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 the sugar rush) from Karina Savage.
I love Easter! It’s that time of year when the temperature drops a little and you start thinking about grabbing that comfy blanket to snuggle up with. It’s a time of year when we can press pause for a few days to connect with loved ones. No matter what age your children are, it’s still a great excuse for the family to catch up.
I can’t wait for another Easter hunt, with excited squeals on Sunday morning. I know for sure that their consumption of chocolate, will far exceed their usual quota….but I’m OK with that. I’m OK with it, because it’s not an everyday situation. Kids do eat more chocolate and sweet foods than usual over Easter, but I don’t actually have a problem with it – because it’s for a finite period of time. 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.
I’m also OK with it because I know that there are plenty of things that I can do to help manage the “sugar rush” over the Easter period.
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-fuelled and reduce “sugar cravings” too early in the day.
2. Include protein
Include protein with snacks to reduce the glycemic 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, hummus, pesto, homemade wholemeal muffins, cakes or my popular brownie.
4. Spread out the treats
Allow kids to have a certain amount of chocolate in 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 pyjamas, Easter craft kids, or bunny books are just as exciting as a mixed 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 leftover 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 in junk.
- Over-restrict kids – this will eventually backfire on you.
- Feel guilty, you are all allowed to enjoy some chocolate milk chocolate eggs!
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!
Whatever Easter ends up being for your family, I hope it’s a beautiful one!