Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – alternative Easter treats

By Clare Nulty Nutrition News   |   13th Apr 2022

Student nutritionist Clare Nulty suggests some alternative ideas for an eggs-cellent Easter

There is no reason why Easter cannot be enjoyed with treats and chocolate, but it can be very easy to overdo it. A survey carried out in 2018 on behalf of the Irish Heart Foundation revealed that the average Irish child receives four Easter eggs each, equating to almost four times a child’s recommended sugar daily intake.

We all know that chocolate eggs are considered a favourite or at least preferred way to start Easter Sunday but why not have some traditional eggs instead boiled, poached, or scrambled for a nutritious and fulfilling breakfast. This will help everyone have a cracking start to the day and make every egg count.

Make Easter an egg-citing day

Easter can be a special time of year to spend with family and friends so why not plan some creative activities and get active at the same time? Be inspired by Easter-themed games such as an egg and spoon race, a bunny hop race or the traditional egg roll with hard-boiled eggs down a nearby hill, or perhaps some walks and cycles. Think outside the Easter egg box and plan some fun activities this is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones while also getting in some physical activity.

Say it without chocolate

Easter doesn’t have to be all about chocolate. However, with smart marketing and promotions at this time of year, it is hard to resist over-buying. Don’t be fooled by offers such as, ‘3 eggs for €3’.

The 2018 Irish Heart Foundation survey also found that 44 per cent of Easter eggs were bought by parents and more than 50 per cent by friends and extended family. Why not give a non-chocolate Easter gift instead such as a book, bunny slippers, clothes, a fluffy bunny teddy, colouring books, paints, or puzzles? All of which will be just as eggs citing as chocolate and will last longer.

The average Irish child receives four Easter eggs each, equating to almost four times a child’s recommended sugar daily intake.

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Be like the Easter bunny and eat eggs-tra greens

For many Easter is a day when we have a traditional roast dinner. The Easter Bunny loves to eat carrots and greens. This can be a great opportunity to include all those extra vegetables at dinner time. Talking about the Easter Bunny – why not mix up the traditional Easter Egg hunt and add in some carrots to find as well as chocolate eggs? It is all about the competitiveness and who finds the most after all. Alternatively, festive arts and crafts such as egg decorating are other ways to have fun.

Quality over quantity

Consider buying smaller Easter eggs for younger children this will still give them the satisfaction of eating chocolate, but with less sugar. For adults or those more interested in grown-up flavours, Easter eggs with a high cocoa percentage are a good alternative. High-quality dark chocolate considered above 70 per cent has been shown to contain heart-healthy nutrients such as polyphenols and flavonoids.

It has also been suggested that high-quality dark chocolate can be effective in fighting tooth decay as its natural chemicals can limit oral bacteria. However, it is important to note that all types of chocolate contain saturated fats and sugar therefore, small amounts are recommended for a balanced diet, keeping in mind that the nutrient components such as ‘polyphenols and flavonoids’ are also found in fruit and vegetables. Dark chocolate is richer in taste meaning a small portion can be just enough and equally as satisfying compared to milk chocolate.

However you celebrate it have an egg-cellent Easter and have fun.

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