As Easter approaches, I've found myself becoming very passionate about the quality of my holiday candy. Perhaps pregnancy hormones are to blame. I've now been pregnant through many major holidays. But pregnancy aside, you can't tell me you don't notice the difference between a Dove chocolate bar and a "chocolate crisp" flavored bar from the dollar aisle. Fake chocolate doesn't melt in your mouth. It sort of crumbles like paste and leaves a weird after taste. Why? Because there is no chocolate actually in it. Take a look at the ingredients:
Chocolate Crisp bar:
Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Whey, Crisp Rice, Cocoa (this is not actually chocolate), Lactose, Skim milk, Milk, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Vanillin
Chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, milk fat, lactose)
Why do people buy fake chocolate? Generic candy is marketed really well. It comes dressed in a cute wrapper/box, and makes your holiday gift look more festive. It's also cheaper. When you buy generic you get a lot more candy for your money. Americans love a good bargain (I get it. We are Dave Ramsey people), but buying crap doesn't actually save you anything. You would be better off to pay full price for something great, and just buy less of it. Our family buys a lot of generic brand items, but not when it comes to candy. I would rather have one piece of real chocolate, than an entire bag of chocolate flavored oil.
Our society has a hard time distinguishing between quality vs. quantity. We prefer to have more of something even if that something isn't as good. We want our kid's Easter baskets to be epic. It's a sign of how much we love our children: small easter basket = small heart (sarcasm implied). The size of your gift does not reflect the size of your love. Yes, gifts are a love language, but as in all love languages quality and thoughtfulness speaks more to the receiver than quantity.
We are teaching our children that more is better. This affects their health, both physically and mentally. The amount of candy and gifts given to kids during the holidays is excessive. It's easy to justify it by saying "this is a special occasion." Trust me I've justified a lot of ice-cream eating based on that saying. But have you noticed most months have a holiday? If there isn't a holiday there is a birthday party, school/community event, or sports events. Let's be honest. Special occasions don't happen multiple times a month. That's not the definition of special.
I'm the bad mom who throws excess/junk candy away. I let my kids eat a few pieces, and then I toss the rest. While I do appreciate the gift, there is no reason for them to eat an entire box of candy. It's not good for their health, and it's not teaching them anything positive. I want them to appreciate that less is more. I want them to savor small pieces of greatness over gluttony.
You might be wondering what's in our Easter baskets this year. We have crafts: a stepping stone to paint, stickers, chalk, and bunny paper. Our eggs will have quarters and privileges (stay up after bedtime). Don't worry, there will be candy! Each basket has a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, a Cadbury Egg, M&Ms, candy hearts and jelly beans. Notice my candy isn't organic. This isn't a rant about natural/clean eating. This is a rant about choosing quality over quantity. Everything is good in moderation... except for cheap candy, which is never a good idea.