Here’s an article I wrote that I hope will help you to plan a more fun, healthy Easter.
Ban the Easter Bunny!
70 Non-Edible Goodies to Give Instead of Sugar-Filled Candies (Which Could, If Over-Consumed Lead to Hypoglycemia and Type 2 Diabetes)
By Connie Bennett, C.H.H.C.
Colorful candies: In recent years, that’s what Easter is all about.
Indeed, every year, the Easter bunny with the cute cotton tail comes bearing lots of pastel-colored candies for our nation’s kids. Sure enough, our unsuspecting children consume these candies in big quantities. And that spells sugar shock and blood sugar bedlam.
So I suggest that we just ban the Easter bunny! Of course, I’m joking, but let’s tame this cute, candy-toting creature for the sake of our children’s moods, health and waistlines.
Because, let’s face it, eating a bunch of candies and soft drinks—what most kids do—could turn your mild-mannered kids into “Sugar Brats.” In other words, they could become moody, spaced out, confrontational, depressed, quarrelsome, hyperactive, rowdy, raging and tantrum throwing.
And that’s not all. Over time, that typical American child, who consumes a lot of candies, cookies, cakes, chips, soda and other fast-acting, refined culprit carbs could become obese or overweight—and develop blood sugar problems such as hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or even type 2 diabetes.
So this Easter—the second biggest candy-eating holiday, falling just behind Halloween—take positive action. Don’t ply your kids with sweets to please them. Don’t set in motion a sugar habit that could lead to hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. Just ditch the marshmallow treats. Dump the jelly beans. Say no to those chocolate bunnies.
Instead, give your kids Easter fun by having them hunt for small, fun, non-edible treats, many of which you can place inside colorful, plastic eggs. Here are 70 non-edible ideas, most of them low priced, to usher in Easter joy:
1. Tiny frisbees
2. Slinky® or Slinky, Jr.
3. Small bottle of bubbles
4. Bunny-themed finger puppets
5. Movie passes
6. Video rental coupons
7. Jump rope
11. Silly Puddy® (or pastel-colored puddy in an egg-shaped container)
12. Baseball cards or other trading cards
13. Tiny, stuffed, squeaking chick
14. Small stuffed bunny
15. Action figures (Indians, cowboys or your kids’ favorite characters)
19. Plastic rings
20. Plastic bracelets
21. Small notebooks
22. Lip gloss
23. Sample perfume
24. Fun bookmarks
26. Colored pencils
27. Colored chalk
28. Magic markers
29. Colorful erasers
30. Playing cards (See the Nick Jr. ones with Dora, The Explorer or other characters.)
31. Small tube of hand lotion (available in 99 cents section of some stores)
33. Squeeze balls or other balls
34. Toy cars or planes
35. Game of jacks
36. Hair scrunchies
37. Hair clips
38. Packet of flower or vegetable seeds
39. Decorative shoelaces
40. Small water pistols
41. Temporary tattoos
43. Foreign coins
44. Stickers and Stencils
45. Novelty key chains (such as key chains that light up)
46. Fun-shaped magnets
47. Paperback book
48. Tiny gift books
49. Small bike lights
50. Friendship bracelets
51. Fun coupons designed just for your children. This is your chance to be imaginative and create special “gifts” or coupons. You could give coupons for a trip to the zoo, movies or mall; a morning of sleeping in; a day of not having to clean the room; or maybe even a night or day in which your child can come home an hour later than usual.
52. Mini Tape 4-pack (Scotch Tape(®)
53. Toothbrush with a cartoon character on top (This is your chance to spoof the way Easter is now celebrated with candies that could rot your teeth!)
54. Small coloring books
55. Plastic snakes, dinosaurs, fish and other creatures
56. Collapsible cup
58. Bean bags
59. Glow-in-the-dark insects, balls, earrings
60. Bendable toys
61. Bath bubbles (small packet)
62. Play sunglasses
63. Floating bath toys
64. Lighted spin tops
65. Game of paddle ball
66. Pen with bunny ears
67. Plastic watches
68. Magic Grow™ Grow Capsules (which turn into shapes)
69. Wacky Water™ Snake
70. Notes To-Go pocket game
If you still want to put a little food into your children’s Easter baskets, you can select healthy treats such as:
- Baby carrots (After all, bunnies like to nibble on them.)
- Small apples
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Soy nuts
- Colored hard-boiled eggs
Parents, even if you’re nervous about bumping those blood-sugar bouncing candies entirely from your kids’ Easter baskets, then at least begin to introduce some non-edible alternatives this year. Then, you could phase out candies and bring on healthier, non-edible treats next year or the year afterwards.
Think about it: Don’t you feel like a better parent—one who’s much more loving, caring and forward-thinking—by arranging for a fun Easter time for your kids that won’t trigger obesity and blood sugar problems such as hypoglycemia and type 2 diabetes?
I’m willing to bet that planning for Easter will be a lot more fun than usual.
Connie Bennett is a former sugar addict and author of SUGAR SHOCK! (Berkley Books), with Stephen Sinatra, M.D. Kicking sugar and refined carbs in 1998 banished her unpredictable “brain fog,” headaches and heart palpitations. Instead, she became more energetic, cheerful and focused. Connie is now a Sugar-Liberation Expert, who dishes the sour scoop about sweets and helps thousands to break free of their debilitating sugar habits. She is founder of the 21-Day, Stop SUGAR SHOCK! Diet™; a free, online, international KickSugar support group; and the popular www.SugarShockBlog.com. Connie is a certified holistic health counselor and an experienced journalist, who has contributed to eDiets.com, The Los Angeles Times, and many more media outlets. To find out if you were brainwashed to become a sugar addict, take the fun, simple SUGAR SHOCK! Quiz at www.SugarShockBlog.com. © Copyright, 2007, Connie Bennett, www.SugarShockBlog.com
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