3 Easy Ideas for Families (and a Banana and Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Recipe!)
This year, we all need life to be easy where it can be. Easter is no exception. I like the Easter holidays; it has none of the pressures of Christmas but all of the joy. It is a flurry of chocolate, new life, bunny rabbits, daffodils and in our old lives, extended family!
Now given I run a plastic-free kids shop, I may have a head start on eco-friendly living, I am far from plastic-free.
Yes, you can still find Tupperware in my house. No, I don’t use toothbrush tabs, they hurt my teeth. Yes, if I can’t make it to the fishmonger, I will buy supermarket wrapped produce rather than starve my children.
So now we have concluded I am no eco-saint, let’s look at 3 blindingly easy ways we can make this Easter as eco-friendly as we can!
Don’t miss the recipe at the end for Cinnamon and Banana Hot Chocolate made from leftover Easter eggs, now that is my kind of waste-less Easter! Thank you, Chef Miriam Cooper!
It is estimated around 90 million chocolate eggs are eaten each year in Britain. Laid side by side, they would stretch from the UK to Sri Lanka.
So now we’ve established that Choc-a-holics R Us in the UK – what could that chocolate look like for our kids?
It must be ethical. It must be in eco-friendly packaging. It must taste outrageously good!
Put simply, there are millions of farmers who produce cocoa. We are going to eat £299 million great British pounds of Easter chocolate this year in the UK. So, vote with your wallets. Put your money on those who pay their farmers fairly to avoid child and slave labour.
Best Easter Eggs for Kids
PLAYin CHOC Easter Sets – a rabbit, a dinosaur, a moose? Each choccie square comes with a 3D toy made from recycled cardboard, so the fun continues beyond Easter morning.
Tony's Chocolonely Easter Eggs – 100% slave free, 100% plastic-free. We eat Tony’s year-round as it’s THAT good but they do create a natty Easter box for egg hunts.
Now let’s not mess around here. When I say chocolate for children, I also mean us, you and I parents. Apparently only 27% of parents admit to eating their children’s Easter eggs, I rank proudly with the minority of parental theft but perhaps 73% of the rest of the parental population may not be as truthful …!
Chocolate-Free Easter Gifts
Gasp. Did she say no to chocolate? I didn’t. No, I didn’t! But there some lovely alternatives to Easter Eggs and many families give gifts over Easter. So choose plastic-free ideas.
Chocolate Free Easter Hunt - create fun that lasts beyond Easter morning, instead of an egg hunt or perhaps alongside an egg hunt, hide little wooden animals in the garden. The wooden toys can then be added to the fun on the Easter table and later, imaginary play. Use the following year.
Personalised kids egg cups – charming and lasts forever. My children are still fussy about which egg cup they are given!
Never Knowingly Under-Lunched
Oh food, glorious food. The Easter weekend may not be Christmas but usually has me rolling to bed on Sunday evening.
Hot Cross Buns are my wasteful downfall. I loathe them, all that crystallised fruit, yuk! We seem to buy them anyway and then my family only ever really eats a couple … some genius suggested freezing them. Yes! Eat one, eat two, eat 5 and throw the rest in the freezer for another time. Brilliant!
These are my top tips for a waste-less Easter weekend.
- Make a list. Stick to it.
- Don’t buy food for the sake of tradition! Hot cross buns, I am looking at you!
- Cross 1 thing off your list, you don’t need it all.
- Don’t shop for leftovers.
- OK fine, use up the inevitable leftovers. Get creative, there are such fab recipes out there, Lamb Rogan Josh Curry, Bridget?!
And should there be any leftover Easter Eggs (who are you kidding?!), this is a delicious and heart-warming way to use up chocolate. Sit outside for kid’s tea a Spring evening, with a rug and hot chocolate from the wonderful Miriam Cooper.
Banana and Cinnamon Hot Chocolate
My little girl Jemima loves the combination of banana and chocolate, so this is a recipe I wrote for her. You only want a small cup: as it is thick and rich. The key is to get the banana puree really smooth, to avoid any lumps in the final hot chocolate. After a cold walk, or trip to the playground this is our comfort drink and a lovely treat. Also a great way to use up leftover milk chocolate from Easter.
500ml organic milk
1 tablespoon cocoa
50g milk chocolate, broken into pieces.
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
*recipe contains dairy and gluten, substitute/ or omit as necessary
Blitz the banana a couple of tablespoons of milk in a blender until completely smooth; set aside (to add into the finished hot chocolate).
Warm the milk in a sauce pan, adding the cocoa, milk chocolate, ground cinnamon and vanilla. Warm through, whisking to create bubbles. The milk chocolate should be completely melted (you want to bring the milk just to boiling point, but not too far so that it boils). Take the hot chocolate mix off the heat and whisk through the banana puree. Serve in small cups straight away.
Recipe serves 2-3
I would serve this from 2 years + chocolate is not recommended for smaller babies/ toddlers, as it contains caffeine.