Build a Healthier Easter Basket

Easter doesn’t have to be synonymous with big baskets full of candy. This year fill your child’s Easter basket with fun and healthy treats, rather than sugary snacks. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Art additions. Do you have a budding artist in your house? Purchase some coloring books, washable markers, finger paints or sidewalk chalk. They make a perfect addition to any basket and will keep your child busy much longer than a bag of jellybeans does.
  • Sports selections. With baseball season beginning in a few days, fill your sports fan’s basket with baseball cards, a t-shirt or hat from his or her favorite team or tickets to a game. Encourage outdoor play and exercise with a baseball and glove.
  • Garden goodies. Gardening can teach your child about new foods. Build a garden-themed basket by including items such as fruit and vegetable seed packets, kid-sized gardening tools or gloves and a sun hat. Instead of candy, package your own assortment of fruits or vegetables in small cellophane bags.
  • Creative coupons. Coupons can be especially fun for older children. Fill a basket with coupons they can trade in for privileges, activities or freedom from chores. The possibilities are endless. Older kids also love gift cards.
  • Tiny toys. If you’re going to have an Easter egg hunt, place small, inexpensive toys inside plastic eggs instead of candy. Visit your local dollar store and purchase items such as bouncy balls, beads, nail polish or stickers.

Traditional treats. Many of the treats available at the store – such as cookies and Rice Krispy treats – can be made at home. Use applesauce instead of butter in baking recipes to cut down on fat content. Use less sugar or sugar substitutes to reduce the number of calories. If you do choose to add candy to your child’s Easter basket, stick with snack sizes. Add three or four for a sweet treat instead of chocolate bunnies or cream eggs

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