(ABC NEWS)- Fair warning to parents. From chocolate bunnies to peanut butter eggs and marshmallow chicks (oh my!), your child’s Easter basket could be full of the same amount of sugar that experts recommend kids eat over the course of several weeks.
“The really big chocolate bunnies alone, some can have close to 100 grams of sugar,” said Kristi King, senior pediatric dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “That’s four days’ worth of sugar.”
Children under the age of 2 should consume no added sugar, and children ages 2 to 18 should consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day, King said, citing widely accepted guidelines from organizations like the American Heart Association.
Here are some tips for Easter candy:
1. Consume candy in moderation.
The same rule that applies to nutrition in general, for both kids and adults, applies when it comes to candy, said both King and Shu.
“Everything in moderation,” Shu said.
2. Make a plan before Easter Sunday.
In order to both enforce moderation and not spark a fight, tell your kids ahead of time they won’t be able to eat all their candy in one sitting.
“Talk about the Easter bunny coming, that he’s going to bring some treats and we’re going to have some but also save some for later,” King advised. “Having your child involved in the conversation helps give them some ownership.”
3. Remember, your kids are watching.
Parents can be the best role models for their children when it comes to learning how to enjoy treats without overindulging or feeling guilty, King noted.
“Modeling plays a huge role in child development,” she explained. “If they see mom or dad sneaking off to eat chocolate, they may see that and think, ‘I have to do that too.'”
4. Read nutrition labels..
“Be aware of servings and portions,” Shu said. “Sometimes people overdo it because they don’t realize how fast the sugar grams add up.”