by Associate Clinician Christa Haines

candy

Spring is near! This year, Easter is March 27th – another high-sugar holiday whose negative affects last beyond the actual day itself. An Easter basket is often filled with 90% candy. Then there are the Easter eggs, which are also mostly candy. This year, why not try some ways to cut back on the sweets and still make it fun? There are plenty of affordable ways to do this!

For small children, an Easter basket can include a small stuffed animal, books, a coloring book, crayons, a ball, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, a movie, a juice bottle, a box or bag of a healthy snack, and/or dollar store trinkets. An older child’s basket might include a special healthy snack, protein bars, beauty products (including organic lotions, lip balm, hair products, or makeup), stationary, movies, and books. A teenager or an adult would also enjoy organic beauty products, healthy snacks, books, protein bars, tea, honey, organic coffee, a nice mug, stationary, pens, and other small, inexpensive goodies. Easter Eggs may include stickers, Legos, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, and coins. Try adding chocolate to just a few eggs. Our Vitamin Nordic Berries are also great to put in eggs!

Here are some ideas to add a little sweetness to the basket: honey mints (found at Trader Joe’s and other health food stores), a bar of Endangered Species chocolate, and homemade lollypops (just melt Sunspire chocolate chips with some butter or coconut oil and pour into a mold, which can be purchased at a craft store). Homemade peanut butter eggs (recipe below) are fun to make together, or you can surprise them. Don’t forget to add colorful fruit too!

Don’t forget about real, hard-boiled eggs! Many people prefer these over the plastic, candy-filled eggs, as they are the perfect, protein-packed, to-go snack that is delicious to boot! Stay tuned for next week’s blog all about dying Easter eggs naturally!

If your family has an Easter Bunny, below is a sample letter to leave out for him. This helps the children understand why there is a change, and helps them not get upset.

Dear Mr. Easter Bunny,
We greatly appreciate you coming to our house while we sleep and hiding such lovely treats for us.  It is so much fun to search for the plastic eggs you hide every year and open them to find a surprise.  We wanted to let you know that we are eating much healthier now, and don’t like to eat very much sugar.  This year, could you please leave us something other than just candy in the plastic eggs and Easter basket?

With sincere thanks,
The Healthy Family

Peanut Butter Eggs
½ cup organic peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup organic dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, and sea salt. Mix very well, until a uniform batter is formed. Use a spoon to scoop the batter into 6 balls, and use your hands to form into egg-like shapes. Arrange the 6 eggs on a plate lined with parchment paper, and place in the freezer to set. While they are setting in the freezer, melt the dark chocolate chips and stir in the coconut oil. Remove the peanut butter middles from the freezer, and dunk each into the chocolate mixture, until completely covered. Return the chocolate covered pieces to the parchment paper. Store in the refrigerator.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
½ cup dark chocolate pieces or chips
½ cup almond butter

Melt half the chocolate in a bowl over hot water. Once smooth and melted, divide the chocolate into mini muffin pans, filling each cup at most a quarter of the way full. Place a dollop of almond butter into each cup, on top of the chocolate. Melt the rest of the chocolate and pour it over the almond butter, so that the almond butter is completely covered. Place the pans in the refrigerator or freezer until hardened. Store in a cool place.

Happy Spring and Happy Easter from the Well of Life Center!