I am not one of those mums who doesn’t give her kids any sugar but I know that sugar and kids is not a good combo. My littlest is particularly effected by it and I am over the sugar highs and lows, especially the tantrums if they don’t get a sweet treat.

I am sure many of you have heard of the stevia plant. It’s a sweetener and sugar substitute made from the leaves of the native South American plant species Stevia rebaudiana.

I have always been a bit reticent about sweeteners but the people at Natvia claim that they only use the best part of the Stevia plant so that the taste is naturally sweet and never bitter. Plus, this is for the kids – not me!

The kids love to make a mess in the kitchen. We have a go most rainy afternoons or if we have time in the morning I like to let them help me make pancakes but I am not a great baker. So, what also drew me to Natvia was the little recipe book attached to the packet. I need all the help and inspiration I can get. We tried the cupcakes. Boring but failsafe!

Nativa is only 0.8 calories per spoon compared to 16 calories in sugar – there is nothing artificial in it. I found it not as granulated as caster sugar so the butter/Natvia mixture didn’t come together quite as light and fluffy as sugar/butter but that didn’t seem to make a difference to the end cake mixture. The cakes rose well and looked the part. The kids loved them but I could taste the articificial sweetner.  Maybe that’s just me (as a child brought up on sugar) I have never liked the taste of any artificial sweetener in drinks etc.

Next we made pancakes. I did half Natvia and half sugar and couldn’t taste it at all but maybe that’s because of the maple syrup I added!

The kids also like to sprinkle a bit of sugar on Weetabix so the Natvia works well as substitute. They like the idea that they are sprinkling something sweet but without the negative side effects of sugar. Winner!

My theory moving forward is to do half and half with the baked goods I eat but with the kids stuff they can have the complete amount of sugar free alternative. What they don’t know won’t hurt them or their teeth!

You can find out more about Nativa and discover lots of sugar free recipes at www.sweeterlifeclub.com