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We all probably had at least one too many jelly beans or cookies yesterday, and if we didn’t, our kids did. I’m not sure about your little ones, but mine woke up early this morning asking for jelly beans again today. And at this moment, my smallest one is fondling his jelly bean bag begging to have some! We are enticed from a young age to begin a LOVE relationship sugar.

I haven’t had one single piece of candy since Halloween last year, and to be honest, I did try one jelly bean yesterday. I was surprised…I didn’t like it. It wasn’t worth diverting from my path of healing through food to enjoy something that didn’t add enjoyment to my life. But, it wasn’t always so easy.

My relationship with sugar started when I was young. I LOVED sugar treats! Jelly beans have been a weakness of mine since childhood. I have distinct memories of waking up on Easter morning rifling through my Easter basket, looking for all the jelly beans and watching them all drop to the bottom as they slipped through the shiny Easter grass. It was glorious seeing all those shiny candies waiting for me like a hidden treasure!

So now, as a mom, I struggle with how to handle sugar for my own kids. When there are so many other foods they can’t have, it’s an easy win to allow them sugar candies from time to time, especially when given from loving grandparents.

Today we are all probably faced with the inevitable question of how long do the jelly beans stay in our house? How many days do we let our kids keep eating them or I keep “sneaking” them for myself? I want to help my kids develop a healthy relationship with sugar by reducing their access to all the processed sugars found in traditional candies. But I also don’t want to deprive them of being a part of society and how we celebrate. So a few times a year we allow them these treats. This week, however, we go back to our new “normal” by using natural sweeteners in our foods.

So what are our alternatives long-term? Take a look at an interesting read from Chris Kresser about some natural alternatives. Honey and Stevia (surprisingly) come to the top of the sweets list. These are the products that fill my pantry, and I believe they have helped me to develop a better relationship with sugar.

Today I can say, “No more jelly beans!” and say goodbye for good to processed sugars. Can you? Quitting isn’t easy, but I bet if you insert healthier sweetener alternatives instead, slowly you will find processed sugar less and less appealing. Are you willing to give it a try? If it has worked for this jelly bean lover, it can work for you too!