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8 alternative Easter treats:

A chocolate Easter treat is a good for children, but don't overdo it.
By Motherpedia
Date: March 30 2015
Tags: easter,
Editor Rating:

Waking to a chocolate egg or two on Easter Sunday is a pleasure most children look forward to, but parents are advised to be moderate and not shower kids with a mountain of chocolate they will be eating for weeks to come.

Dr Helen Vidgen, Senior Research Fellow from QUT's School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences says some parents and grandparents go overboard with the sweet Easter treats.

"The National Nutrition Survey revealed that Australian kids on average get almost 40% of their daily energy intake from junk food or food that falls outside the core food groups.

"Given this statistic and the fact that one in four children are above the healthy weight range, it's a good idea for families to give some thought into the kind of experience they create for their children at Easter time.

"I am not saying don't give kids treats at Easter or to swap carrot sticks for chocolate eggs but it is possible to give children a magical Easter experience without giving them a mountain of Easter eggs.

"It's about thinking a little differently and surprising them in ways they perhaps won't expect, which will make the chocolate treat they do receive that extra bit special.

"For most kids the appeal of a treat gets lost when they are presented with lots of it. A treat is meant to be occasional; not every day and unfortunately Easter eggs start appearing in the shops straight after Christmas."

Dr Vidgen has the following top tips for a healthier Easter.

1.  Tweak the Easter egg hunt

instead of trailing only chocolate eggs mix it up with trinkets such as fruity flavoured lip gloss, Bobble Art collections, scented pens or pencils, sparkly hair ties, matchbox cars, stickers or bouncy balls. Or for older kids do a hunt with clues that lead to a larger surprise. 

2.  Quality over quantity

Individually select handmade chocolates with special meaning for your child like animal shapes, their favourite ingredient or flavour combination. Encourage your child to take their time and savour the flavour and the artistry of chocolate. 

 3. DIY chocolate egg kit

Give kids a DIY chocolate egg making kit or plastic mould available from craft shops and help them make their own Easter eggs. It's a fun way to spend time with kids in the kitchen.

4.  Non-food gifts

Toys like plaster dinosaur eggs are fun for kids and being eggs are still loosely related to Easter. Other ideas include bunny slippers, bunny ears and egg cups.

5.  Chocolate covered fruit

Get kids to help make a platter of fruit such as strawberries or banana pieces dipped in a variety of milk, dark and white chocolate. 

6.  Dye and decorate boiled eggs

In many cultures, chocolate eggs are not given! Instead they use boiled eggs that are dyed in bright colours and then painted or decorated. This is a fun, crafty activity for kids and makes a nice centrepiece for the dining table. 

7.  Donate to charity 

If you find your children have been given an excess of chocolate eggs consider donating some to a charity for families who can't afford such treats. 

8.  Fill your own plastic eggs 

Colourful plastic eggs are available from craft shops that can be filled with either healthier treats or even loose change for money boxes. 

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