I think Grandparents have a right and obligation to spoil their grandchildren. For me and Fabgrandpa, that means having lots of treats around the house. Fresh fruit, cookies, cakes, and candies keep us and them happy – and coming back for more. I always like to have sweets for my sweeties when they visit. (Of course I DO ask Mom for permission before I give them to the kids, wink wink)
Nutritionist Dr. Rosemary Stanton recommends fresh fruit daily. Starting children early on fresh fruit introduces them to the bright colors and rich tastes. Fruits are chock full of Vitamins A, B, C, and E. And, the low-fat and high-fiber content promotes healthy digestion and reduces the risk of diabetes. I try to have a bowl of several fresh fruits available whenever the grandchildren visit. We like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, but I get whatever is in season.
What kid doesn’t love cookies? I don’t get to do it often, but once in a while Spencer likes to help me with the baking a batch of cookies. I try to keep a couple of boxes of gluten free cookie mix on hand for times when we can get together. Because I’m the Fabgrandma, I add flavor and texture with raw oatmeal, mashed banana, and crushed nuts. Even raisins are a good substitute for chocolate.
In my day, I thought carrot cake was a healthy choice because it included carrots. But, I have learned that the threat of childhood obesity requires attention to calories and fat content. Still, the grandchildren do love their cake on big occasions and small. One way I control their calorie intake is to make cupcakes, something they can literally get their hands around.
Again, I try to favor natural ingredients like fruit, nuts, and low fat ingredients. Better Homes and Gardens recommends a light, delicious Lemon Poppy Seed Angel Cake or an Upside-Down Pineapple-Ginger Cake with complex and rich flavors. Both avoid calorie- and fat-rich toppings with enough sweetness to please the youngest taste.
Of course, the Fabgrandkids love candy. And, I just can’t refuse them the occasional lollipop. If you are like me, and want to offer a little variety, you can check out all the other other candy options at Sweet Services. They offer a whole inventory of sugar-free treats so you can have a mixed selection of sugar-free mints, taffy, jelly beans, and licorice drops. Classic brand names like Brach’s, Werther’s, LifeSaver, and Dr. John’s guarantee quality, and you can be comfortable, even when the little ones sneak a piece when they think you are not looking.
Fabgrandpa and I are on the same page when it comes to treating the grandchildren. Of course, as all grandchildren will, they know how to manipulate each of us and “swindle” us out of another treat. But, we don’t mind – even though I may give them the “look” of disapproval.
I try to keep our offerings unique enough that we can discuss the health and nutrition of each item and recipe. We let them participate in the selection and food preparation. And, a final side benefit comes from the fact that Fabgrandpa and I can indulge in these guilt-free treats as well as the kids! Now that is a sweet deal!