Five ways to enjoy a healthier Easter
Published: 7 March 2016
For months, the supermarket shelves have been lined with Easter treats from cream-filled eggs to spicy hot cross buns. Bulk buys, clever marketing and a limited sales period can leave us laden with a growing pile of decadent goodies.
As any sweet tooth will know, sticking to your well-intended health goals can be a tricky task. But with a little planning and creativity, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Easter without throwing your healthy eating pattern off-track.
Like all special occasions, food plays an important role at this festive time of year. For many families, it wouldn’t be the same without an early morning egg hunt or a basket filled with warm hot cross buns. This is a time to relax, spend time with others and embrace these much-loved traditions.
Here are five tips to help you enjoy a healthier Easter.
Treat yourself on Easter Sunday, rather than all those weeks before and after. Eat slowly, take a breath between mouthfuls and experience food with all your senses – how it looks, smells, tastes and feels. By eating mindfully and sharing with others, it will be easier to stop before you’ve overdone it, while still enjoying everything that food has to offer.
Go for quality over quantity
Bulk-buys can be tempting, but can result in a collection of treats that grows before your eyes. King-sized bunnies or giant chocolate eggs can also be hard to resist. By making the decision to buy less and go for smaller portion sizes (perhaps this means spending a little more), you’re more likely to savour each and every bite.
Plan the menu
Top up your fridge and pantry with plenty of healthy foods to use over the Easter break. This time of year offers an abundance of apples, avocados, beetroots, beans, feijoas, grapes, pears, corn, stone fruit, kiwifruit and oranges. Encourage your family to plan and prepare their favourite recipes using seasonal produce. Real eggs (instead of chocolate) make a nutritious start to the day.
Use your imagination
Starting Easter Sunday with an egg hunt (or non-food alternative like crayons or balloons), is a good way to get the family moving. There are many ways to celebrate that focus on creativity rather than indulgence. This could be anything from homemade crafts to playing games – jump online for inspiration. Make the most of the extra days off work and school; it’s an ideal opportunity to be active and explore walks, beaches and parks in your neighbourhood.
Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture
Remember, Easter is a special occasion – so enjoy it. It’s what we eat on a daily basis that counts towards long-term health gains. A heart healthy dietary pattern is based largely on minimally processed foods and includes plenty of vegetables and fruit, some whole grains in place of refined grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and other sources of healthy fats such as oily fish, and may contain non-processed lean meats or poultry and/or dairy.
Browse our recipe collection for a healthy spin on classic treats.