Chocolate Bunny Ears

     Yesterday I was in the car listening to the radio with my kids when the song ended and one of the radio personalities began lamenting a bit about Easter candy and weight gain. The other host recommended to the listening audience to eat only the ears of a chocolate bunny to avoid weight gain; because she said, “if you ate the whole thing, you would have to run over three miles to burn  it off.”

     In that moment, I was glad my very young daughters had no idea what the radio hosts were talking about and that my son was not paying attention.  However, this got me thinking that as they get older, these messages will sometimes be unavoidable for them. While I wouldn’t want my kids eating a large chocolate bunny in one sitting, I would never want them to hear that they have to limit themselves to the ears in order to avoid having to “burn it off” later with exercise. I’m certainly a proponent of healthy exercise, but I think when kids get the idea that we need to exercise purely to compensate for the treats we eat, it can become a dangerous message.

    In my opinion, setting limits on how much of the bunny a kid (or anyone) should eat shouldn’t involve talk of calories, weight, or exercise. I think children should know, while it’s fine to have treats, it isn’t healthy to eat a lot of candy at one time – not because they will get “fat,” but because it’s not good for their body to overload it with sugar. This is a fine line to walk, because we don’t want to teach kids to fear certain foods or label them “bad,” but we also want them to know which foods are the best sources of nutrition.  I believe most everything is fine in moderation; and I also believe moderation can sometimes include more than just the ears of a chocolate bunny.  

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