THE HEALTHY CHILD: What’s in your child’s Easter basket?

By Adrian Schirr

My weakness, the things I avoid at the local grocer, are the candy Easter eggs. It reminds me that spring is close and makes my Candida stir. Milk chocolate and that gooey filling…oh my goodness! I don’t even care who’s watching as I bite into it and break that chocolaty shell. As pieces drip onto my clothes, leaving chocolate and sugar stains, I couldn’t care less. I lick my fingers and sigh. Totally worth it. But is it, really?
If your answer is yes, then you need to keep reading.
I used to think, yes. It’s a treat I let myself have once per year. What’s the harm in that? At Nuview Nutrition, I’ve learned how to look at those “harmless” treats and ask myself, what is that doing for my body and what is it doing to my body?
I wish I could tell you that those creamy eggs are filled with all natural ingredients. I do mean that, too. I wish I could tell you that it really is cancer-fighting carotenoids giving it that brilliant yellow color in the middle, and that it’s filled with all the essential nutrients.
Sadly, I just can’t do that.
Like all processed treats, Easter candy can be laced with all the bad ingredients like soy lecithin: a genetically modified chemical that increases shelf life (aka, infests your body like forever—not even digestion can break it down); and artificial flavors and colors like yellow dye #6, which gives that creamy center its dazzling yolk color—a CANCER-carrying carcinogen. That smooth chocolate shell? It’s actually sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter (a fatty substance extracted from cocoa beans), milk fat, and soy lecithin. Yummy, right?
That once a year treat doesn’t seem so harmless anymore.
Are you thinking about what you put in your children’s baskets last year? Take a look on the back of those treats to see exactly what that bunny is leaving behind. The usual culprits are as follows:
I’ll begin with all the added sugar, which is high in fructose. Not only is it bad for teeth, but it does a nasty number on the liver, gut, heart, and brain.
Corn syrup is sweeter and cheaper than natural sugar and can wreak havoc on the liver. Fatty liver leads to obesity, as well as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
Dextrose is a cheap added sugar popular with manufacturers because of its affordability. Most of the time, it’s made from genetically modified (GMO) corn. It can cause heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.
Monoglycerides (just another fancy name for Trans Fats) cause diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks. There’s no “safe” level of this ingredient.
TBHQ is a synthetic antioxidant that is used to keep the flavor and color of foods. This preservative is linked to asthma, allergies, and dermatitis.
Now that we know what to avoid, let’s discuss what to choose. Easter baskets can be just as wonderful with healthy alternatives. Instead of a giant “chocolate” bunny, try organic, non-deadly, non-genetically modified dark chocolate, with at least 70% real cocoa. Pair it with a to-go pack of nut butter and voila!
Why do your children need to eat their goodies? Stock those baskets with a different kind of fun such as bubbles, coloring books, art sets, clothes, umbrellas, rain boots, games, or even a certificate for Family Fun Day. Take advantage of the summer excitement by giving new bathing suits, flip-flops, and sand and water toys.
Easter doesn’t have to mean a big basket full of cheap, toxic candy. There are alternatives that children will appreciate. Treats can be safe and fun! You just need to get creative. Save your conscience and fill those baskets with safe ingredients. Start a new tradition and remember: Healthy parents raise healthy adults.


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