How to have a healthy Easter

Easter is a time of renewal and rebirth, so it is the perfect time to come out of hibernation after the long, cold winter and spring back to some healthy habits. It can be difficult to think about being healthy at Easter, but in between the sugar overload of chocolate bunnies, Easter eggs and hot cross buns, there are some really healthy foods associated with this time of year, that are celebrated as part of Easter festivities and traditions.

What’s in season?

From painted eggs and roast lamb, to spring greens and broccoli, new potatoes and scallions, there are plenty of foods that we eat at Easter that punch well above their weight in terms of nutritional value. If you are planning a feast over the weekend, think about how you might celebrate the very best of the season.

Here are some of the best of the season:

  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • celeriac
  • new potatoes
  • onion
  • radish
  • rhubarb
  • scallions
  • spinach
  • spring greens
  • watercress

You can find a full list of foods that are in season right now on http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/.

7 ways to have a healthy Easter:

  1. Treat your treats as treats. Less is more. Instead of munching your way through a couple of Easter eggs before breakfast, take time to savour your chocolate bunnies or mini eggs. Sit down with a cup of tea and really enjoy your treats. Mindful eating has been shown to help regulate our appetite, leave us feeling more satisfied and may also help with weight loss, as we tend to need less to satisfy us more. If we graze on chocolate treats throughout the day, it can be hard to keep track of how much we have eaten.
  2. Get the kids outside for some healthy fun. Spend some time painting hard boiled eggs, and then roll them down a hill, or if you are doing an Easter egg hunt, then mix up some healthier treats, painted eggs, smaller size chocolate eggs, or non-food items like stickers for kids to find.
  3. It’s Easter, it’s got to be eggs. Start the day with an egg. We now know that eggs are unlikely to increase cholesterol levels, so rather than worry about how many eggs you should, or should not be eating a week, think about how you cook them. Boiled or poached are better than fried or scrambled (because of the butter and oil). Serve with some grilled tomatoes and a little spinach for an extra boost.
  4. Have a healthy Easter lunch. If you are celebrating Easter with a roast dinner, then pack plenty of vegetables onto everyone’s plate, with a palm size portion of meat and some minted new potatoes.
  5. After dinner, get out into the garden for an egg hunt or go for a walk in the park, or have an egg and spoon race to get moving and burn off some energy.
  6. If you are buying someone an Easter gift, how about choosing 70% dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate (generally a little healthier, as the higher the % cocoa solids, the less sugar), or something completely sugar-free like a big bunch of daffodils?
  7. Burn off the bunny – no matter what the weather on Easter Monday and Tuesday, make the most of the long bank holiday to get active. There are lots of activities to suit all tastes and ages, so whether you simply dust off your bike, lace up your trainers, or take time to go for a long walk, it is the perfect opportunity to get active.