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via flickr
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With childhood obesity on the rise and cavities a constant parental concern, how can the Easter Bunny help families have a healthy and happy Easter holiday?

It is often a tradition to have an Easter basket filled with candy and goodies, as well as for children to search their homes and backyards for candy-filled plastic eggs. Children may even repeat this tradition at school, their grandparents’ houses or a relative’s home. As a result of this fun, children may have pounds of candy and snacks at the end of the Easter holiday, which quickly add large amounts of sugar and fat to their systems, and include hundreds—if not thousands—of calories!

People may think that all candy is created equal, but they are wrong. Depending on the type and size of the candy, calories can range from 65 to nearly 500 per serving.

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Tips and alternatives:

  • Consider using snack-size versions of Easter candy favorites instead of the regular size.
  • Substitute healthier alternatives, such as yogurt-covered raisins, pretzels or sugar-free gum.
  • Fill plastic eggs with small toys or pennies (for children ages five and older only).
  • Other non-food basket ideas include coloring books and crayons, Easter stickers, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, jump ropes and water toys.

Even though Easter only comes around once a year, health and nutrition habits are impacted by choices made each and every day.

—Tarie Beldin is a registered and licensed dietitian at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.

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