Ah, the Easters of my childhood. Hopped up (ha!) on a metric ton of candy, the whole house stinking for the sake of dyeing eggs, frilly dresses in sickening pastel shades that reminds me of Pepto Bismol. Speaking of Pepto Bismol, how about those Peeps? Ugh.
Easter egg hunts ended with your tiny child fingers trying to crack the shell of a dyed, decorated egg, picking and digging and gouging until there wasn’t anything left to eat. It’s hindsight that makes you realize that that boiled egg was probably the healthiest thing within your grasp that day.
Then there were the Easter baskets full of sugar, sugar, and more sugar…and maybe a stuffed animal. That stuffed rabbit wasn’t nearly as interesting as the solid pound of chocolate shaped like a rabbit just waiting to have its ears gnawed off.
I would like to believe that all children experience Easter in a much similar fashion, perhaps with more wide-eyed wonder and less sarcastic nostalgia. If only this were the case.
In the CDC’s Childhood Obesity Facts, it is revealed that one in five school-aged children (ages 6-19) are obese. With schools cutting back on physical education, the prevalence of readily available technology, and our convenience food lifestyle, children are losing the essence of what it means to be a kid. Being a kid means movement, play, and exploration. Do you realize that we spend most of our adults lives trying to regain a sense of youth? Learning to move again after sedentary jobs, taking time to relax and enjoy life, to explore new opportunities we might not have considered before. While we may struggle to find our own place in the Fit Life, let’s make it easy on the kids. They don’t have to learn the importance of health the hard way.
So, how can we turn a kid’s Easter basket into a learning opportunity? Swap something good for something better!
- Swap jelly beans for fruit snacks like Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks. They’re certified organic, gluten-free, and vegan. Plus, they’re bunny-shaped and individually wrapped. Annie’s also makes
some other pretty rockin’ kids snacks, so swapping out cookies can be made simple! Once again, mostly shaped like bunnies.
- Candy-filled trail mix can be swapped for healthy energy bars. Kind Bars are non-messy and sweet-salty yummy.
- We can’t leave out chocolate! Dark chocolate is your best bet, of course. So, help endangered species when you buy it! I’ve been an animal lover all of my life, so I knowI would have been tickled pink to have received this as a child.
- Finally, now that you’ve stocked your kid up on (relatively) healthy treats, get them active. Consider stuffing their Easter baskets with jump ropes, balls for various sports, protective equipment for skating and biking, and anything else that might get them outdoors and active.
Who remembers Skip Its? Hula hoops? Hop scotch? Sunshine? These things still exist, you know.
With these fun and healthy alternatives,
filling an Easter basket in the Fit Life can be done.
- Brittany Hall is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). Known as "Pixie" to her patients at Dr. Evans' The Institute of Family, Preventative and Lifestyle Medicine; she is also an ACE-certified Health Coach. Brittany is an American Karate First Degree Black Belt, co-owner of Lionheart Krav Maga and Fitness, and is a Bikini competitor. She is currently training as a Krav Maga instructor with a special interest in women’s self-defense. She completed the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program through the American College of Preventative Medicine. She was also an attendee at the Active Lives: Transforming Our Patients and Ourselves conference presented by The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School.