The aisles of grocery stores are once again flooded with pastel wrapped candies for Easter baskets, but not everyone wants to fill a basket with candy!
Easter is a holiday that is heavily associated with baskets loaded up with sweet treats, but for many families, this is not a reality. There are many children out there who are extremely sensitive to sugar, various other ingredients or allergens in a lot of commercial candy, or perhaps the parents are very health-conscious, so having sweets in the basket on Easter morning is just not an option.
No matter what the reason is for not wanting sweets in the basket on Easter Sunday, there are plenty of other palatable possibilities that the kiddos will love! Let’s dig in (literally)!
Fruits & Veggies
Fruits will be your best friend when making a healthy Easter basket. They’re easy and sweet, and can easily take the place of the sweets down the candy aisle. Vegetables may not be as exciting for some kids, but it’s Easter after all, so you gotta have some carrots!
Dried fruit: Fruits are healthy and delicious! You can dehydrate your own strawberries in the oven to make little fruit snacks or buy lots of different dried fruits!
Chocolate-covered fruit/nuts: Ok so maybe chocolate isn’t terribly healthy but dark chocolate contains important antioxidants which are healthy, right? Melt down ¼ dark chocolate morsels with ½ Tbsp coconut oil, stir until smooth. Mix in or dip your fruit or nuts, place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and freeze for 10 or so minutes!
Fresh fruit: If you’ve seen those Edible Arrangements, then you know just how creative people can get using just fruit! Make some fun Easter shapes like bunnies. You could even use a hollowed out watermelon for a basket!
Fresh vegetables: If you’re really trying to score some brownie points with the Easter bunny, then including an assortment of fresh veggies in the basket is a great and healthy alternative to candy! Don’t forget to include some delicious dips to go along with the veggies!
Fruit snacks: Believe it or not, there are healthy fruit snacks out there! Look on the shelves for organic fruit snacks using real fruit, or make your own out of strawberries!
Fruit and veggie pouches: This is a great idea for infants and toddlers. With so many organic varieties in store to choose from, it can be a tough choice! It’s also easy to make your own by simply pureeing your child’s favorite food combinations and storing it in reusable food pouches!
Veggie chips: Whether you make them yourself or buy them at the store, veggie chips are a creative way to get your child to eat their vegetables! I’m a sucker for ranch veggie straws! Not as healthy as actual veggie chips, but at least they have ‘veggie’ in the name…
What are your child’s favorite snacks? Fill plastic Easter eggs or Easter-themed goodie bags with them for super cute additions to your edible Easter basket!
Trail mix: You can easily buy many different varieties of trail mix, or you can make your own, ensuring that everything that goes into the mix is something your individual child will nibble on all day!
Cracker carrots: Fill clear, disposable cake decorating bags with orange snack crackers, such as Goldfish or Annie’s cheddar bunnies, and tie off the top. Make the tops of the carrots by making green fringe with construction paper, using green pipe cleaners, or green ribbon!
Go-gurt yogurt: Thank you for making yogurt super fun to eat! Not only are they healthy, but I know from experience (mom of 3 little boys), that kids love them!
Popcorn: My boys love popcorn, which is fantastic for me because it’s relatively healthy and extremely inexpensive! Always make your own though, that way you can season them however you like! I’m particularly a fan of sweet and salty popcorn seasoning!
Crackers: If you like the idea of crackers, then fill a fun snack container with them, or simply fill a few plastic Easter eggs!
Snack bars: There are lots of healthy snack bars out there, one of my favorites being Larabar. You know what your kids like, so let that be your guide! Homemade Larabars are very easy to make.
Hard-boiled eggs: You know all of those eggs you just colored the other night? Yeah, put a few of those in the basket!
Pickles: Or any food item your child is particularly passionate about! For instance, my 3 year old adores pickles, so it’s the perfect addition for him! Adding your child’s favorite healthy snacks to their Easter basket for a delicious filler you already know they’ll love!
Putting together healthy Easter baskets is easy… Putting together healthy Easter baskets your kids will love may not be! That’s where getting creative in the kitchen comes in handy!
Oatmeal raisin cookies: These chewy oatmeal cookies look delicious, but any kind of homemade cookie can be made to limit the amount of sugar in it. So while they may not be exactly ‘healthy’, they sure are better than prepackaged stuff!
Granola bars: Granola bars are easy to make at home, or you can always buy the pre-packaged ones. If you’re interested in making your own, these honey chocolate chip granola bars should certainly peek your kids’ interests! More please!
Banana bread: Banana bread is delicious, easy to make, and a wonderful way to use those bananas that seem just too ripe to eat! Actually, the very trick to a good banana bread is to use bananas that seem overly ripe. If your bananas are ready to go, try out this delicious banana bread recipe!
Chocolate zucchini muffins: If you’ve never had a chocolate zucchini muffin, it’s like a loaf of banana bread and a chocolate cupcake fell in love… and when two delicious baked goods love each other very much, well, you get the idea! Who knew a vegetable could taste so good!
Carrot cupcakes: Okay, so not the healthiest option but I thought I’d slip this one in. After all, it is made with a bunny’s favorite snack! These ridiculously good-looking cream cheese topped carrot cupcakes wouldn’t last 2 seconds in my Easter basket! And, all things considered, you’re still getting vegetables into your little one. You also have full control over the amount of sugar which is an added bonus.
Creating a healthy Easter basket will provide you with the peace of mind that you are not loading your children up with unnecessary amounts of sugar and chemicals found in traditional Easter candies. Including a good balance of healthy food and fun things to do will ensure that the kids are totally satisfied with their Easter loot and they will have a Happy Easter, to boot!