By Dr. Keith Kantor
Easter can be compared to Halloween in terms of sugary treats that get collected from egg hunts, baskets, school parties, and Easter family gatherings. Try not to deprive your child of Easter treats, keep moderation and modification in mind. Moderation meaning they can have a controlled portion of candy on the days surrounding Easter if they have collected it from school or an egg hunt. If you have control over what is put into the eggs consider doing small trinkets or toys, like stickers, fake tattoos, coins, plastic jewelry, etc. instead of candy.
Also consider modifying traditional Easter treats with a healthier version, either store bought or homemade.
Chocolate seems to be a common theme among Easter treats. There are chocolate eggs, bunnies, and mainstream chocolate candies made into Easter candy throughout the seasonal isle. Go for dark chocolate options instead of the traditional milk chocolate, dark chocolate has more nutritional value and tends to be lower in sugar. Try to find brands that do not contain processed sugars like high fructose corn syrup or trans fatty acids in the form of hydrogenated oils. Lake Champion chocolates has an organic dark chocolate Easter bunny option, and Sjaak’s also has vegan and almond butter Easter candy options, this is also great for those children who suffer from peanut allergies!
Recipe for Crème Filled Chocolate Eggs:
Adapted from www.primallyinspired.com
- ½ c dark chocolate chips (high quality)
- 1.5 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 egg white
- ¼ c pure raw honey
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- egg mold- can get at local kitchen store, party store, etc.
- Put your honey in a small pot over medium low heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add in the vanilla extract and the pinch of sea salt. Stir until combined.
- Whip your egg white with a hand or stand mixer until peaks form. Once peaks form, slowly drizzle the honey mixture in the egg whites while the mixer is still whipping. Keep whipping until all the honey is blended and the mixture is very creamy. Set aside.
- In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil until chocolate is melted and smooth. Using a small spoon, spoon your chocolate in the egg mold. Use the spoon, “paint” up the sides of the mold. Once all the eggs are covered in chocolate, stick the mold in the freezer for 5 minutes. Take it back out and “paint” the mold again with the chocolate. Stick in the freezer for another 5 minutes.
- Take it back out and fill the chocolates with the egg white/honey mixture. If you have leftover chocolate, drizzle some around all the edges of the chocolate eggs so they will mold together easier. Fold the molds together and place in the freezer for at least an hour. Undo the molds and enjoy your homemade eggs!
Easter would not be Easter without jelly beans, these types of candies tend to be filled with harmful preservatives. Try organic fruit snacks by Annies Organic instead or better yet, make your own homemade jelly candies.
Homemade Healthy Jelly Fruit Snacks
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, lime juice or fresh orange juice
- 2/3 cup frozen or fresh berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries are all great.)
- 1 – 2 Tbs honey
- 5 Tbs gelatin
- Pour juice and berries into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until berries become tender and begin to soften.
- Add honey and stir until completely incorporated. You will want the fruit to dissolve quite a bit.
- Puree mixture using a immersion blender or small blender
- Let sit, off heat, for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Whisk in gelatin, one tablespoon at a time. Whisk vigorously until completely incorporated, mixing the gelatin in very gradually to avoid lumps. (If you do get lumps, just run the mixture through your blender again or you can put it back on the heat to help dissolve the gelatin.)
- Pour into an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 glass dish.
- Refrigerate until set (30 minutes to an hour). Cut in small squares or into Easter shapes with themed cookie cutters.
Hard Boiled Dyed Eggs:
Eggs in moderation 1-3/day are a healthy snack rich in protein, vitamins and healthy fats that kids need for optimal brain function. Using an all-natural food coloring to dye homemade Easter Eggs is a great way to encourage kids to eat hard boiled eggs over other sugary alternatives.
Easter Dinner Recipes
Asparagus, Ham and Goat Cheese Appetizers
Description: A healthy alternative to traditional heavy appetizers for a holiday dinner party. This is a great appetizer to a main course meal of traditional Easter ham.
Prep: 10 min.
Cook: 3-5 min.
Serving Size: 2 asparagus spears
- 1 lb. asparagus spears, cut 4 to 6 inches long
- 16 thin slices prosciutto or thinly sliced ham
- 32 teaspoons soft goat cheese (or 6-1/2 ounces)
- Lightly coat asparagus with extra virgin olive oil. Roast asparagus spears in over for 10 minutes on 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Lay one piece of prosciutto or ham flat on the cutting board. Place one teaspoon of goat cheese on the ham or prosciutto. Gently press one asparagus spear into the goat cheese lengthwise with the prosciutto.
- Bring the sides of the prosciutto in toward the center and press into the goat cheese. Then secure both ends of the prosciutto by wrapping them in the same direction around the asparagus stem. Repeat for all asparagus spears.
- Arrange the spears flat on a platter. Enjoy!
Description: This is a great alternative to traditional mashed potatoes at any holiday dinner. Cauliflower is lower in carbohydrates and calories compared to potatoes, it will promote stable blood sugars.
Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: 10 min.
Number of servings: 4
Serving size: ½ c
Makes 4 servings
- 2, 8.0 oz bags of frozen cauliflower florets or 1 lb. fresh cauliflower
- 1-2 Tbs. organic butter
- 1 oz. half and half, or sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
- Parmesan cheese to taste (optional)
- Steam cauliflowers till soft (should be able to mash with a fork)
- Add to food processor and add other ingredients to flavor.
Dr. Keith Kantor is a leading nutritionist and author of the book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice.