So with another celebratory season upon us, I thought I’d share some of my ideas for limiting the sweet stuff this Easter. When I was in clinical practice the busiest time for me to see patients suffering acute illness (colds, flu, gastro and the likes) was always after Christmas and Easter. I believe there are many reasons for this including more late nights (less sleep), perhaps increased stress over the holiday period and of course over indulgence (esp. in sugar).
I’m all for a good celebration, but I do try to direct my kids to healthier Easter options, without compromising deliciousness of course. It is all too easy to overindulge, but a lot more difficult (and expensive) to undo the damaged caused, so here are my ideas for a little ‘damage control’ over Easter…
1) Only buy ‘real’ additive free chocolate. SO many chocolates on the market are a combination of not only sugar but dangerous additives and vegetable oil. So choosing additive and vegetable oil free chocolate is your best bet. I also refuse to support the Palm Oil industry, for more on that click here. There are some fantastic choices of safe, palm oil free Easter eggs over at Biome Eco Stores. Dark chocolate is preferable to milk as it contains less sugar, or, why not make your own chocolate, it is really very easy – here’s my raw chocolate recipe to get you started.
Hot Cross Buns are such a sugar and additive trap. For more about my concerns and a simple healthy recipe (that tastes perfectly hot cross bun-ish), click here.
2) Fill up on good food – I always try to crowd out sugary, processed food from my kids diet. I find if they are full with a good, solid meal they are less inclined to want or over do the not so good stuff.
3) Substitute processed with real food treats. Here are some of my recipes which would do nicely for Easter; real nourishing treats.
- Bunny tails (white chocolate truffles) are easy to make healthy white chocolatey treats. Recipe here.
- Chocolate baskets which you can fill with either little plain chocolate eggs, little toys or use for an Easter dessert. Recipe here.
- Chocolate Gummy Eggs are great for setting in moulds and are also very healing to kids little guts. Recipe here.
- Self Saucing Chocolate Pudding – a delicious chocolatey dessert. They won’t feel like more chocolate after this. Recipe here.
- Cacao Rough is also able to be pressed into moulds for a vey nutrient and protein dense treat. Recipe here.
- Bunny Bars – my carrot cake slice make a great cameo for Easter. Choose the chocolate variation for a really nourishing treat. Recipe here.
- Mint Chocolate Fudge – a little of this goes a long way to satisfy a chocolate craving. Recipe here.
- Chocolate, almond and coconut bars – another rich, satisfying treat. Recipe here.
- Healthy Snickers really does satisfy!
For some delicious Good Friday Seafood recipes:
- Fish Tortillas (great for feeding a group)
- Healthy Fish Cakes (great for fish fussy kids as they really taste more like chicken that fish)
- Fish fingers
- Baked Scallops (easy but extra special dish)
- Smoked Salmon dip (in 2 minutes)
- Ceviche is a delicious and simple starter
4) I will also add, what they don’t know won’t hurt them. I have shared why kids are biologically drawn to sweet stuff here. The more you allow them to have ‘sweet stuff’, the more they will seek it out (to derive the same level of satisfaction). So when they are little, delay for as long as possible giving them Easter Eggs. My daughter was 4 years old when we first celebrated a chocolate inclusive Easter. When she was given Easter eggs at shopping centres or at daycare, she would carry it around because it looked pretty, but it never occurred to her to pull off the wrapper and eat what was inside. Of course, once she did realise what was inside, there was no going back. My son had a much earlier introduction given he could see the pleasure his sister derived from the contents of the colourful foil.
5) There comes a time when they will live and learn. One Easter we were away with friends and the morning Easter egg hunt was less controlled than when I’m in charge. So my daughter had her first free-for-all hunt and pre-breakfast scoff. Come lunch time she was driving the white bus and could barely look at her remaining bounty.
6) Get creative. There are also lots of great ‘minimal food’ Easter hunt ideas online (search Easter Hunt on Pinterest or check out my pin board here). I like the plastic eggs that you can fill with both food and non-food trinkets. I also love the idea of having a scavenger hunt (like a treasure hunt), to draw out the excitement. Another great idea is growing little herb seedlings set in eggs (also on my Pinterest Easter Board, here).
Last year my daughter created a hunt (for her little brother) using a scanning app (Qrafter) on the phone – she printed up clues on paper with the scan code which he scanned to receive the next clue. At each stop, there was a small gift, book or chocolate egg. It was so much better than a regular hunt, less chocolate overall and it lasted longer (he loved that the easter bunny left him a message at each stop).
Well, that’s my thoughts on Easter. Love to hear your ideas and input – you can share by posting a comment below.