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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Celebrating Easter

Since both my kids are too old for an Easter egg hunt, I went to that old standby this morning: the chocolate bunny. She got one wrapped in pink foil, and his was wrapped in blue.


Instead of making Bow search for hidden eggs, his enrichment activity was unwrapping the bunny, which can be frustrating to a full grown human adult.


Bow is very smart, and, while he used his mouth to unwrap the foil, he did not chew on any part of it. It came out perfectly formed.


He discarded the foil entirely intact and proceeded to eat the chocolate with dainty appreciation.


Bow eats chocolate very slowly.



This was a solid chocolate bunny, not one of those hollow models you sometimes see. It was manufactured by Zachary Confections of Frankfort, Indiana.

You can see how carefully Bow unwrapped the bunny

Having chocolate bunnies for Easter is a tradition in my family of origin since 1970.

I don't remember ever having been on an Easter egg hunt as a small child. I think we went straight from Israel's passover to chocolate bunnies for the whole family as a celebration in the United States. For a fictional account of the culture shock, you can read my short story, The Punky-Wunkies. It's in two parts, and here is the second one: Punky Wunkies, Part Two. 

My mother says that when she was growing up, foil wrappers from chocolates were saved by the children in her town as valuable and traded with others, to see who would have the most complete collection. It's a shame that today most people just throw away the wrappers, no matter how beautiful they are. Abundance breeds contempt.

You may be wondering how I could allow Bow to eat something quite so bad for him as a chocolate bunny. Here are the nutritional facts about this treat:


It's really not as bad as you would think. On the plus side, there are 16 grams of fat. On the minus side, there are 34 grams of carbohydrates. (Protein is negligible.) That makes it seem as if there are more than twice as many units of carbohydrates as of fat, which would be bad for purposes of preventing obesity. However, there are more than twice as many calories in fat as in carbohydrates, so when all is said and done, it's nearly an equal distribution: 136 calories from carbohydrates and 144 calories from fat. This is not a low carb food, but it's not high carb, either. Not like fruit!

Compare this to the nutritional content of an average raw apple:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1809/2

The apple has only two calories from fat in it, as compared to 63 calories from carbs, so it is a high carb food. Of those carbs, only twelve are from dietary fiber. So the leaves 51 calories of carbs that are actually going to be used as fuel. The apple is less filling than the chocolate, contains fewer calories, but almost all of those calories are carbs.  When Bow eats several apples to get full during the day, he will actually end up with more carbs than he would have if he were on a diet of chocolate bunnies. Since carbs are easier to digest, they will more readily store as fat, if he does not burn them off immediately.

Fortunately for Bow, he does not have an obesity problem. He has a high metabolism and does burn off all those carbs from fruit every day. And I don't give him chocolate except for special occasions. But you can see that it's not as harmful as you might suppose, compared to his daily fare of apples, grapes and bananas.

I have seen chimpanzees at the zoo who probably never got chocolate even  once in their life and eat a high carb diet approved by the experts, and they are obese!

We try to balance nutrition with fun here, and Bow is doing just fine.


4 comments:

  1. That is cool how you turned the chocolate bunny into a nutritional lesson. That chocolate bunny seemed to have better ingredients that the ones I have seen near the check out stand. If I eat apples or bananas sometimes I like to add peanut butter to add a bit of protein and fat, and I seem to feel fuller longer.

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  2. Thanks, Julia. It helps me to go through the nutritional information, too, so I have an idea what is really involved. Usually the smaller chocolate bunnies are higher quality, because if they cost the same as a larger, there's a pretty good chance the ingredients are better. Anyway, that is my rule of thumb when shopping in a hurry. I'd rather have less of the higher quality chocolate than more of the low quality stuff. My daughter likes to dip her apple slices in peanut butter, probably for the same reason you mentioned.

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  3. Who cares about clories and carbs when there is chocoalte around to eat!! I love chocolate and it is a stress reliever for me. I do not get it that ofter either. I only get it when my day has been horrific. I do love the Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs though.

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    1. I like those Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs, too, Debbie.

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