My children love chocolate but with all the refined sugar that milk chocolate contains, I’m reluctant to let them eat it. I’ve also heard that dark and raw chocolate contain significant amounts of stimulants. Are there any healthier ‘chocolate’ alternatives?

Chocolate can have a surprising effect on our systems, especially for children. A dramatic burst of energy is soon followed by an energy crash, leading to temper-tantrums, poor concentration and restless sleep.

Not only does milk chocolate contain high levels of refined sugar – up to 6 teaspoons in a 50g bar – but it also contains the stimulants theobromine and caffeine. And the darker and purer the chocolate the more stimulants it contains. The same amount of dark or raw chocolate can deliver the stimulant equivalent of drinking a shot of espresso! Stimulants, just like refined sugar, are disruptive to your child’s blood sugar balance.

Supertreats bars_stacked 1We like the new healthy alternative, Supertreats. These bars look and taste just as good as milk chocolate but contain no refined sugar or stimulants – so kids’ blood-sugar levels stay in perfect balance.

They’re made from organic carob, organic whole milk and organic cocoa butter, gently sweetened with organic coconut blossom nectar and are packed with wholesome goodness.

Carob is a nutrient powerhouse that tastes surprisingly similar to chocolate but is stimulant free. It’s high in a variety of essential vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and is particularly rich in calcium. Together with the whole milk in the recipe, a 40g Supertreats bar contains more calcium than in a 100ml glass of milk.

Coconut blossom nectar has a low glycemic index (GI 35), releasing energy slowly into the body without causing those unhealthy highs and lows in blood sugar levels. It’s also rich in valuable vitamins and minerals.

Cocoa butter provides all the melty-mouth-feel of chocolate that kids love, but contains none of the stimulants found in cocoa mass, which is used to make chocolate.

Supertreats bars are available in two delicious varieties – Silky Milky and Merry Berry – from a growing list of health food retailers.

This article was first published by The Green Parent magazine. Find it here http://thegreenparent.co.uk/articles/read/ask-a-question-chocolate-and-nutrition/