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Healthy Food Alternatives for Sweet-Craving Kids

Got a child that loves chocolate chip cookies or ice cream? Satisfy his or her sweet tooth without all of the sugar by making these healthy swaps.

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What is it about sugar that's so appealing – especially to kids? Researchers point out that kids' tastes are different than those of adults. Something that may seem overly sweet for a grown-up – like a big piece of thickly-frosted birthday cake – would taste just fine for a child. And sugar can actually make kids feel good, say researchers, who point out that for children, the sweet stuff has been shown to be a natural pain reliever.

Yet too much sugar is harmful for kids – and it's not just that the added calories lead to larger waistlines. Sugar is an "empty" calorie. When kids opt for sugary foods, they're not eating more nutritious ones that help give their bodies the nutrients they need to have energy and stay healthy.

So how do you help your kids tame that sweet tooth? Swap sugary foods for healthier choices. Even better, your kids can tap into their creative side by whipping up these replacement snacks and drinks all on their own.

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