If you are deep in the throes of your healthy Spring diet and dreading the thought of Easter potentially ruining your momentum, why not consider some alternatives for a healthier Easter? With all the enticement of Easter chocolate and naughty bank holiday foods and drinks on the horizon, it can sometimes seem impossible to avoid temptation, but with a little imagination, it doesn’t have to be the overindulgent sugar-fest that is marketed to us. Do a little research and you’ll discover that there are many different options out there…
Supermarkets are catering more than ever to those on ‘free-from’ diets. For those seeking sugar-free alternatives, journey to a larger store and try to look past the shelves stocked with brightly coloured boxes for the main chocolate brands. Instead, cast your eye along the shelves a little further or lower and you may find some tasty sugar/dairy/gluten free alternatives that are just as agreeable. There will usually be options available in the ‘free-from’ aisle, or perhaps have a look online where you will find an even wider range again.
If you are willing to eat sugar but want to limit your intake, consider instead a good quality dark chocolate egg. Labelling law requires ingredients to be listed in order of weight, therefore most milk and white chocolate eggs will have ‘sugar’ listed first as their main ingredient, but if you choose a dark egg that’s at least 70% cocoa you should see ‘cocoa mass/solids’ top of the list. Another tip is to count the ingredients: ideally, you only want to see around 5 ingredients. The longer the list, the higher the chance of artificial flavours and hydrogenated fats/oils etc you ideally want to avoid. If you want to enjoy everything in moderation, consider purchasing or making smaller, individually wrapped items. This automatically helps to monitor your portion size and may help to prevent the chance to gorge!
As a sweet alternative to chocolate eggs, you could consider baking your own cakes or biscuits with an Easter theme. When baking your own, seize the opportunity to use healthier ingredients. For example, you could try using honey instead of sugar, or avocado instead of butter, or perhaps almond milk instead of cow’s milk. Do some research online – there are countless recipes to choose from for those wishing to substitute sugar and fat for healthier alternatives. Perhaps treat yourself to some delightful new cookie cutters and cake moulds; there are countless designs for Easter themed shapes such as eggs, chicks and bunny rabbits.
Many savoury alternatives are now starting to gain popularity in high street shops for those wishing to avoid sweets altogether. Eggs made entirely of cheese, complete with crackers and chutney are even beginning to emerge! And of course, there’s always real eggs to enjoy!
If you truly wanted to be kind to your health and your teeth, you also have the option to avoid Easter food options completely by getting crafty… why not make some pretty Easter eggs out of card and ask your children to help decorate them as a present for the Grandparents? Or perhaps a knitted egg with a fluffy pompom chick inside would be a cute present for little ones? Easter trees and bunting are a charming way to celebrate the festivities without having to worry about the excessive consumption of food and drink over the bank holiday weekend!
However, you choose to play it, the weekend is yours. Ignore the marketing tactics and celebrate Easter in your way. We hope you have a wonderful bank holiday with your loved ones – and be kind to your teeth!