Easter candy – worth the calories?

Can you fit Easter chocolate and candy into a healthy diet? Yes, you can!

Easter candy – worth the calories?

April showers bring May flowers. What’s even better is that in April, the Easter Bunny brings Chocolate!

According to a nationwide survey conducted by the National Confectioners Association (NCA), 83 percent of kids still get candy and chocolate. The NCA is projecting their sales this season to reach $2.26 billion.

“The survey indicates that kids and adults alike continue to celebrate the Easter holiday by enjoying one of life’s great treats: Candy. And with 87 percent of parents planning to buy or create Easter baskets for their children, the long-standing tradition lives on,” said Alison Bodor, NCA Executive Vice President. “Candy has a special place in American culture. It’s what many people enjoy at holidays and other celebrations. And studies show that consumers know how to “treat right.” Research suggests that candy comprises only 2.2 percent of the average diet.”

So can candy be enjoyed and fit into a healthy diet? The answer is yes, as long as it is eaten mindfully and in moderation. That can be achieved by eating nutritious foods from all food groups to allow a little room in your diet for a sweet treat. Also, familiarize yourself with reading food labels, which will allow you to know how many calories are in a serving of candy or chocolate.

Here’s a quick guide for how many calories there are in popular Easter candy:

  • 15-25 small Jelly beans contain an average of 60 calories
  • One snack/fun size candy bar contains an average of 80 calories
  • Five Peeps marshmallow chicks contain an average of 140 calories
  • One chocolate cream egg contains an average of 170 calories
  • Seven small solid chocolate eggs contain an average of 200 calories

Remember that you can still indulge in the sweetness of chocolate and candy as long as you are aware how to cut back on calories from other foods. Michigan State University Extension encourages you to keep in mind that all foods can fit into a healthy diet if consumed in moderation, combined with physical activity.

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