In just a few week’s time, people around the world will be getting together to celebrate Easter. After the long and difficult period of restrictions that we have experienced here in the UK due to Covid, this will be, for many families, the first time they have got together for a long time. Celebrations will no doubt be in order, and of course it’s hard to celebrate Easter in the UK without plenty of chocolate.
For the number lovers out there, an incredible 90 million chocolate eggs are sold every Easter in the UK. 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. There’s food for thought! If you are suddenly inspired to make your Easter a little more tooth-friendly, here are some top tips to keep the sugar levels down.
1. Keep kids busy
Getting outdoors and active is for sure the best way to keep the children away from all things sweet – weather permitting! Unfortunately, the British weather is pretty unpredictable at Easter and there is no guarantee of dry weather. Getting children involved in some inspired Easter activities is a great way to keep little hands busy and little teeth healthy if you do find that the gang is held captive indoors.
With non-essential retailers returning to business as usual, 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. You’ll also be helping out your local businesses with much-needed trade. For some extra inspiration, spend some time online first to find the ideal activities for your family.
Something else you can do is encourage your children to recycle and repurpose household materials. In addition to keeping costs down, you will also be incorporating an additional educational aspect to your activities as you encourage them to think more about the environment.
2. An alternative approach to eggs
For most children in the UK, Easter is all about the eggs. Many countries, however, don’t have the same habit.
In Poland and other European countries, 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. Not only is it a great way to spend some creative time with children, it also helps to have a healthier easter.
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 to mealtimes
The risk of tooth decay is greater the longer 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.
Insisting that chocolate eggs and other Easter treats are only consumed at mealtimes will help to ensure that teeth are not repeatedly exposed throughout the day. Of course, this should also be coupled with a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing teeth with a quality fluoride toothpaste twice a day for at least two minutes. Your children may not like you for it now, but they’ll be thanking you in the future!
4. Explore whole food options
If your family is health-conscious or enjoys being more adventurous with food, 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 and healthier approach to snacking. Nuts, dried fruit, seeds and rice-based snacks are just a few of the many options to explore. You may even get them away from sweets and crisps for good.
There is no shortage of ideas 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 Regent Dental Centre would like to wish you and your family a very 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 0161 941 2143.
Website last updated: October 2021
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