We understand that Easter can be a difficult time for children to practice sugar intake in moderation.
After all, the Easter Bunny – the ambassador of all things related to sugary treats, is held in high esteem by any awestruck child whose excitement levels would have no doubt been aroused after weeks of anticipation and excitement.
Easter often results in the tendency for you, your child (and the rest of the family) to overindulge on chocolates and other Easter treats.
It may seem a daunting if not downright impossible task to keep Easter healthy, but it’s really quite a breeze if you put a little bit of forethought and planning into the mix. The holiday is about family fun and quality time so use this opportunity to bond with your children in a constructive manner.
Being healthy doesn’t mean that you have to cut out sugar altogether – that wouldn’t make Easter any fun at all! Instead, we advocate the moderate and sensible consumption of sugar during this time and here are some easy tips to follow when it comes to keeping Easter fun and healthy:
1. Eating Healthy
It may seem like a really great idea at the time, especially when there are super store specials showing you how much you’re saving, but the reality is that bulk buying often results in overeating because the items are on hand and readily available. It’s especially important to practice portion control during holiday periods so make sure that you only purchase what is absolutely necessary. It also helps to make sure that the treat portions are supervised by an adult to prevent children eating more than they should.
Chocolate covered fruit, and vegetable bunnies
It’s a great idea to combine chocolate with healthy options like fruit. Chocolate covered strawberries, nuts and raisins are a good way to make chocolate treats a little more nutritious. Otherwise, create a fruit platter in the shape of a bunny. Rice cakes and crackers can also be used to create bunny faces by using cottage cheese as a base and then adding a variety of different veggies like cucumber sticks and baby tomatoes.
The Easter Bunny loves carrots! So make them more presentable to children by tying some ribbons to the carrots. The possibilities are endless, but the point is to provide healthy options along with the sugary treats. It stands to reason that if children are only offered chocolate and sweets – then that is all they will eat.
2. Easter Activities
Easter is about making great family memories through shared activities and traditions. Shift the focus off the consumption of treats and channel the attention onto festivities with some of these ideas that will create excitement and build-up some hype about the holiday:
There is so much merit in getting together and painting eggs for Easter. Try using fruit-based dye on hard-boiled eggs or alternatively remove the yolk and white beforehand (but take care when painting the eggs as they will be a bit fragile). Hard-boiled eggs will need to be put in the fridge after painting and can last for up to one week.
Go all out and get some exotic decorative ideas and items from your local scrapbooking or art shop and try-out techniques like rolling your eggs in glitter, or attaching novelties like feathers. An art pen will allow you to write names, messages or draw faces on the eggs. Once completed, the eggs can be used in your annual Easter Egg Hunt or egg swapping with friends and family.
Easter arts & crafts
Another old tradition that is making a comeback is the Easter Bonnet. Challenge your children to put on their thinking caps and make an amazing Easter Bonnet that they can model on the day. There are plenty of Easter Bonnet ideas and materials that can be used to make their creation truly unique. Arts and crafts are a great way to celebrate any holiday and there are a number of other fun-filled activities that you can undertake like creating Easter centre pieces, gardens or door-stops.
The Easter Egg Hunt
This one has so much potential to get your children active in an engaging manner. The Easter Egg Hunt can be styled to promote fitness by providing clues with specialised tasks like:
Do 10 star-jumps to get your next clue or rub your tummy and touch your nose for five minutes before proceeding to the next level.
Likewise, give your children a list of items that they need to find (like a scavenger hunt) in order to get their Easter Hamper or to find the Golden Egg.
In other words: find six painted eggs (2 blue, 2 green and 2 red), a toy bunny, one spotted balloon and three types of vegetables hidden in the garden.
The Easter Hamper
Present your child with their own Easter Hamper. Ideally this should comprise of a variety of options, including their sugary treats. Some other ideas for the hamper are: a small toy like a painting set, plastic eggs that open up with puzzle pieces or trail mix and gift cards. This gives parents the perfect opportunity to pre-portion out the treats in a desirable manner. The novel presentation and variety of fun and games will create a constructive distraction from the usual fixation on sweets and chocolates.
Easter should be about the experience and creating memories with the family. So make the effort to move the focus onto festive activities. Not only will this prove the healthier option but will also make the holiday a fun-filled family event.