Healthy Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries

We're heading to the 3 year mark with NO sugar for this little guy.
That's not to say he doesn't eat sugar, however it comes in natural sources...honey, maple syrup, and the obvious real fruits, when he has juice it's fresh made NOT in a box, and of course that pretty much rules out almost every kids convenient 'snacking' food.

We didn't plan on this, it just sorta fell into place and the question I get asked most often is: Isn't that hard?

Not for me.
A little history is that I've had a relationship with food my whole life. A good one, a terrible one, an addictive one, to the great one that I have at this moment, pretty much owing this all to my son. We've both seen first hand what food stress/struggle can look like and that's different for everyone (you just have to pay really close attention!)

Obviously anything in excess isn't good, and yet sugar's been linked to the likes of cocaine -- even worse is it's effect on the mind in terms of addiction, neurological, behavioral etc. I find it interesting that I talk to moms who collectively share the same idea about 'kids these days' ...especially kids in school and how behavioral issues are off the chart.

I believe that most of these issues are diet related, and then most of the diets are in excess of sugar. READ THE LABELS OF YOUR KIDS SNACKS. Fructose, sucrose, sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup....the list goes on and on.

Food addiction is a biological fact. Your brain lights up when you consume cocaine, heroine or sugar. In fact, sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine. If you start your baby/kids early on sugary foods they’ll become addicted. Sugar is poison.
— Fed Up Movie

Colin doesn't need it. He's too young and yes, I have moments when cupcakes are being given out and everyone's sharing the same look "aww your son can't eat this...?"
And then I remember all the other shit that's probably in the cupcake and what he endures when he eats the stuff that I know isn't good for HIM. So worth it for me, his immune system, his body, his mind. Less is best when it comes to food and always choosing as naturally as possible with REAL food.

I am his biggest warrior for health until he has the educated information and is old enough to choose for himself. So I'm not naive in my thinking that he'll never have sugar. And while he's still undergoing so much essential development I will make this chose because it's easy for me.

Questions or comments? Do you have a specific struggle with sugar or healthy eating for your kids? I'd love to hear from you, so share in the comments below.

I'm also posting our pumpkin bread recipe that we honestly make weekly because we love it! It's dairy-free, refined sugar free, soy-free, and egg-free...NOT gluten free.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flax meal with 3 tbsp's of water is equivalent to one egg)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 3/4 cups of flour (so I do 1 cup of spelt flour and 3/4 cups of either white or whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup hot water

- Preheat over to 325 degrees and grease a 9x5 loaf pan
- In a big bowl add your flour, salt, and spices -- not your baking soda!
- Set the baking soda in a small bowl and put aside
- Melt your coconut oil, then add pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla and flax/egg mixture
- Add warm water to baking soda, and as you mix wet ingredients to dry ingredients be sure to evenly distribute this through the batter
- Add 1/2 cup fresh cranberries **optional
- Bake for 50 minutes and be sure to check that bread is done with a toothpick.
- Cool on wire rack
- Enjoy!

Please note that the bread in these photos is a little thinner as this is from half of the recipe. Usually one large can of pumpkin puree can make 2.5 loaves of bread so the 3rd loaf we make is this recipe in half. HOWEVER it is a denser bread because of the healthy ingredients, and it's moist and VERY good if you add cranberries -- which I love. Colin is on the fence over the sourness however they're growing on him. Use fresh cranberries please.

Also remember there's no preservatives in this bread so it can last about 2 days stored on counter before you must put this in the fridge where it'll get a bit harder, then you can just warm it up. Usually we can eat this all before it makes it to the fridge!

Let me know how this works for you! xo