Not only is Easter an annual sugar-bender for kids, it can be a real challenge to moms of children with food allergies–especially if the child is allergic to milk–and food allergies are becoming an ever-increasing problem. It’s tough to strike a balance between fun and healthy eating habits. So here’s some tips on being allergy-friendly, but also some tips on reducing the sugar consumption for a healthier Easter!
1 – Have the kids “trade-in” empty plastic eggs for prizes they can choose, like arcade tickets.
The possibilities on this one are legion, because the prizes can be anything! No worrying about too much sugar, potentially no worrying about food allergies, and you don’t have to worry about stuffing individual eggs. I like to call this a win-win-win.
2 – In fact, if you want to have all the kids simply trade in their eggs (regardless of number) for a pre-made “prize basket,” that’s a great option too.
Sometimes they like the challenge of finding the egg more than they like what’s inside! My son is old enough now that he’s used to us “trading” with him (we do the same for Halloween). So I’ve preemptively prepared him a basket for trading eggs after the big local Easter Egg hunt on Sunday. It’s got stickers; mechanical pencils (which he’s been begging me for!); a new pencil sharpener; a new, just-for-him lip balm; a toothbrush; a few eggs full of pre-vetted candy; and a new bottle of kids honibe honey gummies™ complete.
Incidentally, we tried the kids honibe honey gummies™ complete before and we found them great. All three natural flavours inside the bottle taste amazing, they’re made from Canadian-sourced honey, and because the primary ingredient is honey, they’ve got as much as 50% less refined sugar than many gummy vitamins. If you want to get your kids started early taking a daily multivitamin without a fuss–this is the one!
3 – If you do stuff the eggs, make them all safe.
It can be embarrassing for a child to have to go up to you as the hostess and ask to trade in an unsafe egg. Kids with food allergies definitely will learn how to advocate for themselves over time, but remember how shy little ones can get about talking to an adult who’s not mommy or daddy! I’ve discovered it’s way better to be safe than sorry where food allergies are concerned.
4 – Non-food prizes can make great prizes, inside or outside the egg!
Stickers, temporary tattoos, un-inflated balloons, bubbles, boxes of crayons, colored pencils, coloring books, cool erasers and school supplies all make great treats that you can give guilt-free and worry-free. Plus, they’ll keep the kids occupied while you’re socializing with the adults.
5 – Choose (a small amount) of certain candies to still let kids have some sweet treats!
Chocolate is virtually entirely off the table if you’ve got nuts/dairy allergies, but there’s still a few safe candy options! First check with the allergy parent so that you know the whole list of foods to avoid. They may have some recommendations for safe candy, too, which makes shopping a lot easier for you.
Recently, I’ve discovered honibe® honey delights®, which are a hard candy made only from two ingredients: dried honey, and a natural disaccharide called trehalose. They’re a lot more natural because they don’t contain any artificial colors or refined sugar, and they’re conveniently individually packaged. They’re safe for everybody except the very smallest of Easter-egg hunters–the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children ages 5 and younger should not be given hard candies or gum as a precaution against choking.
Remember when you’re shopping to check the ingredient list for warnings about cross contamination. You should always treat a “may contain” as “does contain” in the case of a food allergy. And make sure you keep all of the ingredient lists somewhere–photograph them on your phone, or keep the packaging–and have the allergy parent double-check the lists before any candy is consumed.
6 – Celebrate a successful Easter-egg hunt with a helping of “rabbit food.”
Fresh, thin cut veggies like carrots, celery, and colorful peppers are super-healthy and safe. Get them into the spirit of the healthy eating by picking up one yourself and eating it as humorously as you can like a rabbit!
Have a happy and safe Easter, everybody!
Disclaimer: I was compensated to share specific information about honibe® and their products, but opinions on products are my own. For more information about honibe® and its products or to reach out to them directly, check out their website and follow them on Twitter! And don’t forget to join #honibesweet on April 1st at 8pm EST for a sweet Twitter party.