Chocolate overload: Kids eat 2.5x their recommended calories at Easter

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Chocolate overload: Kids could eat more than double their recommended calorie intake this Easter

Easter is on the horizon, 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 us 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?

We recently surveyed 2,000 parents who celebrate Easter across the UK* to find out just how much chocolate British kids will indulge in this year, and what all the fat, sugar and calories mean for their health when you tally up the numbers on the nutrition label.

Easter feast 2

The predicted 2017 Easter chocolate haul

Of course, it’s not just parents providing treat: friends, teachers, and family members all get involved. And it all adds up. According to our survey, by the end of Easter a child’s chocolate bank will hold, on average:

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

And it doesn’t end there. Over the long weekend, 65% of families will cut into hot cross buns and 34% will devour a slice or two of Easter cake.

Chocolate consequences: Nutrition facts

A Mini Egg here, a chunk of chocolate egg there, a Lindt bunny ear… It’s fine to tuck into sweet treats in moderation, but it’s also important not to lose track of the chocolate count.

Our favourite Easter indulgences can be deceptively calorific. In fact, there are shocking numbers hiding in some of the nation’s favourite Easter treats:

 

Cadbury Eggheads Easter Egg, Small (77g) 407kcal 23g fat 43g sugar
Cadbury Mini Eggs Easter Egg, Medium (149g) – chocolate shell, Mini Eggs 685kcal 37.2g fat 78g sugar
Cadbury Creme Egg Easter Egg, Large (190g) – chocolate shell, 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

 

Based on our survey results showing the average child’s Easter chocolate hoard, over the course of the long weekend our kids could be gifted a chocolate trove worth:

  • 17,700 kcal
  • 1,000g fat
  • 2,000g sugar

How many calories?

That’s more than double the recommended calorie intake over the entire weekend for a 7–10-year-old child, and 21 times their recommended sugar intake.

The secret to chocolate management

Despite these shocking nutrition facts and parents’ best intentions, our survey showed only 6% of mums and dads have tried to introduce a healthy alternative to sugar-filled sweets at 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.

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.

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.

While the chocolate stats are high, our survey also revealed 1 in 3 Brits won’t buy Easter sweets for their children this year. 1 in 5 parents would prefer to take their kids for a day out or arrange an activity for them to do together. Money, toys and clothes are popular alternatives to the traditional Easter confectionary, and may do your kids’ physical health more favours.

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.

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

*Survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Wren Kitchens of 2,000 parents with children aged 0–15, who celebrate Easter, living in regions across the UK.

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Linda Loves - The Real Linda Barker