Kids (and adults) everywhere love Easter, especially because of the goodies they get in their Easter baskets. Here’s a closer look at some popular treats for the health conscious.
It’s certainly okay to eat a little junk food at holiday time, being careful not to overdo it. Just for fun and informational purposes, I’ve compiled a bit of nutritional information on a select bunch of Easter goodies.
Jellybeans are mostly made up of sugar, corn syrup and starch. They contain no protein, vitamins, fat, cholesterol or fiber, but they do contain trace amounts of potassium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. So essentially you are getting a lot of empty calories (about 160 per handful) and a sugary boost. As an alternative, Jelly Bellys taste just as good, but contain half the calories.
Chocolate is good for you in small amounts, but not all chocolate is created equal. When it comes to chocolate Easter bunnies (or chocolate in general), go after dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids and antioxidants that can actually defend against heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Dark chocolate also has lots of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It contains a good amount of iron, fiber and protein. It’s the fat and calories you need to watch out for though; just one of these dark chocolate bunnies has about 18 grams of fat and 300 calories. So take small bits and pieces here and there and never eat the whole bunny in one day.
Homemade Easter Eggs
Eggs are the healthiest thing in the basket. Dress them up all you like to make them appealing, and your kids won’t mind that they’re nutritious. Eggs contain lots of protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, folate and vitamin A. Eggs do contain lots of cholesterol, but the other fats kind of balance things out. Eggs contain more of the good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) than bad ones. They also contain vitamin E, vitamin D, iron, magnesium and zinc. One or two hard-boiled eggs a day is a great thing!
Cadbury Bunny Eggs
These aren’t your typical eggs; they’re chocolate-covered with a gooey middle. These eggs contain about 170 calories and 6 grams of fat each. They also typically contain milk chocolate, which you’re better off avoiding. So if you had to take your pick, go after dark chocolate bunnies instead.
Marshmallow Bunnies (aka Peeps)
Peeps are cute and irresistible, and typically made from corn syrup, marshmallows, gelatin and some sort of edible wax. The good thing is that they have 0 fat and only about 32 calories each. The bad thing is that these little treats are virtually indestructible. According to scientific research, boiling, microwaving, and burning with acid, cigarettes, or liquid nitrogen haven’t been able to dissolve them. Just think of what goes on in your belly when you swallow them.
Peanut Butter Eggs
One peanut butter egg has about 180 calories and a whopping 11 grams of fat (could that be why they’re so tasty?). Two-thirds of the fat in peanut butter eggs is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, so it’s not as bad as it seems. These treats contain a good amount of vitamin A and folate and a touch of vitamin K and niacin. They’re also a good source of protein, calcium and magnesium and an excellent source of phosphorus and potassium. Who knew?