Pickle Planet Moncton thanks mom-of-two and Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant & Movin’ Munchkins founder Katie Gillingham for sharing fun, healthy ideas for feeding your family. (Originally published in 2016.)
These days, any major holiday can easily turn into a sugary overload and result in cranky kids and depleted immune systems. I’m not against the occasional treat, but the problem is, it’s not just Easter, it’s weekly birthday parties, Valentine’s, Christmas, end-of-year parties, start-of-summer parties, won-the-medal parties, hockey’s over parties, and the list goes on.
When treats become a too-regular occurrence they become a food group, which is exactly what has happened in Canada: Stats Canada reports that kids are getting more than 25% of their daily calories from sugar! This is in large part why almost a third of our kids are overweight or obese and our type II diabetes rate is climbing steadily, in adults and young children.
If your children are like mine, they have reliable ‘sugar dealers’ outside the home: coaches, teachers, friends’ parents, and grandparents, not to mention the Easter Bunny. You might feel like it’s out of your control, but there are loads of creative ways you can cut down on the amount of candy and chocolate your kids consume. Here are just a few ideas I’ve collected over the years, a couple of which we have done in our home:
The Easter Bunny can leave a basket for each child with a love note or card, a couple of small chocolates, and a small non-food gift. A little stuffed animal, book, movie gift certificate, easter craft kit or CD will immediately distract from the fact that the basket isn’t overflowing with junk.
The Easter Bunny can hide plastic eggs filled with blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. He might even scatter a few chocolate eggs amongst the berry-filled eggs. At the end of the trail, the Bunny leaves one small chocolate bunny in the easter basket, maybe with other gifts if that’s tradition in your house. Then your family can make pancakes or waffles with all the found berries … a fun & healthy idea for Easter morning!
Sometimes the Easter Bunny leaves secret clues in eggs, instead of treats, so the fun becomes a bit of a scavenger or treasure hunt, with a basket or small, wrapped gift at the end. Kids absolutely love solving the puzzle!
If your kids are money-lovers like my son, the Easter Bunny might hide eggs with dimes or quarters in them, and a note in the morning advising that the money collected in the egg hunt can be used to purchase items at the Easter Store once all the loot has been found. The Store can sell small dollar store items or even a couple of larger gifts like a much-desired book, action figure, or CD.
What’s the Easter tradition in your house? I’d love to hear other ways you’ve included healthy habits in your celebrations. Happy Healthy Easter!
I’m Katie, a C.N.N.P., C.H.N (Certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant), and I’m a mom too! To one active (but lovely!) little boy and one adorable (yet demanding!) baby girl, so I can relate to the busy life with a family. My real passion is helping people and families make permanent, healthy changes in realistic & enjoyable ways!
Katie was the founder of New Brunswick-based Movin’ Munchkins and part of Simple-Balance NB.