Question for you: What’s the top food you think of when you think “Easter?” For me, it’s CANDY! And it carries with it the overall pig-out concept of breaking the fast for those who have given things up for Lent. Though there are different schools of thought about indulging vs. walking the straight and narrow with diet, even during special occasions, I err on the side of enjoying the special holiday foods instead of trying to swim against the current. Experiencing foods, both indulgent and healthy, is really important to me. Plus, I feel that if I deprive my daughter of delicious treats, she’ll rebel the first chance she gets!
So, with my laid-back take on holiday eating, here’s my philosophy: Try to offset the junk with a little bit of good food and enjoy the junk in moderation. Since almost every Easter egg seems to have sugar-coated something inside of it, I try to follow the guidance of MyPlate and fill up half of my daughter’s plate with a combination of fruits and veggies. I also make a conscious effort to include some fiber (whole grains, fruits, veggies) and protein (eggs, meat, cheese, beans) with our Easter meals to help slow digestion and keep her blood sugar a bit more stable. Though there may be some lingering candy in the days after Easter, spend the next few days after Easter getting your family back on track by planning out dinners and snacks for the following Monday and Tuesday so you’re prepared to steady the ship despite holiday hangover.
Quick message about food safety: Though you don’t have to keep a timer and food thermometer with you at all times, it helps to be mindful of food safety. I’ve found a lot of my family members have no clue, leave foods out all day until things get crustified and then divvy the leftovers out to be sent home. For more information, Fight Bac is a user friendly website on food safety.
SOME TASTY FOOD OPTIONS FOR EASTER BRUNCH:
Eggs: You dyed 20 of them. All of your Easter candy is shaped like them. You may have some decorations resembling the likeness of eggs (before your kids get their mitts on them and fling them across the room, of course!). Go with it. Hard-boiled eggs are simple and quiche is a great way to get some delicious protein into your sugar-stuffed kiddos.
- Shape shifters: I bought these funky little hard-boiled egg molds shaped like bears and bunnies online and can’t wait to try them.
Whole Grain Baked Goods & More: Get some whole grains into your kids, which offer fiber that will help keep them fuller longer. Baking some brunch options ahead time can also help you simplify the morning rush as you scramble to prepare the meal amid the holiday chaos. Some scrumptious-looking options:
Fruits + Veggies = ½: Try to fill up your kids’ plates halfway with a combination of fruits and veggies. Here are a few ideas:
Other Lean Protein: Beans, nuts and seeds are also sources of protein, which can help your wild things feel fuller longer and can help prevent low-blood sugar-related meltdowns.
Non-Foods: While I think it’s fine to give kids candy in their baskets and during special Easter parties, I try to put the emphasis in my daughter’s Easter basket on non-food items. I’ll give her a small amount of candy in her basket, but the focus is on fun things like stickers, books, little hair do-dads and other fun little knick knacks. Treats can certainly hold a special place in the Easter wonder of kids, but it shouldn’t all be about food – other traditions and celebrations are also a huge part! For those of you who celebrate, enjoy the holiday!