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Enjoying Easter Treats

A friend of mine has a young daughter who gains weight relatively easily, she described Easter as a “cruel” time for children like her daughter. I get what she means – of all the holidays, Easter is the one that can really throw a healthy eating pattern off track. Ask any child the first thing they think about Easter and odds are it will be chocolate. So how can you navigate your way through the Easter egg minefield and still enjoy Easter treats?

  1. Keep it to one day. Easter treats are available for months before Easter. Be strong, don’t start snacking on chocolate eggs until it is actually Easter. Then enjoy them as a special Easter treat.
  2. There’s more than one way to enjoy Easter eggs. Mix it up a bit, have some chocolate eggs in an Easter egg hunt but also use some of the fillable plastics eggs. They are bright and enticing and can be filled with all sorts of fun non-food treats like stickers, rubbers, hair ties, matchbox cars etc. Just as much fun (or possibly more) and not totally food focused!
  3. Over time, Easter eggs have got way bigger. When shopping for Easter eggs, it is incredible to see just how huge some eggs are – many are over 1kg of chocolate. You are not doing the recipients any favours by buying the largest one you can find. Choose quality over quantity, and for children, many Easter boxes contain a toy, with a modest amount of chocolate. The toy often ends up being the highlight not the chocolate. Or buy a toy and a small Easter egg.
  4. Remember it is what you eat every day that counts. Don’t get het up about one day. It is the food you eat day in and day out that leads to health. As long as you mostly stick to a healthy eating plan and get plenty of exercise, enjoying treats at Easter won’t do you or your family any harm.
  5. Get crafty and shift the emphasis from chocolate. Help the kids make dyed Easter eggs to use as gifts or decorations. It is way easier than you may think, all you need is hot water, vinegar and food colouring as well as eggs of course. There are some great “how to” videos on-line. Or try making the painted eggs from the article on this website.

Happy Easter!

Our thanks to Sarah Hanrahan, Dietitian, New Zealand Nutrition Foundation for writing this article www.nutritionfoundation.org.nz

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