Each year millions of people use holidays, such as Easter, as an excuse to pig out on unhealthy foods and be lazy, and while it’s ok to have a “cheat day” every once in a while, it's this behavior that has contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States. So instead of loading up on junk food and sleeping off Easter dinner on the couch, give some of these healthy Easter tips a try.
1. Opt For Non-Edible Easter Goodies
This is a big one. Each year, according to the National Confectioners' Association, more than 90 million chocolate bunnies and 16 billion jelly beans are produced just for Easter, and when surveyed, more than 80 percent of the 1,000 participants said that they would be giving their children Easter baskets with these treats. However, those who are looking for a healthier option can go for non-edible goodies.
Plastic Easter eggs can be filled with small toys or even coins instead of candy, and instead of the large chocolate bunnies, parents can opt for something like coloring books or Easter arts and crafts kits. These things encourage creativity in children without loading them up with sugar and fat that they don't need. There are also games and toys such as jump ropes or Velcro catching mitts that encourage children and their parents to be active during Easter break.
2. Choose Healthy Recipes
Like many holidays, Easter celebrations often revolve around food, but this doesn't mean that the staple dishes can't be made in a healthy way. There are many ways to reduce things like fat, sodium and carbs from dishes to make them healthier.
There are a number of magazines and websites available that are dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle and offer healthy recipes for some of the most popular favorites. A simple Internet search will turn up thousands of options, but two of the most thorough are Eating Well and Cooking Light, both of which are magazine publications that are dedicated to healthy recipes with websites that offer tons of healthy recipes to suit every taste. Both of these magazines are relatively easy to find in most stores, making them the most accessible as well.
3. Be Active
One great way to burn off any holiday feasting is to be active. And while some may bemoan the idea of exercise on a holiday, the activity doesn't have to be a tedious chore or a vigorous workout to be effective.
There are several ways in which activity can be incorporated into an Easter get together. Be inventive with the Easter egg hunt or create some type of game such as a relay race to encourage activity in kids. There are even some Easter themed toys and games available with the other Easter party supplies in stores that will get the kids moving. The grownups can get some exercise by pushing the kids on the swings at a local playground or go for a long walk after dinner. It doesn’t matter what someone does as long as they are doing something active.
4. Everything in Moderation
Like everything in life, moderation is extremely important. Experts agree that by completely denying things like sweets people are much more likely to go on binges that cause more serious problems than just indulging in moderation, occasionally. While one binge may not be that bad, often people can fall into vicious cycles of restriction and binging. This can lead to obesity and eating disorders.
This means that it's perfectly fine for someone to chew the ear off of a hollow chocolate bunny, or a small piece of carrot cake. It doesn't mean that it's ok for a person to eat a 12 inch tall solid chocolate bunny or half of that carrot cake. The same goes for other things too, like stuffing yourself with ham during an Easter dinner.
Perspective is always important when it comes to holidays. Holidays are about family and friends and being together. For Christians, Easter is a cause for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The same time of year also marks Jewish Passover. So when planning an Easter celebration keep in mind that the reason for the celebration is the holiday. Those who are hosting a gathering should keep the focus on the reason for the gathering and not on piling heaps of food on the table and loading the kids up with candy.
It's also important to remember that it's just one day, so it isn't a reason for stress. There can be enormous amounts of stress to get everything perfect for the party or to buy the best gifts, but people should just relax and enjoy themselves because the holiday isn't about candy or gifts, it's about family and being together and celebrating individual beliefs.