Avoid a basketful of trouble, says UB dentist, TOPS - The Buffalo News

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Avoid a basketful of trouble, says UB dentist, TOPS

Easter comes after only Halloween when it comes to candy sales, according to the National Confectioners Association, which can create a challenge for parents looking to stuff the healthiest of foods into their child’s Easter basket.

The Take Off Pounds Sensibly, or TOPS, Club put together the following list to give anyone who eats traditional basket fare an idea what it will take to burn off the calories in those goodies.

Five marshmallow chicks: 140 calories; walk for 39 minutes

One cream-filled chocolate egg: 150 calories; jump rope for 12 minutes

Fifteen jelly beans: 160 calories; bicycle for 25 minutes

One peanut butter egg: 180 calories; swim for 15 minutes

One 1.5-oz. solid chocolate Easter bunny: 240 calories; jog for 27 minutes

The nonprofit weight-loss support organization made its calculations using calorieking.com and basing exercise a 144-pound woman would need.

Dr. Meelin Dian Chinkit-Wells, clinical assistant professor of pediatric and community dentistry at University at Buffalo Dental School, offers these tips to parents as they fill baskets.

1. Stick to dark chocolate: It may be more expensive than milk and other chocolates, but is less damaging to teeth – and dental bills.

2. Avoid the goo: Steer clear of caramel and gooey, sticky high-fructose corn syrup. It’s sugar velcro on baby teeth and grown-up teeth alike.

3. Add color: Consider using fresh fruit of different colors, or homemade trail mix. Sugar-free chewing gum also is an option.

4. Instill good habits: Include fun toothbrushes and different flavors of toothpaste and floss. TOPS also recommends adding fresh fruits.

5. Fill plastic eggs with little fun toys and stickers.

To find a local chapter of TOPS, visit tops.org or call (800) 932-8677.

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