Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Myth: I have to give candy to my child for Easter - it's the only option.

Answer: BUSTED!

According to the National Confectioners Association, Easter is second only to Halloween for buying candy. And the calories in that candy sure adds up – 1 chocolate egg is 170 calories, 20 regular-sized jelly beans are 160 calories and 20 smaller-sized jelly beans are 80 calories. If you go to the Easter Calorie Calculator at you will see how many calories your Easter treats total up to and how many steps or miles you need to walk to burn it off. For example, you will need to walk 10½ miles to burn off one large chocolate bunny.

girl on Easter egg hunt
What about giving your child some treats that are fun and enjoyable but also healthy? Fruits and vegetables can become fun and festive Easter treats. Clementines are small oranges that are seedless, easy to peel and sweet to eat – what child wouldn’t love that treat? Giving out Easter eggs? Fill them with veggies like baby carrots and grape tomatoes or with healthy treats like dried fruit, nuts, pretzels or animal crackers.

Looking for fun non-candy treats this Easter? Dollar stores are a great source for little toys and trinkets to fill up a basket or to put in eggs. Consider stickers, bracelets, crayons, pencil sharpeners and hair bows to take the place of candy. Find some fun, colorful shoelaces. And don’t forget bubbles (they come in colors!) or colorful sidewalk chalk.

For more tips about healthy eating and healthy holiday traditions, go to

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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