Healthy Tip: Hop to it

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Easter, for many, is a time to take a break from the usual routine and enjoy spending time with family and friends. It’s also a time when both children and adults indulge in chocolate and other treats.  

A typical chocolate egg contains around 1,500 calories - the full daily calories needed for a seven year old girl. Any calories eaten over and above what the body needs will lead to weight gain. With childhood obesity likely to lead to low self-esteem, depression, diabetes and heart disease, Heart Research UK has come up with some great ideas for enjoying a healthier Easter-“eggstravagance” without neglecting those little hearts;

- Organise an Easter egg painting competition for the whole family by simply hard boiling eggs and painting with water colours, then let a neighbour judge the most attractive design.
- One Easter egg should be enough to last the whole weekend so if more family want to treat the little ones, ask them to indulge them with a new toy or a day out instead.
- Use high fibre wheat or bran cereals to make chocolate Easter nests. Try topping with grapes or blueberries as a fruity and colourful alternative to chocolate eggs.
- Wrap up dried fruit or nuts such as Brazil nuts or walnuts in colourful, decorative paper, served in a wicker basket to give as an exciting alternative to chocolate that’ll be kinder to the arteries.
- Melt some of the eggs to dip in pieces of apple, pear, pineapple, strawberry and blueberry to give an Easter boost to your 5-a-day.
- Opt for a dark chocolate made of 80% cocoa solids, which is full of heart healthy antioxidants.  The stronger taste should help you put a cap on the saturated fat and calories by having smaller portions.

So many Easter activities put sugary treats in the spotlight but it’s important to remember that your heart needs this energy to be used not stored in the body. So hop to it with your healthy Easter bunnies this holiday season. Take advantage of the spring weather and join in the many Easter egg hunts around the UK’s National parks or organise one around your neighbours gardens with a map of house numbers for an eggstra-special holiday celebration.