Australians are expected to spend over $185 million on chocolate over the Easter break. Painted or dyed eggs were given at Easter to symbolise new life, chocolate eggs first appeared in the early 1800's and are still given and enjoyed today.

Chocolate ranks as some of the highest kilojoule food available, it is full of sugar and fat and has no dietary fibre,  although pleasant, it does not give a sense of fullness after eating. Some studies have suggested that chocolate can be good for you. Small amounts of chocolate ( studies used 100g) containing at least 70% cocoa improves blood flow and blood pressure, but only if it replaces other energy-dense food and weight remains stable.

Hot cross buns were baked on Good Friday as a symbol of good luck or to ward off evil. They are produced using refined white flour and spices. the protective effects from grains for heart disease, diabetes prevention and colon cancer have only been demonstrated from whole-grains. The anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-oxidant effects of cinnamon will be dependant on the amount eaten.

Some typical treats are


  •         Solid mini-egg (4) 25g        : 553 kj = 40 minute walk
  •        Small choc bunny ( 100g)   : 2212 kj = 1 hr 10 minute swim
  •        Cadbury cr?me egg(39g)   : 718 kj = 1hr 30 min walk
  •         Fruit hot-cross bun (80g)     : 1070 kj = 8200 steps
  •         Choc chip hot-cross bun     : 1030 kj = 1hr 30min yoga

Some Ideas to Keep Easter Healthy


  • Consider dark chocolate, with less sugar, more cocoa and more difficult to eat in large amounts due to the slight bitterness
  •  Chocolate is a treat, rather than eating it constantly, have a small amount of very good quality chocolate on Sunday
  •  Put extra chocolates away from view or share with family and friends
  •   Focus on non-food ways to enjoy Easter such as time off work, visiting friends, visit scenic areas, listen to music
  •   Get active, go cycling, bush-walking, gardening or even housework and chores
  •  If you have over-indulged, don't let it become a pattern, savour the memory of the tastes you enjoyed, try to do a little extra exercise and get back on track with healthier habits
  •  You do not have to give edible Easter gifts, there are fresh flowers, books, music, shared time
  •   Don't skip nutritious meals for chocolate, try to have the two and five fruit and vegetable  serves every day of Easter as recommended
  •   Try and balance the extra energy intake with fun and active play

Easter is the perfect time for family, friends and activity. Temptation is everywhere, stopping nutritious meals to indulge in a chocolate rabbit is unhelpful, but recognising that extra energy has been eaten and using the time to burn it off is possible.

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