It’s really not too surprising that all that candy our kids eat during the Easter Holiday period increases their sugar consumption to what most pediatricians recommend would be eaten over a month or two time period. Take for example of those large chocolate bunnies. They can contain 100 grams of sugar or more depending on the variety of ingredients that make up that chocolate. That’s 4 days’ worth of sugar all by itself!
Children under the age of 2 should consume no added sugar, and children ages 2 to 18 should consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, based on widely accepted guidelines from organizations like the American Heart Association.
Among popular Easter candies, a one-fourth cup serving of jelly beans has 27 grams of sugar. Four miniature size candy bars have as much as 18 grams of sugar, while a single peanut butter egg contains eight grams of sugar, according to labeling on popular candy brands.
The key to keeping the amount of sugar and the calories in check is to remember that Easter is only a day or at the most a holiday weekend. It is not an everyday occurrence, where your kids are left unchecked and able to indulge their “sweet tooth” as much as they want.
After all, we want our kids to enjoy their favorite treats for the holiday, but they don’t need to overindulge. Overindulging in sugar-laden treats can cause cavities in children in the short term and increase their risks for ailments like heart disease and type 2 diabetes later in life.
On the other hand, restricting sweet treats from children or treating them as forbidden, can set kids up for failure too.
Research has shown that if we over-restrict what our children have access to, they tend to overeat those types of food when their parents are not around. We, as adults, should really be focused on managing their kids' good health now and establishing good habits.
Remember, your kids are watching! Parents can be the best role models for their children when it comes to learning how to enjoy treats without overindulging or feeling guilty.
Researchers agree that "Modeling" plays a huge role in child development. If they see mom or dad sneaking off to eat chocolate, they may see that and think, 'I have to do that too.'
One thing that you can do to get some benefits out of that sugar everyone has enjoyed is to get everyone active. Get out and go for a walk or a bicycle ride as a family or play a game of soccer or tennis. Even an old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt around the yard can get the kids and everyone moving around. Try a spin on it and put a time limit for the adults for their searching and make sure you make their egg placements harder to find and for everyone, using plastic eggs put in physical challenges that need to be accomplished so that the person who finds the eggs has to perform some small exercise like 10 jumping jacks, or run to the end of the yard and back again against a watch. This just might be the highlight of the afternoon.
Focusing on an activity will both help burn off calories and serve as a distraction from focusing on eating alone, according to Shu.
Remember, arrange activities that kids can do for fun and not just all about eating that candy, as an activity.
Now, getting a basketful of candy is the norm for the Easter Holiday, but who’s to say that you can’t include a little gadget that will spark their interest into being more active. Why not get them a pedometer to add to their baskets? After all, by giving them a device that will track just how far they’ve gone, stepwise. The overall distance they went and even the number of calories they burned up doing it, even if it was candy calories, they worked on burning up.
One good, reliable, accurate pedometer is the PE-105 Tri-Axis Multi-Function Pocket Pedometer They can carry it in their pocket, their handbag or clip it on to their waistbands. It features a sturdy metal belt clip and measures steps, distance, calories. Now, the way you present this to them can really get them excited about them wanting to beat their brothers and sisters and cousins.... even their parents!
So there you have it, we hope you and your families have a great and Happy Easter, with a little less of that sugar intake taking place!
Happy Easter from the bunnies here at PedometersUSA.com as we go hopping down that bunny trail.