Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A Guilt-Free Easter

Ebony is fourteen months old now, and she knows. She knows where the TV remote is hidden, she knows where she’s not meant to be - and how to get there, and she knows when I’m eating something I shouldn’t be.

I don’t want to tell Ebony she can’t eat something I’m eating, because it seems unfair and she’s too young to understand that I care about her health, teeth and weight much more than I care about my own.

The problem with this is, I either have to stop eating things I like, or allow Ebony to eat them. Unfortunately, this means Ebony has now eaten chips. Not many, well, ok many. But not salted. If I get chips when we’re out, I give her one to keep her quiet. And then another one to make her be quiet longer... and, well, you get the picture. I’m a terrible mother.

When Ebony was a baby, I ate a lot of biscuits. A lot of biscuits. Probably a mountain of biscuits every week. I had to have secret biscuits because if my husband knew how many biscuits I was eating, he would divorce me. When she reached about 10 months old, if I decided to binge on some biscuits, Ebony would hold her hand out for one. I realised that I would have to stop hanging out with Ebony, but that didn’t seem doable, so instead I decided to stop eating biscuits. Now we have an afternoon snack together, something healthy that we can share. I eat mine from the plate, and she throws her on the floor, stamps on it, spills water on it, coughs on it, and then eats it. But essentially, our eating habits are the same now.

With Easter around the corner, I decided I’d need to find some way of us eating differently without Ebony getting frustrated. I didn’t want to have to miss out on having an Easter egg, because that would be a violation of my basic human rights, and I didn’t want Ebony to have chocolate because it seems a little early for her to be heading down the path of toothless obesity.


Then I came across a Carob Easter egg. Carob is extracted from carob beans. You may have seen it in health food stores. It’s often used as a chocolate substitute and can be eaten raw. I’ve tried it, and I wasn’t too keen, but I think that’s because I was expecting chocolate. It’s not chocolate, but it is a lot better for you.

Some carob facts for you:

  • Carob doesn’t contain caffeine or theobromine - these mood altering chemicals are best avoided
  • Carob is naturally sweet unlike cocoa which is bitter. Chocolate is often filled with sugar and milk to try to hide the bitter taste, but carob doesn’t need any of these extra fatty ingredients adding
  • Carob is three times richer in calcium than chocolate
  • Carob is packed full of potassium, B vitamins and other nutrients

The Easter egg I found doesn’t have any sugar added to it, and is wrapped in shiny foil so will look much like the one I will have too. So, hopefully Ebony will think we’re all enjoying carob eggs. Except of course, I’ll be gorging myself on sugar and fat. Don’t tell Ebony.

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