When I found out about Jenny's kids getting paid to not eat sugar for a year, I called Jenny and we arranged a little trick-a-roonie to get my kids on board. I knew they wouldn't get excited about it if they heard it from me, so I told them to go over to Jenny's. And in the meantime, I told Jenny to tell her kids to tell my kids about it. No. I'm not manipulative. Why do you ask? But it totally worked! They came home and asked me if they could do it too. I acted skeptical just to add a little drama into the mix. I enjoy tinkering with young volatile minds.
That was about 8 days ago. And so far they've kept up their end of the bargain. Time will tell but I'm pretty dang proud of them. We modified it a little bit because, well, I guess because I didn't want to set them up for failure. So I told them that they could have their own birthdays and each other birthdays as free days. I also did that because one of the things I enjoy most about being a mom is making my kids birthday cakes. I just can't give that up. We've come up with some great new recipes and I've LOVED not having them come home from school with candy in their pockets. What's with that by the way???
I found a really helpful article about helping kids be sugar free here. It's short and simple and very much worth reading.
One thing I've had a hard time figuring out is where to draw the line. There are some gray areas that have me a little bit stumped. They've asked me about granola bars and putting jelly on a peanut butter sandwich and stuff like that. Sugary but not technically the type of junk that makes me crazy. I'm not sure what the right answer is. I don't want to bend the rules too much but I also don't want to make my own life more complicated. It's a balancing act.
If you've decided to get on the sugar free bandwagon, this recipe is a MUST!
Almond Butter Rice Krispies
1 cup organic brown rice syrup (I used honey and cut it down to about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup almond butter (you could use peanut butter instead)
2 Tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups organic puffed brown rice cereal
Line a baking pan with parchment paper that extends up along the sides. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup (or honey) over medium heat and stir until it begins to bubble a little bit. Remove from heat and stir in the almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extract, and salt. As you stir the mixture it should thicken and become glossy and smooth.
Pour the rice cereal into a large heat-safe mixing bowl. Carefully pour in the warm syrup mixture, and stir to coat all the cereal.
Scoop the coated cereal into the lined baking pan and spread evenly, gently smoothing out the top surface.
Put in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
When the bars have firmed to the touch, remove them from the pan, gripping the parchment edges and set them on a cutting board. use a large sharp knife to score and cut the squares.
Wrap and chill. Store in the fridge.
Makes 24 squares.