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Easter Chocolate: Managing your kids sugar rush!

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Easter chocolate is one of those special things we indulge in once a year, as part of celebrations when we get together and share traditional foods or treats. But it’s easy to overdo the sweet stuff! Here is some advice to enjoy Easter (without overdoing it) from Karina Savage.

This Good Friday, I’m blessed to be sharing it with my mum. She will help to continue a family tradition of making my Nonna’s traditional Pinza (a northern Italian Easter sweet bread). I have such fond memories of making this with my Nonna and can’t wait to spend Friday re-creating the magic with my kids and my mum, who is of course their Nonna!

My children are super excited already about Easter Sunday and eagerly awaiting the annual Easter Hunt which will occur bright an early on Sunday morning! So I know for sure their consumption this weekend will far exceed their usual quota of milk chocolate caramel eggs! But I’m okay with that.

I’m okay with it because it’s not an every day situation. Kids do eat more chocolate and sweet foods than usual over Easter, but I don’t actually have a problem with it provided the Easter chocolate eating tapers off after the event.

If we look at the big picture, it’s the food that children are eating day in day out, week in, week out during the school term that makes much more of a difference.

Tips for managing the Easter chocolate “sugar rush”

1. Give kids a hearty breakfast

Give the family a satisfying breakfast, like porridge, grainy cereal, grainy bread, a smoothie or fruit. This will enable kids to start the day well-fueled and reduce “sugar cravings” too early in the day.

2. Include protein

Include protein with snacks to reduce the glycaemic load.  Adding in protein helps to slow down the sugar rush into blood streams. Foods like nut butter on toast or crackers, nut bars, yoghurt, cheese and crackers, veggies and hummus, boiled eggs, or dried legumes are all good choices here.

3. Include fibre

Include fibre with  snacks, which also helps to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Think grainy crackers, fresh fruit, nuts, grainy bread, yoghurt, hommus, pesto, homemade wholemeal muffins, cakes or my popular brownie.

4. Spread out the treats

Allow kids to have a certain amount of chocolate in a one sitting and then send them outside to run around (and pop the remaining chocolate away for later).

5. Keep Easter chocolate out of sight

To reduce the constant request for chocolate, it may be easier to keep the chocolates out of sight. Pop them in the pantry rather than having the continual temptation of them sitting around in a bowl all day, or in their bedroom. This will also keep the choc away from any loving puppy dogs who will get very sick if they eat chocolate!

6. Give presents that aren’t just chocolate

Think about other options for Easter gifts/treats to complement a bit of chocolate – think outside the chocolate square! Things like a set of new pjyamas, Easter craft kids, or bunny books are just as exciting as a mix chocolate gift bag.

7. Teach them to eat mindfully

Teach kids how to enjoy chocolate, by encouraging them to eat  slowly, savour every mouthful and pay attention to the taste and texture when they are eating. This will honestly help them to be content with a smaller amount and feel more satisfied.

8. Stay active!

Easter is also a great opportunity for family activity. This could include family walks, bike rides, games of soccer in the park, family basketball, beach cricket or even homemade obstacle courses in the backyard instead of another Easter milk chocolate gold bunny!

9. And finally, when it comes to the Easter chocolate sugar rush, don’t…

  • Skip breakfast – otherwise the request for chocolate will come too early!!
  • Keep left over chocolate on the counter within easy reach.
  • Let kids take their chocolate into their rooms
  • Go out on an empty stomach as you are all more likely to overindulge on junk
  • Over-restrict kids – this will eventually backfire on you
  • Feel guilty, you are all allowed to enjoy some chocolate milk chocolate eggs!

Whatever Easter ends up being for your family, I hope it’s a beautiful one!

More Easter Fun:

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