar isn't going like a roller coaster. So, for his birthday party, I thought it would be decidedly more festive to have him in a happy mood at the end of it, and not coming off a sugar high, crashed and cranky. Because the party was at 2:00 in the afternoon, we really only needed to provide snacks. So the menu included carrot cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, juice and strawberries with a creamy dip (left over frosting actually). The dip was a last-minute stroke of genius; the strawberries were originally entended to be plain. I was also planning on doing popcorn with butter, olive oil, salt and a little nutritional yeast, but I just ran out of time.
Here's how I kept the sugar to a minimum. The cookies and cupcakes are the tricky part, but both were made with 100% whole wheat flour and only honey and molasses to sweeten them. I don't think anyone even knew the difference. The frosting was even honey-sweetened. We try and limit even honey and natural sweeteners for ourselves and for Sam, but for a festive occasion it was fun to feel like we were having treats without the negative effects of highly processed white sugar and flour. We're mostly water or fresh juice drinkers, so to get bottled juice was a "treat" as well, and definitely more healthy than soda or some of the other alternatives.
Here's the cupcake recipe (another treasure from Clay's mom!):
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup oil
- 3/4 cup honey
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 cup unsweetened, crushed pineapple, drained
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)