I’m sending Easter eggs without candy to my children’s school this year. Holidays can feel like a real hassle for a mom who just doesn’t believe that kids should be eating such excessive amounts of sugar. Sure, my kids get moderate amounts of sugar on special occasions, but my definition of moderate is likely a bit different than most. And special occasions only happen every now and then.
The World Health Organization recommends that no more than 5% of your daily caloric intake come from added sugars. Despite what many people believe this includes fruit juices, honey, maple syrup, date paste, and of course, the powdery white stuff. The American Heart Association has a similar recommendation, but specifies that young children shouldn’t be consuming more than 3 tsp of sugar on any given day. Older children and women should aim for no more than 6 tsp. If you compare this intake to the astronomical amount of candy dished out by the Easter bunny you’ll see that just 10 small jelly beans has 2 tsps of sugar. And how many jelly beans (and chocolate covered eggs, chocolate bunnies, cookies, cakes, and other candies) did you or your child eat on Easter last year? God forbid you ate a granola bar earlier that day, because you’re definitely in the red zone. Do you see what I mean about “moderation”? We’re not exactly a moderate society when it comes to sugar.
Our addiction condones especially high abuse of sugar during holidays. How many of you are parents and have said time and time again that sugar makes your child crazy? So, why don’t we do something about it? How would it feel to make the choice to celebrate our children and holidays in a way that doesn’t involve sugary substances? Why not send Easter eggs without sugar to holiday functions? As the mother of two I can testify that children are motivated by more than just candy. For instance, my son traded his Halloween candy for money last year. He got a nickel for every piece of candy that he traded. The kid made out like a happy little bandit, didn’t miss out on the celebration with friends, and the candy went right into the trash. We already talked about Easter candy and he’s going to trade his loot for a trip to the toy store to buy a kite. He’s been saving money for the past five months and this was his opportunity to spend it.
Easter Eggs Without Candy
My first recommendation is to engage in a worthwhile experience. Kids love to have fun with their families. The kite purchase was made prior to the loot exchange since we were cooped up in the house with the flu last week. I was afraid that we might kill each other (no joke, shit got real), so I thought it a good idea to get outside for a low key afternoon. And OMG, kites are so much fun! Who needs candy when you can fly a kite? I plan to find a windy field with a lawn chair if ever infected with influenza again.
Another recommendation is to give gifts that aren’t centered around sugar. Since we’re talking about Easter eggs without candy, try to think of some little trinkets such as stickers, temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, etc. that can be stuffed into an egg. I found little paint containers that I cut into individual parcels that fit nicely into the eggs for my four year old’s class. I went even simpler for my 21 month old daughter’s eggs and simply cut star stickers in to strips, rolled them and placed the stickers in tiny eggs. Both of these little gifts are great substitutes that will be well-received by both age groups.
I know I’m not alone in my frustrations over the holiday sugar indulgences. Let’s all put our heads together and comment below with your own solutions to the Easter candy conundrum. I’d love to hear some more ideas!