Gluttony or Simply Celebrating Annual Holidays?

Recently while making a quick stop at CVS I was flabbergasted when I saw the sheer volume of Easter candy on the shelves.  Not only was one aisle overfilled with various shapes, flavors and brands of Easter themed candies, but separate displays were also abundantly stocked. 

Let me start off by saying that I love candy, probably more than the average seven year old, even though yes, I am a dietitian.  I’m not talking Lindt truffles or Godiva chocolates wrapped in a gold box, I mean sugary, sour candy, i.e. Swedish fish, Sour Patch Kids, etc.  However, aside from my sweet tooth that in my wise years I have harnessed control of, I think that the commercialization of certain holidays has peaked with regard to confections. 

Easter and Halloween are the primary holidays that come to my mind when I think of times of the year when stores are inundating themselves with candy.  I remember when I was younger and used to get so excited when I saw that stores were amping up for these holidays because I knew it meant that a boatload of sweets was coming my way.  An Easter basket that could match my stats in a boxing match or a sack of candy that I could barely manage to drag home after a night of ringing doorbells.  It was obvious in both instances that I had more candy on my hands than I needed even if portion controlled.  My mother evidently felt similarly because every year about a week and a half after said holiday, she would regretfully inform me that the ants got to my stash.  It never dawned on me that my mom was fibbing until she confessed years later, I just thought I had bad luck. 

I am by no means of the mindset that the Easter Bunny needs to be delivering cherry tomatoes to children in their Easter baskets.  However, on the other hand it isn’t necessary to overindulge children to celebrate a holiday either.  How about gifting a few individually portioned pieces of candy and then for Easter, for example, focus on making bunny themed foods as a family, i.e. carrot raisin salad, omelette with a bunny face made out of chopped veggies, etc.?  This type of attitude is a small step in the direction of reducing the seemingly ever increasing rates of childhood obesity.


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