Hop to it: 4 ways to have a healthier Easter

If you’re watching your waistline but don’t want to miss out on Easter treats (hello chocolate and hot cross buns!), check out these healthy hacks.

It’s no secret that Easter treats – or at least the kind we’re accustomed to – aren’t very healthy.

“We have no nutritional need for chocolate Easter eggs and hot cross buns in our diets,” says nutritionist, health scientist and naturopath Kristen Beck. “Easter eggs are high in both fat and sugar, while hot cross buns contain lots of added sugars.”

The good news, Kristen says, is that the occasional Easter egg or hot cross bun can fit into a balanced diet.

“The problem is that traditionally these foods were only available for a short period in the lead-up to Easter; now they’re released as early as January,” she says.

If you’re watching your waistline or keen to have a healthier Easter, put these hacks to the test.

Easter eggs

Some research has found that chocolate in its raw form isn’t that bad for you. In fact, dark chocolate – in moderation – has been linked to improved heart health and circulation.

“Dark chocolate is best both in terms of antioxidant content as well as sugar content,” says Kristen.

You can find raw chocolate Easter eggs at health food stores, but they are just as easy to make yourself.

Another option is the real deal. Eggs, packed with protein and amino acid, are super adaptable and nutritious.

Hot cross buns

Bakeries are wising up to dietary intolerances, and now offer an array of alternatives to the traditional hot cross bun. Even if you don’t suffer from gluten or lactose intolerance, yeast-free or wholegrain options are generally a lighter option and can be easier to digest than traditional breads.

Easter egg hunts

Great for getting the kids to run around outdoors; not so great for the mountain of chocolate they end up with. Again, substitution comes in play. Try replacing the chocolate eggs with bite-sized healthy treats, such as dried fruit, protein balls and homemade nutrition bars or balls, raw chocolate protein bark, among others.

You could even step away from food, and instead hide Easter-themed goodies like mini chicken or rabbit figurines, word puzzles or mini books.

Fish and chips

If you observe Good Friday, then fish and chips may well be on the menu. Like everything that’s fried, standard fish and chips are typically high in trans-fat and carbohydrates. But fish itself is nutritious, and a few adjustments can make the whole dish a whole lot healthier.

Try oven baking the chips and cooking the fish in a mayonnaise and coconut batter. Alternatively, forgo the battered fish completely and try something deliciously different like this smoked trout and mango salad, baked salmon with tahini yoghurt and herb crust or fab fish fajitas.

While we’re on the topic of healthy living, discover how one mum lost 20kg by cutting back on hidden sugars in her diet.

Written by Charlotte Brundrett