Healthy Alternatives to Candy-filled Easter Baskets

Healthy Easter basket alternativesAccording to an InfoPlease article by David Johnson, Easter is second only to Halloween when it comes to holiday candy consumption in the United States. In fact, in 2000, Americans spent almost $1.9 billion on Easter candy.

With a public health study showing that the overconsumption of “discretionary calories” (foods high in sugar and fat and low in essential nutrients) has an even greater correlation to obesity than sedentary lifestyle and lack of fruits and vegetables, Americans need to reduce the amount of candy and other “empty calories” they place in their Easter baskets.

Moderation Is the First Step

Yes, obesity and diabetes are very real, but that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate all candy from your kid’s (or your own) Easter basket. The first step you can take is to minimize the amount of candy placed in the basket and focus on candy that is lower in calories and fat.

For example, according to a FitSugar post on Easter candy calories, a Cabury solid milk chocolate Easter bunny has 890 calories, 48.6 grams of fat, 101.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 97.1 grams of sugar, but a Dove solid Easter bunny (most likely smaller in size) has 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, and 24 grams of sugar. Make smarter candy selections for your Easter basket.

Fill Your Kids’ Baskets with More than Candy

Get creative when it comes to creating Easter basket for children. Yes, kids like candy, but there are other fun items you can add to their baskets that will keep them from noticing the fact that there is less candy.

For younger children, you can include:

  • Stuffed animal (Easter bunnies are very appropriate, but include any favorites)
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Puzzles and other small games (Remember, Silly Putty comes in its own egg!)
  • Plastic eggs filled with coins, stickers, or other prizes
  • Bubbles, chalk, or Play-Doh

For older kids and teens, you could include:

  • DVDs, games, or music they like (or gift cards for them)
  • Passes to movies or preferred hangout spot
  • Anything related to their current hobbies or favorite TV shows
  • Coupons for a day free from chores or an extended curfew
  • Books or graphic novels

Remember, the key isn’t to remove all of the candy, just to reduce it and offer healthy alternatives.

Don’t Forget about Spoiling Yourself or Your Significant Other

Easter baskets aren’t just for the kids – adults love getting Easter baskets too. Whether you are making your own Easter basket or crafting one for your significant other, you should cut back on the sugary treats.

If you need to include candy, limit the amount and try to make healthier choices, like dark chocolate or smaller sized treats. Remember, you can also include healthy snack alternatives, like those included in the Vitalite® Pack.

Personalize Your Baskets

You can base your Easter basket creations on your (or your loved one’s) hobbies and likes. Some options are:

  • Movie buff’s basket: include movie tickets, DVDs, or other movie-related gifts
  • Relaxation basket: include scalp massager, bath pillow, and spa gift set
  • Beauty junkie’s basket: include makeup bag with favorite cosmetics
  • Sun worshiper’s basket: include wide-brimmed hat, loose clothing with SPF, and (of course) a good sunscreen

Your options are only limited by your imagination!

Easter basket alternatives will not only make your holiday a bit healthier, but they will also add some surprises to a typically chocolate-filled day.