Tradition and Innovation appear to be opposites, but when you really think about it, there are constant innovations within every tradition. From decorating trees with candles to hanging shiny balls and artificial lights, from sending hand-made greeting cards to e-cards with music. If you look at the histories of both Christmas and Hanukkah, both traditions involve many rituals that have changed quite a bit over the centuries.
This holiday season I am about to embark on a serious innovation challenge.
The challenge question is this: What are all the traditional-looking desserts and meals that I might make without any sugar?
Our household (which includes 4 kids) has been sugar-free for the last 9 months and we plan to keep it that way. By sugar-free, I mean that we don’t consume anything with added sugars, but we do eat whole fresh fruit and honey, occasionally. Keeping this up during the holiday season is going to be tricky, yet doable.
You might be asking why? Well, there are lots of reasons why. Did you know that the maximum recommended intake of sugar for children is no more than 10g per day?, but the average Canadian child is consuming an average of 101 grams per day. I would hate to know what the average is over the holiday season. The scientific community is constantly finding evidence of more and more links between this excessive consumption of sugars by children as well as adults, and rising rates of diseases such as Type2 Diabetes, Dementia, Alzheimers’, and even a number of cancers.
That’s why it’s time to innovate. It’s time to create new healthier traditions that will sustain our vitality and longevity.
And how do you innovate?
Here’s a quick overview of the innovation process:
First you clarify your why, your motivation for doing things differently. After all, doing things differently takes extra effort, and you are not going to put in the effort unless you are truly motivated. Then search for ideas, mix and combine ideas until you’ve got a few tentative solutions (in this case recipes) that you want to try out. Then it’s time to experiment with the new ideas. Decide on which ones you like and which ones need some improvement.
I have no doubt that my kids will be honest judges in this arena. Once you find the ones that were most successful, you’ve created a new tradition. At least that’s the theory! Let’s see how it works out in practice. Wish me luck!