Easter is tomorrow and we all know the traditional symbols associated with the celebration: rebirth, renewal, sunrise services, Easter bonnets, bunnies and dresses, pale blue, pink, yellow and green jelly-beans and finally, chocolate.

Sometimes I just want to scream it our loud! C-H-O-C-O-L-A-T-E!

With this holiday in mind and all sugary temptations plus depending on your values, beliefs and community, some traditions may be an issue for you or your child with type 1 diabetes. For example, dealing with the large amount of on-display (or handed out at school) Easter treats. Ditto for any adults who love treats!

There are two schools of thought on consuming chocolate or sugary treats when you live with type 1 diabetes:

1. Occasional treats in moderation + combined with a healthy diet are fine.

2. Best to avoid refined sugar and focus on the positive (or the can-haves) and find alternatives.

I know families who base their own philosophy on one or the other, and I am relatively neutral on what works best. Just like so many conditional aspects of life and circumstances, no two individuals are the same and what works for one person, may not for another. Decision-making is also sometimes dependent on the current situation: with a younger child, including their maturity and their acceptance of nutrition guidelines or perhaps, for an adolescent who may be focusing too much on being denied any fun/reacting to peer pressure. Moreover, beliefs (some ethical – some political) and habits in a household will also steer one person more heavily in one direction versus the other. Last point, this isn’t just an attitude for Easter but for so many special days of the year!

In light of this, I have chosen what I think are the very best for each outlook:

Occasional Treats ‘OK’ Outlook

Fairtrade Chocolate: Fair Trade certification ensures that farmers receive a fair price, allows farmers to invest in techniques that bring out the flavors of the region, and strictly prohibits slave and child labor. If you do buy chocolate, I advise fair-trade only and my favourite is Green & Black’s. They make delicious Easter eggs, too!

Otherwise, the amount of inexpensive, and oh-so-bad for you (but-oh-so good) candy is everywhere and if you must indulge – do so with a nibble!

Alternative Ideas

Alternative ideas are treats that are considered ‘good for you’ and do not contain refined sugars. For example, these Paleo Hot Cross Buns look amazing. For the recipe go to, I Quit Sugar.com.

Another cool website called ‘Life Made Full’ has compiled a comprehensive list. The author has put together 25+ Real Food Easter Basket Ideas! (Paleo-friendly). While all suggestions may not be completely ‘no sugar added’ – there are some nifty ideas.

Over at ThisFlourishingLife.com, they are making Paleo Graham Cracker Freezer Fudge {gluten/dairy/soy/corn/potato/egg/coconut/refined-sugar free}. I’m intrigued! Maybe a project for my 13-year old and me to work out in the kitchen. I’ll let you know!

In the meantime, whatever you do and however you do it, have fun and be safe!

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