Easter is coming and even if you do not have young people to furnish with chocolate eggs, the temptation to indulge on chocolate is hard to resist – and the British appear to have an insatiable appetite for chocolate. Did you know that in the UK, an incredible 90 million chocolate eggs are sold every Easter? Even more worrying is that each of these contains an average of 55-65% added sugar, equivalent to as much as 30 teaspoons for a larger egg. If that’s enough to get you thinking about how to make your Easter a little more tooth friendly, here are some top tips to keep the sugar levels down.
1. Keep little hands busy
If the weather’s good, then getting outdoors is for sure the best way to keep the children away from all things sweet. Unfortunately, the British weather is pretty unpredictable at Easter and there is no guarantee of dry weather. If you do find that you are held captive indoors, getting children involved in some inspired Easter activities is a great way to keep little hands busy and little teeth healthy.
Why not visit your local craft shop, where you’ll find all kinds of crafting supplies on an Easter theme. There is all manner of materials on offer now, including polystyrene eggs which can be painted or decorated with Papier Mâché, baskets, beads, craft paper, ribbons and much more. For some extra inspiration, spend some time online first to find the ideal activities for your family.
Another approach is to encourage your children to recycle and repurpose household materials – as well as keeping costs down, you will also be incorporating an additional educational aspect to your activities.
2. Try an alternative to chocolate eggs
Let’s face it, for most children Easter is all about the eggs. But who said that they have to be chocolate? Whilst here in the UK there is a tradition of exchanging chocolate eggs, many other countries don’t have the same habit.
In Poland, for example, there is a much healthier tradition. It is common practice for families to gather together before Easter and have the children dye hard-boiled eggs with edible colours, then use paints and wax crayons to create beautiful decorated eggs which can be shared and eaten. Have a quick look online or ask in your local craft shop for food safe egg dyes. If you have a local Polish or European shop, they may also have egg dyes in stock.
3. Limit chocolate time
It is important to understand that it is not just the quantity of sugar that puts teeth at risk. The risk of tooth decay is connected to how long teeth are exposed to sugar acid attack. Acid levels in the mouth are generally highest for about an hour after consuming something sweet. If children are allowed to consume chocolate throughout the day, this can result in a prolonged attack which is bad news for little teeth.
Setting restrictions and insisting that chocolate eggs and other Easter treats are only consumed directly after a meal will help to ensure that teeth are not repeatedly exposed throughout the day. Your children may not like you for it now, but they’ll be thanking you in the future!
4. Explore whole food options
If you are health conscious or simply feeling adventurous, there is of course a complete alternative to processed products in the form of wholefoods. With such a wide range now available in both supermarkets and wholefood shops, Easter is a perfect opportunity to introduce your children to a new approach to snacking. You may even get them away from sweets and crisps for good.
There are ideas a plenty on the internet, from beautiful goodie-filled organza bags to home-made natural cakes. We do advise that you choose carefully depending on your child’s age, as foods such as nuts and dried food can present a choking hazard to younger children.
The team at Adrian Mullish Dental Care would like to wish you and your family a Happy Easter. To learn more about the full range of family dental services available at our friendly and welcoming clinic, give us a call now on 01923 231861.