Ask most children what they associate with Easter, and I’ll bet the answer will be Easter Eggs, and more specifically chocolate eggs! While there is nothing wrong with a treat every now and then, many children are receiving several Easter eggs, which add up to a significant amount of chocolate, and ultimately that means lots of extra calories from both fat and sugar.
The World Health Organisation’s guidelines on sugar intake for adults and children, recommend that no more than 10% of our energy intake should comes from ‘free sugars’, refers to simple sugars which are added to foods by either the manufacturer or the consumer. They are also that are naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices.
Become familiar with the different names used for sugar on labels. These are glucose, sucrose, maltose, corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, hydrolysed starch and fructose. And remember, the higher up the ingredients list any of these sugars are, then the more contained in the product.
While the majority of Easter eggs look fairly innocent, portion sizes are often large and there are often additional bars or bags of small filled eggs alongside the main hollow chocolate egg. While many of the outer packages remind us to be ‘treatwise’ and recommend that we eat only small serving sizes, but do we in fact heed this advice?
Top tips to be Sugar Smart this Easter:
- Limit the amount of chocolate & treats coming into the house
- Agree on and stick to how many Easter treats a child can have in a day
- Choose small hollow unfilled eggs
- Look for small Easter Egg packages that contain a game, mug, toy or gift set instead of additional bars/packets of chocolate eggs
- Be mindful of how many Easter eggs and treats your child is likely to receive. If you need to, kindly ask well-wishing grandparents, family and friends not to give Easter eggs or sweet treats – what about a small toy instead if they feel the need to give something
- Instead of Easter eggs, consider Easter themed novelties – rabbit ears, tiny decorative chicks, colourful bunting and lots more are available in local discount shops and don’t need to cost any more than an Easter egg
- Earn the treats – organise your own Easter treasure hunt. Remember the prizes don’t have to be edible!
There are lots of fun ways to be sugar smart this Easter – which will you choose?