As Easter is just around the corner it is a fantastic time of year to get together with family and friends. As with all celebrations, the best way to enjoy family time is to plan a meal together or, if the weather is nice, pack a picnic! Easter is a time of celebration and is often marked by giving and receiving gifts, including ‘Easter Eggs’ and other chocolate treats. It can be an exciting time for children as many Easter Eggs are marketed using familiar characters and include treats inside the eggs. We want children to enjoy these treats but how can we encourage moderation? Easter Eggs are high in energy, saturated fat and free sugar and the EatWell Guide advises us to eat these foods less often and in small amounts.
We’d like to share our top tips for making smart choices over Easter:
- Try to stick to a mealtime routine of 3 main meals and 2 – 3 healthy snacks in-between. It might help to keep your chocolate until after main meals as it may help to reduce the amount you eat.
- If children receive a number of Easter Eggs encourage them to put some away for another time
- Think about portion sizes. As a guide for adults, a portion of chocolate is roughly the same size as your index finger. For toddlers, a portion is roughly 2 – 4 squares of chocolate or 6-8 small chocolate buttons. Less than you might think!
- Keep Easter Eggs out of sight to avoid temptation. It might help to take out as much as you would like to eat. Grazing all day means it is difficult to keep track of how much you are eating. Take time to enjoy the Eater Eggs when you have it
- Drink plenty of water through the day
Alternative Easter Treats:
We tried out some snack ideas with nursery children and they went down a treat! They also loved getting involved, learning about foods and being creative.
Babybel cheese with carrot and celery fingers. Let the kids be creative with the decoration
Egg shaped pitta with natural yoghurt and any variety or fruit. Let the kids choose their favourites
Hard boiled eggs, use carrots or dried fruit as decorations
Hot Cross Buns:
If having hot cross buns aim for wholemeal and smaller varieties. We made these wholemeal varieties and replaced sugar with grated carrot, orange juice and mixed dried fruit
We used some natural yoghurt with a range of different fruits including Banana and mixed berries which we mixed together and placed in the freezer to create these alternatives to ice cream.
Other ways to celebrate Easter:
As the longer evenings set in and the temperatures rise it is a great opportunity to get outdoors and be active.
- Plan an Egg Hunt in the garden or playground. Swap some of the chocolate eggs for painted hard boiled eggs, rabbit stickers or toys
- Go for walks or scoot/ cycle to the park. You can play i-spy along the way
- Try out a Change4Life 10 minute shake up such as Judy’s Hop-a-thonHappy Easter!