10 Tips for a Healthier, "Hoppier" Easter


Easter is a day of celebration, which for many includes indulging in brunch, followed by a feast of chocolate eggs and colorful jelly beans throughout the day and a sit-down to our favorite ham-and-casserole combinations at dinner. Holidays like Easter can quickly feel like downright drag, especially if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a chronic health condition, have dietary restrictions, or you’re focused on healthy eating. But you don’t have to dread this holiday – and you may be surprised to learn that there are many ways to strike a healthy balance while still enjoying some of this season’s favorite traditions.

Try these top tips from our health and wellness experts:

1. Redefine Easter Treats. If you assemble Easter baskets for your kiddos (or kids at heart), include some non-candy treats: think colorful jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, activity or coloring books with crayons, hula hoops, and books.

2. Turn up the heat with your Easter festivities. Turn your traditional Easter egg hunt into a series of short races and games that kick up those heart rates up. Stuff some of the eggs with small pieces of paper that require everyone to do an activity, such as a lap around the house or 10 “bunny hops” before hunting for the next egg. You could even challenge everyone to a crab walk hunt – or try balancing an egg on a spoon while you search.  The possibilities are endless for incorporating more movement and coordination skills.

3. Consider portion size and candy type. Look for your favorites in sampler sizes that won’t tempt you to overindulge – and then possibly continue on a downward sugar spiral because you feel guilty. Be on the lookout for lower sugar candy options. For example: Consider swapping milk or white chocolate for dark chocolate (aka less sugar, more cocoa), making it a healthier option.

4. Embrace Spring Activities. Take advantage of the first hints of spring – warmer weather and maybe even some sunshine – and incorporate a fun outdoor activity into your day. Go for a family walk or bike ride, hit the park to play, throw the football around, or play a family game of tennis.

5. Don’t “save” your calories for later. Eat a healthy, hearty breakfast, maybe including some real eggs, and don’t try to skip meals and snacks during the day. It may seem counterintuitive to eat in the hours leading up to a special meal, but eating fiber-and-protein-fueled meals during the day will help stabilize your blood sugar levels, helping you feel your best all day long and preventing you from overeating at dinner.

6. Make fun Easter-themed healthy snacks. Fill plastic eggs with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. If you put out a spread of snacks, fill plastic egg cups with bean dips and veggie slices and cut fruit or cheese slices into bunny ears. Make hardboiled eggs or a healthy deviled egg snack with mashed avocado as your mayonnaise base.

7. Do an Easter-themed puzzle or arts and craft activities. Decorate eggs, make an Easter wreath, or paint pots for a deck garden.

8. Plant or plan a garden. It’s a great time of year to try some seedlings – whether they’re vegetables or flowers to enjoy later this year. Your kids will have fun watching the seedlings pop through the soil and eventually flourish into plants and flowers.

9. Time capsule. Have your kids write themselves a letter, stick it in an Easter egg, and put it away until next year. If your kids aren’t ready to write a full letter, help them write down three things they are grateful for or three fun things they did this year.

10. Balance is key. Don’t completely ban treats. Depriving yourself of all the season’s treats may lead you to overindulge in them later or feel resentful. Find ways to move during the day and incorporate some healthy meals and snacks so you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats in moderation and without guilt or worry.

Are you at risk for a chronic disease like diabetes? Take the risk assessment and learn more.

Looking for more ways to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life? Register for the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program today to receive 5 free virtual nutrition education classes and up to $100 in vouchers to purchase fruits and vegetables.