Top 3 Tips for a Healthier Easter Celebration

By Joe Martinez, RPh, PDE, CMS, Founder and CCO, HMS

Contributor, Emily Simmons

This year, Easter takes place on Sunday, April 21st.   Some celebrate Easter as a religious holiday and others see it as an opportunity to go out for brunch, have family get togethers, hide Easter eggs for the kids, or even just a reason just to open a bottle of wine with your closest friends.

At the Martinez household, it’s always about giving thanks and taking time to appreciate family.

No Easter is complete, though, without the traditional Easter basket.  We’ve always had fun creating colorful ones for our three boys and all our nieces and nephews. And yes, over the years, we’ve stuffed them with loads of toys, small gifts and candy.

Did you know that, after Halloween, Easter is the second largest candy selling holiday? Well, it is and you can still enjoy all that sugary goodness with a little proactive planning.  

What kind of proactive planning you ask? In the big picture –  friends, we need to get a grip of ourselves and adopt just a few healthier eating practices when it comes to this important holiday.

You’ve seen me write this before: go ahead and taste, just remember, “everything in moderation.” Realistically, that may be difficult though with all the sweet and gooey temptations around.  

Have no fear, though, here are 3 tips to help you to successfully navigate this year’s Easter food and sweets frenzy and still feel good about yourself:

1) Start off with a protein rich breakfast. You can’t always control what dishes are served at Easter Sunday dinner, but you can control what you eat for breakfast that day. Start the day off eating a high protein breakfast and this will hold you over until later in the day.  Also, you won’t go into that next meal with your stomach growling.

2) Be prepared for the sweets. There are sweets and there are ‘sweets’. This year let’s adjust our thinking a bit and acknowledge that fruits and vegetables can be wonderfully sweet treats too. Pile the salads and side dishes of string beans and broccoli and the rest on your plate. Consider adding cinnamon apple slices and poached pears with nutmeg to the menu.  You get to indulge your sweet tooth a bit and eat healthy too.

3) Stuff the Easter baskets with healthy and fun options. Normally baskets come stuffed with all kinds of chocolate bunnies, caramel eggs and other sweets, including chocolate, jelly beans, plastic eggs with surprise candy inside, and those famous marshmallow bunnies. Children always love getting all these sugar-filled treats – got it.  What if this year, you fill half with candy and the other half with toys or coins in the plastic eggs and maybe add a card game into their basket too. Just remember ‘everything in moderation’ and if you must include chocolate, consider selecting a dark chocolate. For suggestions, see my blog from January 22, 2019,  Dark Chocolate is Our Friend, Even To Those with Diabetes (So go ahead and Indulge!)

Thinking about the Easter meal on the table, my mouth starts to water with the fragrant aroma of delicious food being cooked in the kitchen. However, this year if you don’t feel like cooking and you want to offer something for dessert that is sweet AND healthy, here are a few suggestions that you still have time to order from Healthy Meals Supreme and serve on Easter.  (Note:  If you order by Friday, April 12th, the meals and desserts will arrive to your house on Thursday, April 18th, in plenty of time to serve on Easter Sunday.)

* Always check with your doctor or healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.

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