- The Easter period is likely to interrupt some of our normal diet/routines – how can I ensure this holiday period is healthy but still fun?
There are so many healthy Easter options out there these days, which makes having a healthy Easter so much easier – you can find allergy-friendly, organic, refined sugar-free, and/or vegan Easter chocolates at most health food stores and organic grocers. But regardless of whether you choose a healthier option for Easter chocolate or you give regular Easter Eggs, you can limit the amount of sugar intake by following these tips:
- Buy a non-edible Easter gift for your child as well as a few Easter eggs. I love to give pajamas, Easter craft activities, slippers or dressing gowns, as well as a small selection of Easter eggs. We always buy enough chocolates to do an egg hunt with so it’s still fun and exciting for the kids.
- Ask family and friends to not go overboard with Easter eggs for the children. Over the years we have come to the decision to ask that only the grandparents buy a small Easter gift for our children, and decided between all of the aunts and uncles that we wouldn’t exchange Easter chocolates for nieces and nephews as everyone felt that all of their children were getting far too much chocolate. This way the kids still have all of the fun of Easter but without receiving a ridiculous amount of chocolate.
- Choose a healthy, high-protein breakfast to help promote stable blood sugar levels on the day of Easter. This will help prevent big sugar highs and lows. Eggs on toast, bacon, and eggs or smoothies with some natural protein powder added in are all great options.
- How bad is chocolate, really? Is it okay to let my child have it?
If my kids are having a treat of some kind, I always prefer it to be chocolate over lollies. My theory is that at least chocolate has some fat in it, which means it doesn’t spike blood sugar as much as a lolly would. It is still very high in sugar though, which is why it is great for sometimes but not something we need to be feeding our kids every day. Dark chocolate tends to be lower in sugar than milk chocolate if you can manage to get your child to eat dark chocolate. I do recommend avoiding giving any added sugars to children under one.
- I want to spend this holiday season introducing my child to cooking and preparing food. Where do I begin?
This really depends on their age. Even from around 2 years old you can have a toddler safe stool in the kitchen where they can stand and help you wash the fruit and vegetables. They can help with tasks like mixing batter and adding ingredients to a bowl. There are lots of kid-safe knives available now that they can use without the risk of cutting themselves. With these safe knives, they can help you to chop up vegetables and fruit. Getting children involved in making their lunches with you is a great opportunity for them to learn about healthy eating and gives them some input into what they are going to eat.
- My child just started school this year and seems to be getting sick more than usual. What kinds of foods or dishes should I implement into their diet when they are sick? How can I use food to help them overcome a cold quickly?
Avoiding inflammatory foods like refined sugars and processed foods is important. I would recommend including anti-inflammatory foods in their diet as much as possible like berries, ginger, turmeric, salmon, and leafy greens. While sick, your child’s appetite might be reduced so incorporating energy-dense foods like nut and seed butter, and homemade bliss balls (made using ingredients like coconut oil, Medjool dates, tahini, and sunflower seeds for example), will help to keep up their calorie intake while providing a large number of nutrients.
- How can I use food to prevent constant colds and coughs?
Some fantastic foods to give children to help boost their immune system are broths (chicken broth or beef broth are great!) and easy-to-digest foods like slow-cooked stews filled with vegetables, soups or slow-roasted vegetables and proteins. Smoothies with antioxidant-packed berries are a great way of adding extra nutrition to a child’s diet and yoghurt is great as it provides extra probiotics, which are beneficial to immune health. Avoiding highly refined and processed foods is important as these foods promote poor gut health and therefore poor immunity.