It’s my constant goal to consume as little sweetener as possible, because I think that white sugar is going to wreak havoc on my health, and alternative sweeteners are very expensive and not always that much better for your health.
I can’t exactly trick myself, but here are FOUR ways to reduce the sweetener with your yogurt:
1. Start kids young and don’t give options.
My babies eat plain yogurt. They are not offered anything with sugar when they are 8 or 9 months and we’re introducing yogurt, so although Lovey Girl may have made strange pucker faces at the taste of the tart yogurt for the first few weeks, she is now on board with the project.
2. The fruit on the spoon trick.
It sounds mean and sneaky to trick your kids, but you know we all do it when the outcome is in their best interests. This tactic is a little diversionary tool – provided your babies/toddlers like fruit, you talk up the fruit and show them how it’s right there on the spoon. The fruit goes right at the front of the spoon at first, in front of the yogurt so it stands out. Later bites find the fruit more towards the back, so that the child has to take yogurt in his/her mouth in order to get to the fruit.
This trick works for adults, too. Even my 4-year-old son has learned to ration the pieces of frozen fruit in his yogurt so he has some in every bite and a bit left over at the end to eat last. I enjoy my yogurt a whole lot more if there’s something very cold and pleasantly sweet in each bite.
3. The honey on the spoon trick.
We all know adults are going to have a harder time than kids going to plain yogurt from whatever they’re used to. The big people need a bit more sweet “trick” to get them eating almost plain yogurt. If you like to add a little honey to your yogurt, try this: Put just the right amount (or a little less, especially as time wears on) of honey right on your spoon. You won’t need much! With every bite of yogurt, your lips and tongue absorb just a little bit of that honey (preferably raw honey) along with the yogurt and maybe fruit. It’s just enough to get some sweetness, and you usually can use less honey than if you put it right in the yogurt.
4. Try cinnamon applesauce.
Applesauce and yogurt is not perhaps a standard combination, but when my son was little it was an easy way to use the 2-part food containers and still give him 3 foods. My homemade applesauce has a boat load of cinnamon in it, which adds just enough sweetness and depth of spice to trick my body into thinking it’s getting sweetener. I really like the mixture of applesauce and yogurt, and it’s the one way I can go with ZERO sweetener in my plain yogurt.
I’m just finishing a bowl of yogurt, and my fruit didn’t make it to the end. I can tolerate and even enjoy the “just plain” stuff at the bottom of the bowl. You might think that’s absolutely crazy, but it’s all a matter of training. I didn’t like yogurt of any kind until five years ago, so anything’s possible with some baby steps and a little dedication to weaning off the sweeteners. (If only I could find cookies and ice cream that had no sweetener but still tasted good!)
The Basics: How to Make Homemade Yogurt