Goodness me, Easter has surely snuck up on our family this year. So much so that relatives have been ringing to say “I hope it’s alright but we bought the boys some chocolate eggs and bunnies?”

If I had been more on my toes the last few weeks I would have reminded relatives that the boys get chocolates given to them from their teachers, school friends, family friends, our work associates, neighbours etc, etc(… not to mention big fluffy guy himself!) I subtly ask them instead if we could simply have one Easter Egg hunt over the weekend, pool all the eggs and leave it at that.

I had intended to suggest that instead of chocolates, maybe they could buy the boys something symbolic of New Life. Something that they have to care for – such as seedlings, a plant, those growing crystal kits etc. (But NOT another animal, with a baby due soon another pet may tip me over the edge!!!) Maybe they could bring along some kind of game all the children could play on the day, like badminton or a new Frisbee.

Anyway as I said, Easter snuck up on us this year and these conversations didn’t happen, so we’ll have to deal with the excess chocolate in our own special way…we sort it, ration out the best quality ones and subtly give on/away or throw out the rest.

Here’s some thoughts for Easter;

1. Once the fan fair is over and the guests have left, word your children up about throwing out any cheap and nasty eggs or Easter bunnies they may have been given. Hang onto the high quality eggs and throw the others out. Explain how the cheaper eggs generally are full of nasty chemicals that will poison their bodies.

Dramatize how the E numbers will make them go ‘coo-coo’ in the head.

“What…”, I hear you yell, “you throw them out?” If this is the first time you are attempting this ritual and your children are older, consider having some high quality replacement eggs in the cupboard. As I said last year, this is a great experience for your children to taste test cheaper – say a $2 Easter Bunny- versus a small organic chocolate egg , ‘ Haighs’ or another equally decadent brand. The difference is undeniable, even to young taste buds.

Focus on congratulating your children for being selective with what they consume and how much they consume. Reinforce how clever they are, acknowledging them ENORMOUSLY for looking after their bodies and making healthy choices, rather than ones that will tax their body.

We basically have a family ritual where we now save ourselves for high quality chocolate eggs. We may eat a few on Easter Sunday, a couple the next day, one the next and then magically somehow they just seem to disappear into thin air. Even with throwing out some of the eggs initially, six months later I still seem to find myself throwing out a large number of “uneaten” Easter eggs. NOBODY needs that much chocolate.

2. Easter is a great time for parents to analyse how they may promote chocolate or other treats to their children. As adults, do we do this because we ourselves have learnt that offering treats is a way of showing our love and acceptance for another? For others, they may simply be bribes.

Either way, surely you can substitute the treat for anything we wish???.

3. Easter’s a great time to analyse our own individual relation with chocolate. Our children learn from observing our behaviours.

Happy Easter to you all, celebrate well.

Wishing your family spectacular health,

Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani
(B.App.Clin.Sci, B.Chiropractic)

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