Dear parents, your child’s Easter basket likely contains more than a month’s worth of recommended sugar intake.
A basket with a small hollow chocolate bunny, bag of jelly beans, marshmallow chicks and peanut butter eggs could easily total nearly 900 grams of sugar. That’s about 90 chocolate chip cookies or 23 cans of soda.
The average adult should eat no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day, according to the World Health Organization.
But you don’t have to go without candy completely (because we know most of you won’t), just be aware of portion size, said Kristen Gradney, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you’re able, buy individually packaged sweets instead of bulk. We all know how easy it is to down a bag of jelly beans.
She recommends following recommended serving sizes, avoiding candy with visible sugar on the outside and eating treats only after meals. Also, make a point to limit sugary drinks, like juice, around the holiday.
Those concerned about calorie counts and fat should avoid filled chocolates (like those with peanut butter or creme), Gradney said.
Here’s a look at how much sugar could be in an Easter basket:
Big solid chocolate bunnies might be the biggest sugar offender. It’s easy to eat an entire bunny in a sitting, which could be eight days worth of suggested sugar. A Dove Milk Chocolate Easter Bunny at 12 ounces has 192 grams of sugar. The suggested serving size is 1/8 of the bunny, or 24 grams of sugar. Gradney suggests going for a dark chocolate hollow bunny, and eating only a part of it per day. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Looking at the back of Jelly Belly’s 49-flavor bag, it reads 21 grams of sugar in 27 beans. Non-traditional flavored jelly beans, such as Sour Patch Jelly Beans, usually have more sugar.
Peeps traditional chick-shaped marshmallows equal 34 grams of sugar for a suggested serving size of five. Peeps bunnies have slightly less sugar at 26 grams for a suggested serving size of four. Specialty flavors pack the most sugar — the Classic Carnival Taste is 32 grams for five.
Peanut butter chocolate eggs
Reese’s Peanut Butter eggs, for example, come in a variety of sizes, some contain 20 grams of sugar in the suggested serving size of four pieces while others come in at 32 grams for four pieces. Reese’s larger six-ounce egg totals 92 grams of sugar and 48 grams of fat.
Creme, caramel eggs
One Cadbury Creme Egg is about 20 grams of sugar and Mini Cadbury Creme Eggs will set you back 21 grams of sugar per serving, which is four pieces. The fondant creme-filled milk chocolate eggs might contain more sugar across the pond, as UK news outlets have reported the treats at 26 grams of sugar. Cadbury’s Caramel Egg totals 15 grams.
Malted milk eggs
Brach’s Malted Milk Eggs contain 20 grams of sugar in just four pieces. Whoppers Eggs have 23 grams for a serving size of 12 pieces.
Ashley May, USA TODAY