For kids, Easter morning means one thing — a big basket of candy. It’s a part of many childhoods — the egg dying, wearing your Sunday best, and biting ears-first into a giant chocolate rabbit. You try to limit your kid to just a few handfuls of jelly beans, but you turn your back for five minutes and they’ve devoured enough candy to fuel their whole year.

While the candy-coma isn’t an actual medical condition, an excess of sugar and sweets can definitely take a toll on your child’s health. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), children shouldn’t have more than 3-6 teaspoons (12-25 grams) of added sugar per day.

Eating too much sugar can actually make us crave more sugar, which can ultimately lead to everything from cavities, to obesity, and heart disease.

In line with the AHA, the World Health Organization recommends that “free sugars” (sugars from processed foods) should never top more than five percent of your daily calories. For a 10-year-old, this works out to be about 23 grams of added sugar per day.

For an adult on a 2,000 calorie diet, five percent works out to be about 25 grams of sugar. Instead, the average American consumes 71 grams of sugar, or 17 teaspoons, every day.

If you’re unfamiliar with nutrition labels, 23 grams, or even 25 grams, doesn’t get you very far:

  • One Cadbury Creme Egg contains 26 grams of sugar (about 6 teaspoons).
  • Just 33 jelly beans have 25 grams of sugar.
  • Four Marshmallow Peeps will more than max out your limit with 27 grams of sugar.

While you’re unlikely to get your kid to stop eating candy on Easter morning, the best thing you can do is limit the amount within reach in the first place. Instead of stuffing a basket full of sweets, stick to just one or two small candy chocolate bunnies, and fill the rest with crayons, coloring books, stickers, or a big toy they’re been wanting. Other fun snacks like trail mix and popcorn are great alternatives, too.

Also see, Galaxy swirl dyed Easter eggs using shaving cream. So cool!

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.