Creating healthier Easter traditions

If you think Easter wouldn’t be the same without chocolate bunnies and hidden treats, we totally understand. There are ways, however, to create healthier Easter traditions without giving up your favorite treats.

Get active – Even if you don’t cut out a gram of sugar this Easter, make more activity part of the celebration. Hide eggs far and wide to encourage a more active Easter egg hunt, and go on a family walk to search for bunny tracks. Consider having kids earn big prizes, like the chocolate bunny, with fun games. For example, have kids run a distance with an egg on a spoon without dropping it. Let them try as many times as it takes to earn their prize. For older children, make it more challenging by having them hold the spoon in their mouth. It will create loads of laughter and great photo opportunities, as well as exercise.

Opt for dark chocolate – Research shows that dark chocolate is healthier than milk and white chocolate, so opt for dark chocolate candies whenever possible. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa, leaving less room for other ingredients like sugar and milk. This cocoa contains flavonoids and other antioxidants that are said to be good for the heart and brain.

Candy replacements – If you’re interested in cutting back on sugar, we applaud you. You can stuff eggs with non-edible treats such as stickers or small party favor-type toys like rings, yoyo’s and miniature slinky toys. These are available at most party stores and are just as thrilling for small children. Older children might enjoy finding money in their eggs.  Larger basket-sized gifts might include active toys like jump ropes, balls and water toys. You can also replace chocolate with healthier treats like nuts, granola or raisins.

Family meal fixes – If part of your tradition is a big family meal on Easter Sunday, there are ways to cut the fat and calories and still enjoy a delicious feast. Choose lean meats, available at most grocery stores, and substitute starch-filled dishes with fruits and vegetables. For example, instead of mashed potatoes try mashed cauliflower. Instead of green bean casserole, substitute steamed vegetables seasoned with fresh dill or rosemary.

Even if you only change on small part of your Easter celebration to make it a healthier day for everyone, that is a step in the right direction! For more information on living healthy any time of year, explore www.HealthyLee.com.

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