March 31, 2013 1:24 pm

Healthy alternatives for Easter sugar rush

SASKATOON – Special occasions like Easter tend to mean plenty of candy consumption and chocolaty concoctions in schools, stores and community gatherings.

According to Statistics Canada, kids aged 1- to 13-years-old get more than 25 per cent of their daily calories from sugar – more than any other age group.

Global News spoke with local parents who are working hard to cut down on easily available sweets around the holiday.

Instead of a chocolate bunny the size of a football, parents put toys and stuffed animals in Easter baskets.

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Sugar in moderation and saying ‘that’s enough’ doesn’t have to ruin a child’s holiday when there’s an abundance of toys and healthy options available.

As far as friendly handouts go, some local parents say it’s getting more socially acceptable to just say ‘no thank you.’

According to a study by the Conference Board of Canada, fewer children are eating their fruits and vegetables.

In 1998, 20 per cent of parents reported their children ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. By 2009, that number had dropped to 13 per cent.

Fortunately, there are healthy options for the holidays.

“People are always looking for healthier ideas and options for their children, like  sugar free lollipops or sugar-free pops. When my daughter brings her friends over and she wants pop and chips, typically I’ll bring home zevia which is say a natural pop,” said Kathy Brinkmeier, owner of Hygeia Health Market.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, in the next 15 years, it is anticipated that the global incidence of type 2 diabetes in children will increase by up to 50 per cent.

Many are hoping these alternatives will allow childhood to be more healthy year-round in Canada.

© Shaw Media, 2013

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