A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published March 27th 2014
Put a Check on Chocolate
As it happens, there are two non-chocolate eaters in my life to whom I'm close: one has a fat intolerance, and chocolate upsets her stomach; the other has sworn off chocolate for life, because he's realised that it's impossible for him to have 'just a little bit of chocolate'. Whereas I will happily savour a few squares of chocolate each night (dark chocolate with almonds is my favourite), in his mind, if there's a block of chocolate in the fridge, it ALL needs to be eaten - NOW! So there's a chocolate 'ban' in place.
This situation has led me to think that there must be many people in the world who, for various reasons, can't or won't eat chocolate. In a way it's easy for me, because both the people I'm referring to are adults and don't particularly feel deprived if they don't receive chocolate eggs at Easter. However, I can imagine it would be a different situation for parents with children who can't eat chocolate, if their friends are being given Easter eggs and they're not.
So, I've researched and come up with a few ideas of what you could give someone for an Easter present as an alternative to chocolate.
1. Chocolate soap
If you like to make your own gifts, here's a simple explanation of how to make chocolate soap. It basically involves using soap flakes, cocoa powder and fragrance to achieve a wickedly chocolate scent (without the calories!). I like the suggestion of setting the soap in a mould so it's in a fun shape. Make sure you label the soap so the recipient doesn't think it's edible!
If you like a bit of craft, then try making an 'Easter' rabbit from a pair of men's long socks. These sock rabbits can be personalised with buttons/stitched faces and clothes.
4. Bunny sleepwear
There are lots of bunny pyjamas on the market. These from Hugs for Kids are very cute. Alternatively, you could get a rabbit onesie; perfect for the upcoming cooler weather as they're snug and warm in polar fleece.
Or you could go with bunny slippers.These slippers for toddlers are very sweet.
5. Decorated biscuits
Remember Arnott's Milk Arrowroot biscuits? Their oval shape makes them a perfect egg shaped base to decorate. Arnott's has some great decorating ideas on their website (not specifically Easter themed, but it will give you some ideas).
Those gorgeous little orange rangas with the sad eyes need our help. Via the Orangutan Project you can 'adopt' an orang-utan named Chocolate. As they say in the overview:
Chocolate was confiscated from villagers in Southwest Aceh. He was very thin, with dry skin and dull, wiry hair. By chance, his confiscation coincided with the presence of a film crew from NBC in the USA, and Paul Hilton, a well known photographer based in Hong Kong, so the whole process was well documented. Both were in the area covering a spate of recent fires in the nearby Tripa peat swamp forests, from where Chocolate without doubt originates. He was named Chocolate, as someone stopped at a roadside store to buy some chocolate, and was then informed during discussions with locals about an orangutan for sale, hence the name…'
7. A gift for your dog
If the most important 'person' in your life is in fact a dog, then you will of course want a non-chocolate gift (since, as is widely known, chocolate is toxic to dogs). Instead, you may like to think about these green bunny dog socks. They have sizes to fit all dogs, large and small. The socks are made with breathable cotton and have non-slip souls - perfect if you have wooden floors.
Have you ever thought of giving magic message beans as an alternative to chocolate? Live Love Bean sell magic message beans. Inscribed with words and images, once planted, they grow to reveal the hidden words.
Great fun activity for kids who love to see reward for their efforts – plants grow into a gorgeous green bean plant with flowers and even fruit more beans.
Messages are varied – some are general such as Thank You with a smile face, or Happiness, and others more specific such as I Love You or Love You Mum.