Monday, March 21, 2016

Here Comes Peter Cotton Tail…

Please don't let him take your kids down the cavity trail! It is highly likely that just behind Halloween and Valentine's Day, Easter hops right into third place when it comes to the sweet treat danger zone.

Youngsters, their parents, and the rest of us are bombarded with temptations at every turn. The fact that these goodies may be a signal that spring is finally here make them even more difficult to pass up. It's hard to maintain willpower when surrounded by cute bunnies, bright yellow peeps, colorful jellybeans and beautifully packaged chocolates. Imagine how difficult it is for youngsters who are so easily taken in!

Not only is the sugar bad for the teeth, most of these high calorie items are loaded with artificial ingredients and synthetic dyes….

Wondering how to handle the barrage of chocolate bunnies, peeps and marshmallow eggs? Here are a few tips that should help make the job easier.

For the kids…

  • If an Easter Egg hunt is on the agenda, suggest that the organizers fill plastic eggs with alternatives to candy: loose change, hair ties, erasers, stickers, small toys, sugar-free gum, dental floss and small packs of trail mix.
  • When gathering items for your children's Easter Baskets, consider allowing them to have one small chocolate bunny or sweet treat and then shift the focus away from candy. Instead of filling the basket with pounds of sugar, opt for items such as cool socks or PJs, gift cards, movie passes, Legos, arts and crafts supplies, books, Hot Wheels cars, bubble bath or a new toothbrush!
  • Class parties can be another tricky area. Encourage teachers and fellow parents to focus on activity driven ways to celebrate Easter and springtime. Rather than offering trays of super sweet cupcakes decorated with pastel icing and sprinkles, how about heading outdoors? Some really fun activities for an Easter celebration at school are "bunny-hop" relay races, flowerpot painting, tie dying, DIY bird or butterfly houses and egg decorating. How about making a bunny mask

For the adults…

  • In planning an Easter menu, perhaps choose a beautiful fruit salad instead of a sugar-laden, high calorie carrot or coconut cake. If you're worried that the crowd will feel deprived, consider a few lightly sweet Easter cookie cut-outs.
  • Don't we all prefer those gifts that keep on giving instead of those that wreak havoc on our smile and waistline? For those that you want to remember during the Easter holiday, plants, hand tools or gift cards to the local gardening center would definitely be a big hit. Other ideas are Easter-inspired table linens, a few whimsical tchotchkes, a new water bottle, toiletries, wind chimes or a lovely bouquet of springtime blooms. Of course, we think that a basket filled with dental hygiene products including a new hi-tech electric toothbrush would be a real winner!

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