Sugar is added to a lot of our everyday packaged food and drink. This includes seemingly healthy foods, such as muesli bars, fruit-flavoured yoghurt and store-bought muffins, and those convenient foods we turn to when low on time and energy, such as instant soup and cereal.
|Flavoured yoghurt (particularly low-fat products)
|Plain yoghurt (dairy, coconut, or other alternative) with fresh fruit, cinnamon, vanilla, nuts and seeds stirred through. Try our roasted plum soft serve!
|Cereal or muesli
|Homemade granola or cereal mix of coconut chips, nuts and seeds, with whole oats, buckwheat, and some cinnamon. Serve with fresh fruit.
|Smashed berries or chia seed jam
|Juice or liquid breakfasts, such as store-bought smoothies or ‘UP&GO’
|Whole fruit or homemade smoothie of banana, leafy greens, plain yoghurt and nuts
|Packaged, ready made pastries, muffins, pancakes, or baked beans
|Egg muffin, banana and blueberry pancakes or blinis, or homemade baked beans
Don’t be afraid to go savoury at breakfast. If poached eggs and wilted greens, or last night’s chicken and veggies are what you want, then go for it! For more ideas, check out our other quick no added sugar breakfasts.
Lunch and dinner
|Store-bought sushi (which has sugar added to the rice)
|Fresh salmon or tuna sashimi with salad or homemade sushi, omitting added sugar
|Homemade spaghetti bolognese or pesto
|Instant pasta, soup or noodles
|Make homemade soup, stir fry, curry, or casserole meals in bulk and freeze in batches. Defrost and use portions as required.
|Salad dressing (particularly low-fat products)
|Make your own for your salad simply with olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. Play around with ingredients like tahini, plain yoghurt, apple cider vinegar, and chopped fresh herbs for variations in texture and flavours.
|Homemade tomato sauce. A simple recipe is roasting a punnet’s worth of of cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and once caramelised, blending into a sauce.
Check out The Office Luncheon e-book for more great lunch ideas and recipes that are designed to be easily transported and a cinch to make!
Snacks or dessert
|Flavoured crisps or crackers
|Kale chips, roasted chickpeas, beetroot chips, or veggie sticks and seed crackers with dip such as hummus, guacamole or pesto
|Biscuit or cookie
|Sliced pear or apple with 100% nut butter or cottage cheese, or homemade cookies
|Pudding or custard
|Chia seed pudding, avocado and chocolate mousse, or homemade custard, such as our coconut vanilla baked custard
|Plain dairy or coconut yoghurt with berries, homemade coconut yoghurt soft serve, a smoothie bowl, or ‘nice-cream‘ using frozen banana as the base
|Cake, slice or chocolate bar
|Fruit, hard boiled egg, nuts or cheese sticks, or a homemade snack ball or chocolate cookie
|Snack bar, muesli bar or fruit snacks such as Roll Ups (fruit leathers)
|Pick ‘n’ mix of your favourite nuts, seeds and other yummy bits like coconut chips and a little dark chocolate
For more inspiration, we’ve loads of low-sugar snack recipes in our Low-Sugar Snacks e-book!
|Soft drink and sparkling juices
|Soda or mineral water infused with fruit pieces and fresh herbs
|Water infused with fruit pieces and fresh herbs
|Fancy or flavoured coffee
|Black coffee or coffee and unsweetened milk
Swaps for kidlets
As we learn ways to limit our added sugar intake, we must ensure our kids are not overloaded with sweet stuff as well. Despite being notoriously fussy, we can influence the eating habits of our kids with patience, kindness and persistence. Try our suggestions above or these healthy meal ideas for kids. By swapping out kid’s sugary stuff, we help nourish their brains and bodies at a time of critical development.
We hope these ideas help you on your way to a low-added sugar lifestyle!
As you begin to swap out the food and drink high in added and free sugars for whole foods, you may experience cravings. This will lessen over time. Also allow a few weeks for we call ‘paladjustment’, when your palate adjusts becoming more sensitive to the subtle sweetness and flavours. Soon enough, you will find the level of sweetness in many packaged food and drink too intense.
By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut Med)