It’s time to take back your power when it comes to the holidays. WHO SAYS that Easter (or any other holiday) has to have copious amounts of candy and chocolate? I get that most of us grew up with the tradition of dark chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow peeps and a basket full of brightly wrapped chocolates and it made you feel happy. But did it really make you feel happy? Or was it the happiness flowing from the energy and emotion around the holiday itself - your family getting together, no school, the flowers blooming, the thrill of searching for eggs (that you didn’t even end up eating), getting dressed up in your new Easter dress for church service and having a big family meal where everyone was smiling and nice to each other?
I want to lovingly remind you that what we do with our children, they will most likely do with theirs. My daughter, Berlyn, is only two and every time she has a cupcake or any sweet - she is an absolute hot mess. Sugar changes her personality. She won’t sleep through the night. She is cranky and irritable.
When you research the effects of sugar on the mind and body - there is a reason why they compare it to illegal drugs. And this is what we look forward to giving our kids as a way to celebrate? Do we really want to argue with them about how much candy they are “allowed” to eat every day? Or deal with them bouncing off the walls and complaining of a belly ache? Seriously. Do we really want to put ourselves through the temptation of having the candy and chocolate in the house when we are on our own health journey and trying to keep a safe environment? This doesn’t make any sense when you really think about it. So why do we do it?
It’s important to get to the root of why we make the decisions we do and not just accept them as “this is just the way it is.” Because the truth is - it isn’t just the way it is. There are other people doing things differently (and loving it) and it just might bless your socks off to focus more on what you are trying to create rather than just doing what you have always done.
Healthy Easter Ideas from The Healthy Edge
Here are some of my top tips for the upcoming holiday aside from the traditional egg hunt.
- bunny shaped pancakes for an Easter breakfast
- Easter cupcakes to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the kids help decorate
- a craft that everyone does together as a family instead of sitting down in front of the tv and stuffing chocolate in your face until you feel like you might throw up
This year, I bought Berlyn a small bunny rabbit stuffed animal (less than $5) that will be in her basket instead of a chocolate bunny. I bought colorful plastic eggs that I will put beads in (you can get these at the Dollar store or some other thrift store) so she can play dress-up and have fun hearing the noise when she shakes the eggs. I also found super small fuzzy “chicks” that can fit into the eggs that are different colors and nice and soft instead of marshmallow peeps. Berlyn is not quite two, so this works great for her. She has no expectations of the holiday - but someday she will and this is the tradition we are creating.
If your kiddos are a bit older:
- put coins or dollar bills in plastic eggs along with a coin purse or piggy bank in their basket
- buy coloring books with markers/crayons and have a coloring contest (judged by the grown ups at the table)
- enjoy a craft or family project (puzzle, lego model, idea off of pinterest) and create something awesome together
- do some face painting
- have a board game marathon
It’s never too late to rewrite traditions. You will find that what is really important to your kids (and you) is the atmosphere created around the holiday. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you know in your heart is best for your kiddos and yourself. I look forward to hearing how your new Easter tradition went!