Easter is just around the corner, and that means pretty soon you will be (or may already have been!) surrounded with many chocolate choices everywhere you go. Easter is such a fun time for the family, so the dilemma I always face is – how to let my kids build childhood memories of this season by not missing out on chocolate, and yet continue the healthy eating lessons that I am trying to impart to them?
Teaching your children healthy habits
As you know, it is fun to treat yourself a little, and chocolate is such a big part of everyone’s treats, especially kids! Little treats are not only enjoyable to eat, but making them together builds kids’ confidence in learning how to identify and use good and healthy ingredients.
Having little treats in your life can also be a good habit to pass onto your children, as long as you talk about treat food as sometimes food, rather than as a reward or bribe for something.
All food is okay in moderation, and while foods like lean proteins, fruit and vegetables, good oils and calcium sources are needed every day, treats like chocolate are perfectly okay from time to time.
Healthy relationships with food can be created by modelling your own good habits to your children (who literally never stop watching and copying you!). Baking with your children and encouraging them to taste new ingredients is a wonderful way to show them that chocolate is fine sometimes.
Mixing a much-loved ingredient like chocolate with something super-healthy like chia seeds and goji berries (that your kids may be a bit more reluctant to eat on their own) can help introduce different food experiences, tastes and textures.
How to have a healthy relationship with chocolate this Easter
Rather than go out and buy lots of supermarket chocolate eggs, maybe this year you could try buying some handmade good quality chocolate, in smaller portions. Maybe you can encourage your kids to get involved in the process by letting them pick the chocolate they like from a range of chocolate you have selected. The prettiest packaging usually will help my daughter narrow down her choice!
If you are looking for some easy recipes to try out with your children, here’s a quick no-fail recipe that I always use at home. It is so quick and easy, there is not even a need to fire up the oven! Definitely a win for busy mums and dads.
Easy No Bake Chocolate Treat
This recipe is awesome, and not just because of the no-bake aspect. You also have to appreciate a recipe that has only three steps, and that you can throw together from literally anything you’ve got in the pantry (as long as you have the chocolate).
Since it is Easter, go ahead and indulge yourself a bit by using good quality dark chocolate for this recipe. I love dark chocolate as it generally has the highest content of antioxidants among the chocolate choices available. Don’t skimp and buy the home brand cooking chocolate, if you can. Because there are so few ingredients and such minimal work done to the chocolate, you will taste the difference if you get the quality stuff.
I love having a few of these in a container ready for when you need a little treat late in the evening, they have a glorious blend of sweet and savoury flavours with a hint of bitterness (from the dark chocolate) to them.
You can get creative and try all sorts of different topping combinations, with some that your kids might love for after school, or others that could just be for grown-up special occasions. You could even make funny faces and shapes with the toppings!
Chocolate and Goji Berry Clusters
- 100g of dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup of goji berries
- 1 cup of seeds (or nuts) of choice (I like to use sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
- Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries to sprinkle on top
- In a microwave or double boiler, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth.
- Stir in the goji berries and the seeds/nuts. Using a spoon, form bite-size clusters on baking paper. Sprinkle chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and goji berries on top for extra crunch.
- Cool in the fridge until they harden.
- For some special Easter fun, wrap the chocolate up yourselves and decorate them with your kids. The sky is the limit when it comes to the packaging!
You might like to try some of the following alternatives for toppings:
- 1 cup chopped dried mango and a ½ cup desiccated coconut
- ½ cup natural chunky peanut butter and 1 cup chopped dates
- 1 cup dried blueberries and 1 cup mixed seeds
- 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup air-popped popcorn
- 1 cup chopped pistachios and 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup sultanas, 1 cup puffed quinoa and 100s and 1000s for sprinkling on top (kids love this one!)
I hope you enjoy this simple and quick chocolate cluster recipe, and build many wonderful chocolate memories this Easter. I would love to hear how you have made your chocolate clusters, tag @littlepeepeats and @thecaffeinetrifecta on Facebook or Instagram to show us!
Suk-yi is the owner of The Caffeine Trifecta, an online marketplace for quality coffee, tea and chocolate. She is a caffeine lover, blogger, entrepreneur, air quality consultant, environmentalist, world citizen, wife and mother. She explores various topics related to coffee, tea, chocolate and everything in between on her blog. Make sure to follow her on her Facebook Page, Instagram Page and Pinterest Page.