With Easter just around the corner, many parents are beginning to scramble to fill their little ones’ Easter baskets with a host of goodies. Although this long-held tradition has evolved over the years to include chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks, and multicolored jellybeans, some parents are foregoing the sweets and candy in exchange for more wholesome and engaging treats. Here are some ideas to put together a healthy easter basket for your kids.
Kimberly Snyder, a holistic wellness expert and founder of the lifestyle brand Solluna, prefers to focus on toys rather than candy. “We always have a giant Easter egg scavenger hunt at our house, but we fill the little eggs with toys like snap-on bracelets and baby dinosaurs,” says Snyder. “Our sons love it.”
Brianne Manz, founder of the blog, Stroller in the City, and co-host of Us Weekly’s “Moms Like Us,” also prefers to fill her kids’ Easter baskets with small gifts instead of candy. “Cute sunglasses, barrettes, bows, funny socks, sidewalk chalk, etc,” she says. “This allows for less sugar and more long-lasting spring fun.”
Emily Stephens, a health and wellness advocate in Hyannis Port, MA, has adopted a similar approach. “I’ve learned that Easter baskets don’t have to be challenging to fill with healthy choices if you take your time and shop early,” she says. “I like to fill the basket with useful items that encourage our family to spend time together, whether indoors or out. Over the years, I’ve filled Easter baskets with beach towels and swimsuits, sneakers, and shorts, a sleeping bag, colored pencils and sketchbooks, as well as baseball bats and golf clubs.”
To this day, I still remember the beautiful hardcover edition of the children’s classic, Heidi, I received in my Easter basket as a young girl. It certainly elicited a more positive response than the carob eggs and bunnies my mom filled our baskets with as kids. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from the so-called health food of my youth. Today, there are a host of healthy options you can use to replace the traditional chocolate bunnies and other sweets that are commonly found in Easter baskets.
“When looking for substitutions from sugary treats, I look for a more balanced sweet snack, something that incorporates nuts, fruit, and natural flavors,” says Manz. “Natural fruit ropes, delicious granola bars, and treats with no sugar added help fill our Easter baskets with healthier options.” Snyder also likes to use fresh fruits as a substitute for sugary sweets. “Kids really appreciate bright colors, so I think giving them a little fruit can go a long way,” she says. “One good example is to give them the Cuties oranges, which are so satisfying to children.” Snyder also recommends having a nice brunch as a family and incorporating a gratitude practice as a great way to bring the family closer for a healthier holiday. According to her, it puts the focus on being connected rather than on sweets. If you want to eliminate sugar and provide your kids with healthier alternatives, consider filling their baskets with these ideas this Easter:
If ever there was a time to encourage your kids to lather up and wash their hands, this is it. These cute Easter-inspired soaps—Easter Bunny, Jelly Bean, and Hippity Hop—feature delightful scents, such as fresh apple or water lily and peony. Jelly Bean actually smells like candy.
This collection of lip balms designed for kids is made with organic ingredients and natural fun flavors, such as Strawberry Sunshine, Ooey Gooey Goodness (inspired by S’mores), Wiggly Giggly Grape, Sweet Cheeks Cherry, Bubble Yum, and more. Relying on organic jojoba oil, organic coconut oil, naturally gathered beeswax, and non-GMO vitamin E oil, these lip balms protect and soothe little lips.
Make bath time a fizzy and fun affair with these colorful and scented bath bombs. Choose among the Flamingo Egg, a bright pink egg topped with sea salt that fizzes into pink and blue swirls amid purple cotton candy-scented water; Humpty Dumpty, which features the popular toffee-caramel scent of Honey I Washed the Kids and turns the water a fabulous shade of turquoise; and The Owl and the Pussycat, a skin-softening fizzy boat that transforms the water into a fun turquoise soak.
If I wouldn’t be Easter without something sweet, consider the chocolate Easter goodies from Fine & Raw, such as the Bouncy Bunny Bar Bundle, Easter 2 oz Oat Milk Chocolate Bar, Easter Hazelnut Chunky, and Easter 2 oz Cashew Butter Chocolate Bar. Made with clean ingredients, the chocolate is sweetened with coconut sugar and is 100 percent organic and plant-based. The cacao is also responsibly sourced from farmers in Ghana and Ecuador who are paid higher than fair trade wages.
Designed to empower kids with self-care techniques, such as awareness, breathing, meditation, gratitude, and stretching, this collection of cards helps introduce little ones over the age of three to mindfulness and its many benefits. The deck comes with 40 two-sided cards with watercolor illustrations for kids and more detailed instructions for parents, teachers, and caretakers. The recycled packaging is part of the company’s commitment to show kids a pathway to a more conscious world.