Think outside the Egg Box!

Guest blog from Deirdre Doyle 


Easter is fast approaching and with it, the never ending dilemma of parents. Easter eggs! Which one to buy, how many to buy and what to do with all that chocolate once Easter is over. A MummyPages survey in 2016 showed that Irish children receive an average of 5 Easter eggs every year with a small percentage getting 10-15 Easter eggs. And parents are not happy about it with 91% of them rationing out the Easter chocolate and 51% of mums wishing to be consulted before family or friends gift an egg.

Easter is another of those events that children celebrate by the over-consumption of cheap chocolate and sweets. Selection boxes at Christmas, jellies and eye balls and chocolate coins and all manners of other awful sweets at Halloween and then Easter eggs. Many children think that Easter is in fact the Easter bunny’s birthday and have no idea of the real meaning of Easter (according to a very unscientific straw poll I did!). I despair when I see Tesco selling 3 Easter eggs for €5, making it very hard for parents and well-meaning friends and family to resist. But what benefit is this to our children in the long run? And don’t get me started on all that packaging …………

Over the years, I have gently reduced the number of Easter eggs my kids receive so that grannies and aunties and friends now know not to buy them eggs. I’m not a complete bah humbug (or should that be a maah humbug for the time of year? Geddit?!) and my children will get 1 or possibly 2 Easter eggs. If you’re visiting with friends and family this Easter why not bring the children an alternative to cheap, overpackaged chocolate. Here are my suggestions of alternative, reasonably priced gifts:

Toys: Toys and Games Ireland has some perfect little gifts in her online shop starting from 2.50. Try the Dinosaur slime eggs which are clear eggs containing slime and a dino skeleton ( or chick hatching eggs ( Other stores with similar options include: www.LittleOnes.Ie

Accessories: Claire’s Accessories has a range of Easter themed gifts from Bunny Erasers for €4.99 to Bella the Bunny Glitter Mini-Pack for €24.99

Books: Check out your local book shop for Easter-themed books such as “We’re going on an Egg Hunt” €8.49 from A book is a great gift and it’s not just for Easter – it can be read all year around, as let’s face it, kids have no idea what time of year it is!! My Higher Shelf and Jackanory also have some fantastic titles to cover all ages.

Crafts: You can get some lovely Easter craft sets and the Art and Hobby Shop are always a great source of inspiration. They have Easter stickers starting at €0.99, sand art decorations for €5.99 and lots more. Not only are crafts sugar-free, they also occupy the kids for hours (if you’re lucky) or minutes (if you’re not so lucky!). and for great craft ideas.

Cooking and Baking: You might have a little extra time with the kids at Easter to do some cooking and baking. has some cute Easter themed cookie cutting sets and you can use up some of the chocolate that the kids get in cakes and buns! Or you can get Kiddies Food Kutters which allow the children to chop food safely. Available at


Plants: Buy a little plant or a pot and some seeds and get the kids planting. Lettuce are easy and quick to grow. Look at for growing kits for kids as well as the cutest welly liners! Starting from €3.59

So there you have it – some suggestions for gifts you can share this Easter with the kids in your life that won’t send them into a sugar spin! Have you anything else to add to the list, tell me in the comments? 

Happy Easter from Deirdre Doyle at The Cool Food School

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Weaning – Getting started with Eimear Fahy of Accessories 4 Babies

Weaning Your Baby onto Solid Foods

Weaning means gradually introducing a range of solid foods to your baby until they are eating the same food as the rest of your family. As your baby eats more solids, they will want less milk. An important part of weaning is to develop muscles associated with oromotor skills and speech. It also helps with the development of hand to mouth coordination.

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