How much sugar will your kids eat this Easter?

Easter is just around the corner, which means one thing: chocolate. And lots of it! However, when the Easter Bunny appears, so do baskets full of sugar, fat and calories.

Last year, 96% of parents told Wren Kitchens they were interested in creating healthier food habits for their family. But does this intention go out the window during the treat-fuelled Easter weekend?

According to new research collated and analysed by Wren Kitchens, the average child will receive a whopping 17,700 calories worth of chocolate this Easter.

That’s over double the recommended allowance across the full four-day bank holiday weekend for a child aged 7-10, and ten times the recommended daily sugar allowance.

Easter can mean 83 days of sugar in just one weekend

With parents, friends, family and even teachers potentially adding to the Easter chocolate haul, research suggests the average child is gifted a chocolate trove of:

  • 4 small chocolate eggs
  • 5 medium chocolate eggs
  • 4 large chocolate eggs
  • 4 bags of Mini Eggs
  • 4 Creme Eggs
  • 3.5 Lindt bunnies
  • 3 mini Kinder Eggs
  • 3 chocolate bars

This tots up to an incredible 2,000g of sugar (that’s 500 teaspoons) and 1,000g of fat. Even eating this across the four-day bank holiday weekend would not come close to the RDI – a child’s sugar intake of this magnitude should ideally be spread over 83 days.

A Mini Egg here, a chunk of chocolate egg there, a Lindt bunny ear… our favourite Easter indulgences can be deceptively calorific. In fact, there are shocking numbers hiding in some of the nation’s favourite Easter treats:

Item Calories Fat Sugar
Cadbury Eggheads Easter Egg, Small (77g) 407kcal 23g fat 43g sugar
Cadbury Mini Eggs Easter Egg, Medium (149g) – (contains a chocolate shell and bag of Mini Eggs) 685kcal 37.2g fat 78g sugar
Cadbury Creme Egg Easter Egg, Large (190g) (contains a chocolate shell and 2 Creme Eggs) 1,414 kcal 73.2g fat 165g sugar
Cadbury Mini Eggs (90g bag) 444kcal 19.2g fat 61.5g sugar
Cadbury Creme Egg (40g) 177kcal 6.1g fat 26.5g sugar
Lindt Gold Bunny (100g) 550kcal 33g fat 55g sugar
Kinder Mini Eggs (75g) 435kcal 28.5g fat 39g sugar
Mars Bar (51g) 230kcal 8.6g fat 30.5g sugar

 

What do nutritionists say?

This can all sound rather scary. But what do nutritionists make of Easter treats? Here’s what registered nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed says of the findings:

“I’m not here to take ALL the fun out of Easter. However, these figures are quite alarming and it’s easy to see how the numbers can easily add up over an Easter weekend. Add this to the fact that many children eat chocolates and sweets every day, and then their intake of calories, fat and sugar really become a concern.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate family occasions and events such as Easter without over relying on chocolate and sweets. Fun activities and trips together, playing games, picnics and even doing some baking at home can all be just as enjoyable and much more healthy too!”

How can you reduce your kids’ chocolate intake this Easter?

Eating too much fat and sugar can lead to a whole host of short and long-term problems, including mood swings, weight gain and tooth decay.

However, despite parents’ best intentions, Wren Kitchens’ survey showed only 6% of mums and dads have tried to introduce a healthy alternative to sugar-filled sweets at Easter.

So what can you do if you want to reduce the amount of sugar your children consume this Easter? It’s unlikely you’ll want to avoid the chocolate celebrations altogether, but consider reducing the amount of sweets you buy and asking your family and friends not to go crazy with their generosity.

Try to pace the chocolate indulgence throughout the weekend, and avoid the temptation to munch by keeping busy and active. Doing Easter crafts, playing in the garden or going for a springtime walk are also great ways to spend the weekend.

Eat healthily to dodge the sugar crash

Eating healthy meals throughout the day will help to keep the kids full, so they won’t have chocolate on their minds (at least not as much!). Try Linda Barker’s blueberry pancake recipe for breakfast, or whip up an acai berry bowl as a snack, to fend off the sugar cravings with vital nutrients.

Most of us look forward to the Easter bunny’s visit, and the bank holiday weekend is a great opportunity spend time as a family and indulge in delicious food together.

Just try to be aware of the contents of the chocolate buffet and include exercise as an equally important ingredient – and you and the kids will hop out of the long weekend feeling refreshed, having dodged the dreaded sugar crash.