The Easter Bunny is on his way, and with him come many not-so-healthy treats. With so much holiday chocolate and candy available, it can be hard not to indulge. For a balance of festivity and health, try these tips for a practical approach to Easter foods. With them, you can make healthy choices and have a fun-filled day. Let’s hop to it!
Candy, chocolate, and sweet treats
Many families like to kick off Easter with gifts. This includes chocolate, candy, and other sugary goodies. A few simple changes can help you and your family enjoy the holiday without the sugar crash.
Don’t go overboard on the Easter basket
We get it, Easter baskets are adorable! The sight of the colorful faux grass brings back childhood memories of eating chocolate bunnies the size of actual rabbits. While many families traditionally fill Easter baskets to the brim with candy, taking a more conservative approach can give your kids a healthier start to the day.
Instead of only putting candy in your kids’ baskets, why not give them a festive toy or book? You can still add a few mini-sized pieces of their favorite candy, just not an entire bag.
Pick your favorites and forget the rest
Easter candy isn’t only for kids. Adults will often snag at least a few candies from kids’ baskets or from the communal candy bowl. Instead of mindlessly eating candy all day, just pick a few of your favorites and sit down while you enjoy them.
Is there a certain type of candy that you can’t get enough of? Consider not having it around this year, or just buying a few individual pieces.
Skip the jumbo chocolate bunnies
While it may be amusing to watch your child attempt to eat a chocolate bunny that’s bigger than their head, there are probably healthier options.
Instead of large chocolate animals, stick to smaller pieces of individually wrapped candy. This will help you teach your kids how to portion out their sweets.
Make a plan for leftover treats
After Halloween, Easter is probably the second most candy-focused holiday. By the end of the day, your kids may be buried in enough candy to last them until next year.
One way to prevent the buildup of leftover treats is by not buying so many. If you do have leftovers, make a plan to let your kids have only a few pieces per day with their lunch or after dinner. In the worst-case scenario, simply throw out some of the leftovers.
Easter dinner and dessert
Now that we’ve covered ways to help you and your family cut down on treats this year, let’s talk about navigating Easter dinner, and dessert, without overdoing it.
Offer to bring a healthy dish
If you’re having Easter dinner at your home, it’s much easier to control the menu and ensure that there are healthy options to choose from. All bets are off, however, when you go to someone else’s house for a meal.
If you’re venturing out of the house this Easter, ask the host if they need you to bring anything. While their answer may vary depending on their hosting style, this can give you a chance to bring a healthy side dish like a salad or vegetable option.
Get your protein and veggies
Filling up on candy will likely leave you hungry and sluggish by the time dinner rolls around.
Foods that contain protein are very satisfying and can keep you feeling fuller, longer. Vegetables can also help fill you up because they contain fiber and take up more room in your stomach.
Get into the Easter spirit by having a balanced meal of protein-rich eggs and sautéed vegetables for breakfast. It’s also a good idea to make proteins and vegetables the focus of your Easter dinner plate.
Make simple food swaps
Which is the healthier choice: cheesy scalloped potatoes or a baked potato? If you chose the baked potato, you’re right!
People often bring plenty of extra dishes to holiday gatherings, so there is a good chance that you’ll see multiple takes on the same food. This gives you an opportunity to choose the healthier option.
Not sure what to pick? Go for plain green beans instead of green bean casserole, roasted turkey over ham, and whole grains instead of refined options. Dig in!
Have the desserts that are worth it
We’re not going to tell you to skip dessert altogether, but you can take a smart approach to the delicious options that are calling your name.
Before reaching for the cake or brownies, fill your plate with fruit first (if it’s available) and then pick just one of your favorite desserts to top it off. You may surprise yourself and find that enjoying a smaller amount of sweets is just as satisfying as loading up on them.
Instead of focusing only on the delicious treats that Easter has to offer, try to shift your attention to activities that don’t involve food.
Plan outdoor activities
Easter means warm, spring weather with hopefully plenty of sunshine. It’s the perfect day to take your family for an afternoon walk in between festivities, or to gather your guests outside for some friendly lawn games. Who knows, maybe you can actually beat Uncle Milton in horseshoes this year!
Start a new, non-food tradition
Do your neighbors or family members have an annual egg hunt? Instead of eggs filled with candy, suggest swapping out the treats for small toys. The kids will have just as much fun hunting for eggs as playing with the toys.
Try other non-food activities like playing board games, cards, or even a multiplayer, family-friendly video game. Since you’ll have a bigger group around, it can make the competition more exciting.
Once you find a non-food activity that you and your family like, you can make it a yearly tradition!
Focus on meaning and time with family
Remember that Easter is only one day. Spending all your time worrying about your food choices takes away from the meaning and enjoyment of gathering with family and friends.
Even though Easter is usually heavy on sweets, that doesn’t need to be the main focus. These tips will help you and your family navigate the treats and indulgent foods, so you can shift your focus to spending time with friends and loved ones.
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