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It may be news to some of us, but there are people out there who don’t like chocolate!

Cue shocked gasp.

On top of that, many are keen to stay on top of their health after ‘the year that we shall not mention’. Personally, I have two lactose intolerant family members, a diabetic father and a 13-month-old who is excitable at the best of times. So, I don’t want to ruin the Easter long weekend with tummy troubles and post-chocolate meltdowns.

‘But it’s Easter! What else do I get them?’ I hear you wail. Never fear, we have some healthy and active alternatives to chocolate that every person can enjoy this Easter.

For the kids
1. Easter pjs for the kids
Give the kids their pjs on Saturday night so they can wear them to bed, ready for Easter morning. They don’t have to be bunny themed, think favourite character or colour. Plus, it makes a super cute photo for Easter morning too!

2. Arts, crafts or activity books
Inspire their creativity with colouring books, art pads, sticker books, colouring pencils or paints. Arts and crafts are always fun! You could sketch, trace or paint fallen leaves and things in nature, or dip twigs, leaves and gumnuts in paint and use them like stamps.

3. Puzzles and games
Create some fun memories with puzzles, card games and board games.

4. Story books and novels
It seems so old fashioned, but you can’t go wrong with an age appropriate book! Or if you are travelling this long weekend, try an audio book.

5. Treasure hunt or scavenger hunt
Children love the excitement of a treasure hunt. Instead of chocolate, hide small gifts to inspire a fun and active weekend. Think frisbees, hacky sacks, bubbles, chalk, playdough, kites or other. Get creative with clues and let the fun begin!

Or if you feel like you have enough STUFF in your house right now, make it a traditional scavenger hunt where children have a list of things to find in nature, such as feathers, leaves, or flowers.

Nature Play SA also have excellent resources to keep kids busy outdoors and in nature.

Remember, make sure you’re being SunSmart when you’re outdoors this weekend by wearing broad brimmed hats, SPF 30 or higher sunscreen (apply 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply two hourly), longer-sleeved tops and sunglasses. Download the SunSmart app to check the UV levels before you head outside and if it’s 3 and above, make sure you protect your skin.

For the adults
1. Bath bombs, candles, fancy tea leaves and other pamper products
The long weekend means having more time to put towards pampering ourselves… right?

Give the gift of self-care this weekend and encourage your loved one to take some time out for themselves.

2. Coffee vouchers
Something for the parents. Probably a much-needed treat if they have decided to take the family on a getaway for the long weekend.

3. Make a different kind of Easter basket
Who said an Easter basket can only have chocolate? Fill a small basket with practical things such as cleaning products, socks and jocks, ingredients to make a delicious Easter meal, healthy snacks or fruit and vegetables.

4. A plant or seeds for the green thumbs
You could also add a watering can and some fertiliser to help their plants thrive!

5. Spend some time, not money
We’re talking a lot about gifts, but the hardest part about the past year was not being able to see my family and friends. I couldn’t wait to see my loved ones for a coffee or have a meal together. Make time to catch up for a chat, go to the park or for a walk together. Trust me, it’ll make you feel amazing.

Wishing you all a happy and safe Easter!

Tamara Shipley
Community Education Project Officer

Cancer Council SA supports the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

While there is no one food that can protect against cancer, there are steps you can take to lower your risk through a healthy, balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from the five food groups.

A healthy, balanced diet will not only give you more energy and help you to maintain a healthy weight (an independent risk factor for cancer); it can also cut your cancer risk directly, particularly cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract.

For more information, including meal plans and recipes, visit