Written by Elsie Velazquez Cert. Personal Trainer Prescription Fitness
Although Easter baskets should be a fun and carefree addition to the holiday festivities, what you choose to fill them with can be very detrimental to your kid’s health. Aside from the most obvious reason – the large amounts of sugar in all the candy we love to fill the baskets with – the chemicals in the all dyes added to the candy to make them pretty shades of pastel is also a concern. Furthermore, almost all of these products that Easter baskets are filled with are made with high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and ingredients our bodies do not benefit from. Some experts estimate that the average Easter basket can contain anywhere between 2,000 and 5,000 calories!
That doesn’t mean you have to do away with baskets of bunny-shaped chocolate and pastel gummy candies but it’s all about balance. With a little – or a lot – of creativity, you can put together a fun Easter basket that will make you and your kids happy.
To make a healthy version of an Easter Basket, consider these tips:
- Instead of a big chocolate bunny and get a smaller hollow bunny.
- Choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate if possible.
- Skip the big creme-filled eggs. If you really must include these, opt for a few of the mini version instead.
- Get plastic eggs and fill each egg with 1/2 serving of jelly beans which is about 7 jelly beans (I know…crazy) per plastic egg. It is easier to track intake this way.
- Fill plastic eggs with sugar-free gum. Chewing on sugar free gum will cut the candy-craving momentum.
- For small children, fill baskets with colorful toys that encourage activity. A few ideas are marbles, sidewalk chalk, kites, and
- For older kids, consider creating a “theme” basket:
- Gardening basket
- Camping basket
- Movie night basket
- Craft basket
- Spa night basket
- Sports basket
All it takes is a little thinking outside of the box and some creativity to come up with an Easter basket that your kids will love and that you can be proud of!