Easter and babies - to choc or not

Unless you've been living under a rock, you’ll be very aware that Easter is just around the corner. Hot cross buns graced our supermarket shelves on December 26th and every end display is stuffed with colourful bunnies and eggs, enticing us to buy up big so the Easter Bunny can spoil our spawn and, in the process, give them a big ol’ stomach ache.

Often parents don’t want their children to overindulge in chocolate because it’s bad for their health and let’s be honest, the fall-out from sugar-induced hyperactivity and tantrums is also extremely unpleasant for both parent and child. So how much is enough?

If this is your baby’s first Easter, or your children are still quite young, you are in complete control of the amount of chocolate they consume. You may decide that you’re not going to purchase any chocolatey treats for your little one which is absolutely OK! If they’re not aware that the Easter Bunny exists then there’s no pressure to deliver on April 21st. Can babies even eat chocolate? Well, there are no specific guidelines about the introduction of chocolate to your baby, but realistically they should have already been introduced to solids – including dairy – prior to handing them a choccy egg, and given the amount of sugar in chocolate, it’s wise to keep it to a minimum.

If your kids are super excited at the impending arrival of the Easter Bunny and there is definitely a haul of eggs ahead, then here are some simple things you can do to avoid a chocolate coma this Easter:

Keep the bounty small.

Don’t roll your eyes. Yes, this seems obvious, but it’s really easy to get carried away. One bunny, one large egg and a handful of hunting eggs is plenty.

Consider including some practical gifts.

If you want the stash to look more substantial in place of mountains of chocolate, consider including some small presents such as pyjamas, slippers, colouring books or Easter themed craft activities.

Limit the daily intake.

Your child will most likely want to eat every chocolate treat that’s within their possession before the clock strikes midnight and Easter is officially over… but it’s a sensible idea to let them pick one or two eggs to eat on the day, and then put the others away. Ration them! Give them one each day until they’re all gone. That’s if you don’t eat them first.

Get the word out to the fam.

Let your family know that there is no need for them to buy your 18-month-old a bulging basket of chocolate (we’re looking at you Grandma) this Easter. One small treat is just perfect.

Enjoy the day.

Easter is supposed to be fun and, more importantly, a great opportunity to spend time with the ones you love. Try not to stress out too much when you see Great Aunt Millie handing your child their third Cadbury crème egg, it’s just one day in the grand scheme of things.