Put Down the Easter Candy!

It’s almost Easter and whether you celebrate the holiday or are just excited about Springtime, the chocolate eggs and bunnies are hard to resist!  Even if you tell yourself the Cadbury Mini eggs are for the grandchildren, if we’re honest, there’s a strong chance you have already purchased more than one bag of candy that keeps disappearing. 

While a small treat is perfectly acceptable, it’s easy to lose track of just how much fat, sugar and calories are in our favorite Easter candy and baked goods.  For example, those little mini eggs with the divine candy shell are 150 calories for just 9 pieces with a whopping 22 grams of sugar and 25 mg of sodium.  And those cute (3.5 oz) Lindt milk chocolate gold bunnies?  Careful to read the serving sizes; 1/4 of a bunny (25g) is 110 calories with 12 grams of sugar and 13 grams of carbohydrate.  If you eat the whole thing, which isn’t hard to do, the sugar totals 48 grams.  The American Heart Association recommends that men not exceed 37.5 grams of added sugar each day and women take in no more an 25 grams of added sugar.  Jelly beans aren’t much better if that’s where you’re going; 35 jelly beans have 28g of added sugar and 37g total carbohydrate. 

So you might be thinking, “I’ll skip the candy and just enjoy a Hot Cross Bun”.   But beware, according to MyFitnessPal, a traditional Hot Cross Bun with butter has 30g of carbs and 13g of fat and would take 32 minutes of cycling or 21 minutes of running to burn off.  So what’s a person to do? 

It may be too late for some of you, but try to avoid buying treats until right before the family arrives.  Opt for dark chocolate for yourself that has lower sugar levels and healthy antioxidants if you are going to indulge.  Ask friends and family not to bring you chocolate or treats over the holiday and as soon as the grandkids leave, get rid of leftovers or send them home with the children.  

You can also balance out treats like baked goods or candy with healthy foods for Easter dinner including lots of fresh vegetables, grilled fish, omelets or roasted chicken.  And by planning outdoor activities like a family hike, bike ride or sport, you can enjoy spending time together while burning off some of those extra calories. 

Enjoy the weekend, hope for good weather and focus on family instead of fondant-filled eggs.