Easter can be a very difficult time to eat well, let alone Paleo, everywhere you look there’s a hot cross bun and a chocolate egg!
As a clean eating Paleo family I find this time of year a challenge. I was buying my kids hot cross buns when they first appeared at the bakery, they don’t have much else as a treat in our house other than this. However a couple of weeks ago my son wasn’t feeling well. He noticed that after he ate the buns he felt sick, he was waking up tired and was low in energy.
So we stopped the buns!
It’s my fault, his diet as I mentioned before is very good. He loves fruit, vegetables and really prefers healthy food over anything else. He will politely decline chocolate, lollies and junk food offered. His clean diet has stemmed from us wanting him to avoid preservatives and anything artificial from the time he was two, his body is now very used to good food, it gives him strong signals when it doesn’t like it!
So now Easter is fast approaching, the kids are surrounded by chocolate. At swim school yesterday the kids were offered chocolate eggs after their lessons on the way out. I stopped and watched the kids as they were offered chocolate eggs. To my enjoyment they both politely said no thank you. My son just kept walking, not giving it another thought. My daughter, who LOVES ALL kinds of food quickly told me “I said no because you would say no”. I told her that she was right, I wasn’t going to let her have chocolate at 5:30pm, actually there is no need for chocolate at all, let alone after some great exercise like swimming! She is getting old enough and I am more determined to ensure their diet is as healthy as possible that, she no longer questions when I say no, wooohooo!!!
I’m going to digress here just a little, sorry but I need to share this thought, hang in there. I am one of those parents who used to get VERY frustrated at venues such as the kids swim school. These places have tubs of lollies for sale for the kids before and after their lessons. There are also those huge ice-cream freezers, conveniently place at the door (at child height) as you arrive and depart. My frustration was enormous, every week the kids would ask, beg and sometime whinge “why can’t we have one??” I used to think it was so unfair, I was made out to be the bad guy, I was over it!! But then it occurred to me one day, this is life. This kind of advertising, product placement was everywhere. My kids have to grow up with this in their environment and I am not always going to be there to say no!! It was going to be a battle, but I was going to say no, every time. I used to give the same answer each time they asked “No, we don’t eat sugar, junk food and I am pretty sure that doesn’t even classify as a food group”. So after the chocolate egg incident at swim school last week, I think we have finally turned a corner.
Now back to my post. Easter is difficult, you find yourself saying no thank you a lot, but my kids are getting so much better, they know what constitutes as good food and what isn’t. Don’ get me wrong we are far from perfect, but I can honestly say we are getting there.
Since my kids were born the Easter Bunny hasn’t delivered chocolate of any kind to our house. He has kindly brought a small gift instead. So Easter morning is not spent on a sugar high and the afternoon isn’t spent with very cranky, tired kids. The day is really nice. Everyone enjoys it. I am so glad I stood my ground on this when they were little. I used to get a lot of slack, people were very un-supportive and would make comments. I used to get very upset. I wasn’t being nasty, I was being protective. People would still give them chocolate, I just put it in the bin when no one was looking! My house, my kids, my rules.
Again we are not perfect. Over the years they have had some chocolate at Easter, it does slip through the cracks. But my goal is for the kids to make the right decisions about what food they put into their bodies. This takes a lot of effort as a family to reinforce each day what to eat and allowing huge chocolate binges at Easter doesn’t make sense to me.
It has been years of trial and error and I know it will be many more years until they really get it. We spend years teaching our kids to walk, talk, read and write, I think it is just as important to teach them how to prepare, cook and feed themselves properly!
This Easter will be no different for us, the Easter Bunny will bring a small gift and we will be politely saying no thank you to chocolate. I am preparing a Paleo brunch for my family and I know it will be a lovely day.
I hope your Easter break is lovely as well. I won’t be posting next week, taking a short hiatus. I will be back on April 17th. Stay safe, enjoy everything!