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November 23, 2014

Creative Ways to Fill an Easter Basket Without Food

Easter Basketby Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE

Why are holidays notorious for high-sugar, high-fat indulgences? We made it past Valentine’s Day and its heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates, but along comes Easter… and your house is about to be over-run with chocolate bunnies and eggs. Many of my clients dread the holidays because they know they’ll be overwhelmed by treats and temptation. We can’t stop the holidays from rolling around (and we’re suppose to enjoy them, remember?), so I suggest coming up with some creative ways to manage the feasts that come along with them.

Of course, it’s okay to indulge a little – in fact, I recommend it. But for many adults, over-doing it usually leads to feelings of guilt. I also know that most moms don’t want their kids running around on a week-long sugar high! So let’s down-play the focus on food and try some other ideas for non-food (but just as fun) Easter basket treats. Combine these themed Easter gifts with some eggs filled with the other treats below, a  little bit of candy and some other healthy and fun goodies. Kid-friendly Easter basket snacks include trail mix, goldfish crackers, fruit (especially clementines), and carrots – that’s what the Easter Bunny eats!

A Few Fun Easter Basket Ideas:

Coloring Set – a pad of paper, coloring book, crayons and/or markers

Paint set – pad of paper, paint-by-numbers  book, watercolor paint, brushes

Art set for older kids – small canvases, acrlyic or oil paints, a paint palette, paint brushes

Barbie doll set – a new Barbie with a few different outfits or accessories

Game set – puzzles, playing cards, Rubik’s cube

Outdoor fun basket – jump rope, sidewalk chalk, ball

For your book-worm – a couple new books, magazine or a magazine subscription, a reading light, a book bag

For the girlie-girl – nail polish, chapstick or lip gloss, hair accessories, sunglasses, flip flops

For the little guy – building blocks or legos and accessories OR a toy track with buildings, trees and cars

Set for summer – beach towel, swim suit, goggles or sunglasses, sunscreen

Movie night – DVD, light popcorn, chocolate covered raisins

For your chef – apron, cookbook, ingredients for a favorite dish

Sports fanatic – combine several smaller items needed for your child’s favorite sport

The possibilities are endless! Think about your kids’ favorite hobbies and things to do. Also consider planning a themed basket that will get your child ready for a fun family outing such as a camping trip, trip to the zoo, botanical garden, or vacation.

For the Easter egg hunt, scatter a few “prize” eggs that contain chocolate coins or a dollar bill. Try to fill most with some of the following smaller treats. Of course it’s okay to throw in a few chocolate eggs for good measure :). Consider using yellow and green eggs for unisex prizes and pink eggs for girl specific prizes and blue eggs for boy-specific prizes.

A Few Fun Egg Hunt Prize Ideas:

Jacks

Stickers

Stick-on earrings

Toy cars

Mini hair bows or clips

Small change

Dried fruit

Yogurt-covered pretzels or raisins

Temporary tattoos

Bouncy balls

Peeps marshmallows or mini colored marshmallows

Plastic beaded necklaces

Colorful rocks

How does the Easter Bunny get creative at your house?

Elizabeth Patton MS, RD, LD, CDE is the chief blogger behind Good Food Tastes Gooda blog where Liz shares her passion for healthy eating and expertise on the matter regularly. Follow Good Food Tastes Good on Facebook

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