Carolyn Bell, RDN – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
One Easter basket filled with candy can contain as many as 4000 calories and 162 teaspoons of sugar! Instead of filling Easter baskets with only candy, consider adding boiled eggs, fresh fruits, toothbrushes, specialty children’s toothpaste, helium balloons, 100-calorie snack packs, nuts, sugar-free drinks, or gift cards. Then, add only a reasonable amount of candy to Easter baskets. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults and children limit their daily intake of sugar to 10% of daily calories, and further suggests limiting sugar intake to only 5% of daily calories; this is equivalent to approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar a day (25 g of sugar/day) – which means an average Easter basket far exceeds current sugar recommendations.
Eating a high amount of sugar, causes blood sugar (glucose) to rise, and bells and whistles go off inside the body. Energy levels, attention spans, and weight gain are linked high sugar diets in kids. Adults can see even greater problems from too much sugar and elevated blood sugars: diabetes2, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, high cholesterol (LDL), heart disease, mood swings and more. Parents, help kids learn they don’t have to overeat on candy and sugar at Easter; they can be excited to find a modest amount of sweets and plenty of fun treasures in their Easter Basket.