Avoid getting caught in the see-food trap this Easter and remember to indulge mindfully.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays simply because it involves chocolate. I may or may not have a mild obsession with it. Ok, I absolutely, without a question do. If I go a day without chocolate, I've either been kidnapped and denied all foods, or there's been a recall on all chocolate in the city. These scenarios will likely never happen, so let's assume that I enjoy it every day, in a moderate but satisfying amount.
Regardless if you're a chocoholic like me, you're likely going to have access to an unusual amount of chocolate this weekend and will be faced with temptations that you otherwise wouldn't have. Your kids will also likely have access to MUCH more sugar than usual. Although you want to let them enjoy it without TOO much restriction, you also want to limit the amount of chocolate (or other treats) that they have so that they don't miss out on other nutritious foods. Oh, and aren't on a sugar perma-high all weekend.
Don't pre-buy: Don't plan on purchasing chocolate Easter eggs or treats until the day before the big "hunt." If they are lingering around (even in the pantry), you're bound to taste-test them more than a few times.
Do eat a healthy breakfast: Eat a balanced breakfast with your kids before the hunt starts, or RIGHT after it's done. You and your kids will, without a doubt, mindlessly devour copious amounts of chocolate if you are starved.
Portion treats out: When each of you have enjoyed a few treats (and by that I mean 3-5 small chocolate eggs or the equivalent—enough to feel satisfied), divide the rest into 2-3 egg "mini treat bags" and stick them in the freezer or in a cupboard that is difficult to get to.
The point is not to "hide" the treats, but rather to get them out of eyesite so that you're not constantly thinking about them and mindlessly snacking on them (like I did so innocently at Christmas time). Portioning treats (or any food for that matter) out will naturally encourage you to be more mindful when you eat them. Only seeing 2-3 Easter eggs forces you to rethink whether or not you need more after you've finished. If there are 30 Easter eggs in front of you, you will most certainly lose track and overeat.
Don't replace a meal or snack with Easter treats: You don't want to replace healthy nutrition with chocolate or candy. What will happen, is your blood sugar will spike and drop fairly rapidly and you'll be hungry again within minutes. This is when you'll dig into the Easter Basket again for another hit of sugar. You'll also be depriving your body of important nutrients. Instead, enjoy portioned out treats after you've eaten a balanced, healthy meal or snack.
The Take Home Message:
Instead of restricting or depriving yourself of yummy treats this weekend, choose to indulge in the ones that you absolutely love (in my case, chocolate) in moderate and satisfying amounts. Portion them out and enjoy them once or twice a day after a healthy meal or snack.
Photo credit: Matthew Wyatt