When we think about the season for excess and over indulgence, it’s usually Christmas that springs to mind. Remember finishing off the third selection box before the first day of advent? But actually, Easter can be even worse.
The four-day bank holiday weekend COULD be a fantastic excuse to get outdoors and enjoy the spring weather. Or, it could be a good chance to finish off the decorating and get the house ship-shape before summer. Or, it could turn into a lengthy gorge fest, with the supermarkets touting their chocolately offers on the end of every aisle.
It’s been estimated that a typical child under twelve will receive one medium sized egg, plus six or seven smaller, “treat sized” eggs on top of that. Sounds like a lot, but picture an Easter egg hunt – the baskets are always brimming with foil-covered goodies, to be followed by groaning, chocolate-covered little bunnies protesting that they don’t have room for their Sunday lunch.
The brands are definitely to blame here. Pick your favourite chocolate treat, and it’s probably available in egg form. Take a trip to Hotel Chocolat and you’ll find a full sized ostrich egg containing a box of chocolates inside, racking up an entire kilogram of the sweet stuff. You’ll pay £75 for that privilege, by the way.
A standard 150g egg will contain about 750 calories, which is half of a child’s daily recommended allowance. More staggering though is that the estimated average haul will see our little ones consuming almost 800 teaspoons of sugar. They’ll be bouncing off the walls!
Of course, we’re not saying that treats should be banned completely. But instead, consider other ways to incorporate Easter fun into the long weekend, without relying exclusively on chocolate.
How about hard boiling eggs and decorating them with felt, glitter and paint, then staging an Easter egg hunt in the garden? Half the fun is in the searching, after all.
Or, dig out some cereal boxes and get crafty, making Easter bonnets, bunny masks, cards and prints.
You could get creative in the kitchen – remember those little nest cakes made from Shredded Wheat and melted chocolate? Little helpers will love getting stuck in, and they’ll probably consume far less chocolate if it’s coating something that’s vaguely healthy. Or you could embrace all things spring and make mini carrot cakes, a lemon drizzle traybake, or mint creams.
An Easter wreath is another crafting activity that’s a bit unusual, but relatively mess-free and easy to make. Visit your local craft shop and pick up a circular polystyrene mould or wire frame, plus a length of “fluff” or a feather boa. Wrap around the frame and stick on some pink and white bunny ears that you can easily cobble together from foam sheets. Et voila!
So, before you pick up those extra eggs on your weekly shop, remember that moderation can go a long way…and chocolate really isn’t the be all and end all at Easter.