Easter the healthy wayMonday, 1 April 2019
Easter can be a tricky holiday to navigate as a person living with diabetes as many of our celebratory foods seem to contain excess sugar and refined carbohydrates that can make managing blood glucose levels more difficult. It certainly doesn’t help when supermarkets seem to bring out the Easter-themed foods on Boxing Day! Try these tips to help you enjoy Easter the healthy way.
Focus on quality rather than quantity
It’s ok to enjoy your favourite Easter chocolate, although try to remember that it is only one day. To stop yourself from over doing it just purchase the amount of chocolate appropriate for the family on the day. After all, we can actually eat chocolate the rest of the year too. Focus on a small amount of your very favourite chocolate, and preferably one with a higher cacao content. While chocolate shouldn’t be a main contributor to our antioxidant intake, chocolate with a higher cacao content contains more antioxidants and depending on the brand sometimes less sugar. We also tend to feel satisfied with a smaller amount.
Don’t overdo the sugar-free chocolate
Don’t be fooled by the idea of sugar-free chocolate. While sugar-free chocolate may have less impact on blood glucose it is important to note that the fat and kilojoule content is very similar, and both should be eaten in moderation. Importantly sugar-free chocolate is generally sweetened with polyol-based sweeteners which, while not harmful, can have a laxative effect for some people or when eaten to excess. Not what anyone wants at a family gathering!
Navigating Easter for your child
Whether your child has diabetes or not, Easter is a time when they often receive an inundation of sweets from well-meaning family members. Try to discuss this with family members ahead of time so that not everyone gives your child chocolate. There are lots of other Easter treats available, including books or pyjamas with an Easter theme that can make a meaningful but healthier gift from family who would like to give your child something.
While the traditional Easter egg hunt can bring lots of joy to a small child, another idea is to turn it into a scavenger hunt with clues that lead to a single bunny or egg at the end. Children love to solve puzzles and riddles and can still engage in this fun without overdoing the eggs.
Whatever Easter means to you we wish you a happy, safe and healthy holiday with room for your favourite treats to be enjoyed without the guilt. After all, a balanced healthy life is one that we enjoy without it negatively impacting on the management of diabetes.