It’s Easter time again, and many children will be looking for candy filled baskets. Of all the goodies that your children may find in their baskets, there are three in particular that you have hopefully avoided.
These colorful marshmallow blobs have been around for 60 years, and yet they are one of the worst choices you could make this Easter. These babies are just sugar and artificial coloring, with a bit of preservative and carnauba wax thrown in for good measure. (Yes, that is a main ingredient in car wax that is supposedly non-toxic.)
Each Peep contains 7.2 grams of carbs, and 6.8 of those grams are just from sugar. They are as empty of nutritional content as it can get. All that sugar can send your blood sugar levels on a roller coaster ride while causing additional cravings for more. Eating large portions of sugar puts your children at risk of tooth decay, developing diabetes, and behavioral issues, as well as sugar crashes.
Even more unsettling than the presence of traditional Peeps, there is now a Peep milk alternative on the market. These Peep milk choices come in Chocolate Marshmallow, Marshmallow Milk, and Easter Egg Nog flavors. Each cup of the Peep Chocolate and Marshmallow Milk contains a whopping 37 grams of sugar. The Peep Egg Nog is even thicker and contains 40 grams of sugar per cup. All we can say is WOW!! What will they think of next?
Another devil in disguise is the colorful array of jelly beans lining the store shelves this season. These classic favorites from years past are essentially just a gelatinous glob of sugar, with artificial colors and flavors.
While the threat to blood sugar levels is obvious, you may not realize that some of the artificial colors are made with dyes that have been linked to decreased brain function and behavioral problems in children.
Jelly beans also contain high fructose corn syrup that has been shown in studies to cause scarring to the liver, childhood obesity, and premature death.
Low-Quality Chocolate and White Chocolate Bunnies
The problem with white chocolate bunnies and low-quality chocolate bunnies is that they contain hefty amounts of sugar and are void of the heart-healthy polyphenols you get from dark chocolate alternatives.
Also, low-quality bunnies contain a large amount of partially hydrogenated oil which is very bad for overall health. This type of oil is trans fat, and can cause fatty deposits in your arteries that may lead to blood clots or blockages.
Leaving out the sugar-laden candies doesn’t have to mean leaving out the fun. Here are just a few of the many healthy alternatives that also make great basket fillers:
· Small containers of almond butter or peanut butter along with fruit slices such as apples or bananas
· Dark chocolate covered fruits like grapes, banana slices, or strawberries
· Homemade fruit snacks using natural and healthy ingredients
· Colorful hard-boiled eggs
· Homemade dark chocolate covered peanut butter eggs with healthy sugar alternatives ( just be sure to use raw honey for this one)
· Also, consider non-food alternatives like sidewalk chalk, jumping ropes, and gift cards.
It’s not too late to make this year’s Easter basket healthy and fun!
-The Alternative Daily