A Healthier Easter for Your Kids
Created by: By: Molly Hembree, RDN, LD - Dietitian
Make this Easter both entertaining and health conscious for you and your family by following some of these helpful tips.
- Get Creative: Find inspiration for meal and snacks in common Easter season imagery, like baby chicks, bunnies, lambs and flowers. For instance, plastic eggs can hold a small serving of trail mix. Dairy or nondairy yogurt with granola and vegetables stuck on top looks like produce in a garden. Bake veggie pizzas and cut into carrot-shaped slices, arranging toppings to have peeled carrots and orange bell pepper layered at the “root” and broccoli layered at the “stem.”
- Make Small Substitutions: Remember, it’s not necessary to overhaul diets in order to be healthful. You can swap out oil for applesauce in some baking recipes, white flour can often be replaced with whole wheat flour, and spices and herbs can be used to add flavor instead of other unhealthy ingredients. You can also try using lean meats or meat alternatives, seasoning them at home to control any added sodium or calories. Here’s one more delicious and healthy idea: try using pureed avocado in place of mayonnaise for deviled eggs.
- Focus on Family and Fun Rather Than Food: This holiday is a time to welcome spring and get together with those you love. Although enjoying delicious food is a positive experience, you should also reconnect with some of your favorite people and experience the outdoors as the weather gets warmer. Spring is traditionally a time of rebirth and awakening, so take advantage of that mentality and try a new activity for yourself, like a local Zumba or kickboxing class, a hobby like gardening or knitting, or just planning regular downtime with the kids each day. Even playing a board game, doing a puzzle or going for an evening walk can be a great way to relax and reconnect.
- Make it Hands-On: Get the whole family in the kitchen this spring! Children are more likely to appreciate and enjoy cooking when they take part in the process. Food preparation can be a way to redistribute all their energy and build good eating habits. Try having your child pick out a recipe to make, work together to find interesting ways to use unique ingredients, or team up as a family to make Easter brunch.
- Take Advantage of What’s in Season: Seek out some natural sweets! March through May yields a harvest of some favorite fruits, like honeydew melons, mangoes, oranges, strawberries and pineapples. Instead of candy, try serving these fresh fruits as a special treat along with a light whipped dairy or nondairy cream for dipping. Or, cut them up and mix them all together in a fruit salad.