Thursday, April 26, 2012

GF Taste Project: Cocomama Quinoa Cereal

Here's the first official product review for my new project: the GF Taste Project. I was recently asked by Cocomama Foods to review their new product: Quinoa Cereal. They sent me three of their flavors to taste and review on the blog. Whether or not you're required to eat a gluten-free (GF) diet, read on! If you're looking for variety, this cereal makes a great addition to any diet.

Product Introduction:
The first thing I noticed about Cocomama Quinoa Cereal is that it is based in just a few simple ingredients: quinoa, coconut milk, fruit and natural sweeteners such as honey, syrup and fruit concentrates. It appears that all the ingredients are "real" and that there are no preservatives. This I really liked. All the cereals are gluten, dairy and soy-free making them a great option for those with food allergies. That's tough to come by in a convenience product.

Per the instructions, you can eat the cereal at room temperature or heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds. I tried the cereal cold, but decided that I would much prefer it heated. I trialed different heating times and found that 40 seconds was more adequate to warm the cereal to my liking. The quinoa still maintained its "al dente" texture when heating for a little longer than instructed, but at 60 seconds, it became a little mushy.

Nutrition Information:
The calories range from 210 to 240 per packet, depending on which flavor you choose. Each cereal has about 8 grams of total fat, 6 grams of which are saturated. It's a low sodium option, containing less than 300 mg, and is high in fiber, with 3 grams per packet. Each packet of cereal contains about 30 grams of carbohydrate (2 carb choices), which is similar to an oatmeal packet, and a nice serving size for those monitoring carbohydrate intake in their meal plans. 

A Nutritional Note About Coconut:
The amount of saturated fat contained in the product is high (we only need about 15 grams of saturated fat in the whole day)--but it comes from coconut milk. At this time, research on the saturated fats in coconut remains conflicting. I would say that the overall consensus of the dietetics community is still that coconut oil is to be limited in the diet, since it is a saturated fat (along with other similar fats such as butter and cream). Saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels and risk of cardiovascular disease. But the debate lies in that coconut oil, although a saturated fat, has benefits because of it's medium-chain structure (versus long-chain). Without getting too technical, this means that the body is able to metabolize it more quickly than other fats. Some research demonstrates that this causes increased energy expenditure, potentially decreasing weight and cholesterol levels. Still, other research indicates that medium-chain fatty acids, such as coconut oil, still increase cholesterol and specifically, triglyceride levels, known markers for heart disease. I don't think the research is clear enough yet to recommend regular consumption of coconut oil, especially since this could pose a health risk if you already have high cholesterol and/or heart disease. But will a little hurt? Most likely not. My advice is to continue consuming saturated fats in moderation, and that includes coconut oil. That means it would be safe to consume Cocomama cereal on a regular basis, but I would make sure that other sources of saturated fat in your diet are limited, especially if you have high cholesterol.

Part of a Balanced Meal:
I aim to build balanced meals, and Cocomama Cereal was the perfect jumping-off point. Since it is low enough in calories, I was able to add a fruit and a glass of milk to complete my meal. Nuts would be great on top too! In combination with these additions, I found Cocomama Cereal to be a very filling breakfast. I was full for 3 hours afterward and not starving by the time I got to lunch, even after my 60-minute morning exercise routine. Now this is a feat for me, because I'm usually starving by 11:00 and ready to start eating my desk! Alone, the cereal wouldn't have been enough for me. The portion size is fairly small and looks quite a bit larger as pictured on the product package than it really is. As part of a balanced meal, though, it was perfect. And it's a very quick meal!

I got to try three of the four flavors offered by Cocomama. Here's my review of each:

Banana Cinnamon 
The banana cinnamon cereal had a rich, indulgent flavor. It was like a treat to me! Most prominently, I tasted the sweet cinnamon flavor, which I enjoyed, but it was almost a little too sweet. However I am accustomed to eating more "plain" foods for breakfast and typically don't add any sweetener or sugar at all. The texture was smooth and creamy and the flavors blended well together. I added a sliced banana and a glass of skim milk to balance out the meal and really enjoyed it.
Wild Blueberry
When I poured the Blueberry pouch into my bowl, my first thought was that it was a little unappetizing; it didn't look particularly appealing. Still the blueberry, vanilla and maple flavors blended nicely together, with blueberry being most prominent, but at times I still tasted notes of maple and cinnamon too. I would prefer this flavor to be a little less sweet also; the sweetness was a little overpowering. It was not my favorite flavor and I would most likely pick the others over this one.
Orange Cranberry Cocomama Quinoa Cereal
Orange Cranberry

The flavor of the Orange Cranberry cereal was refreshing and bright. I didn't taste the cranberry much or see any "plump cranberries," but I did get the perfect hint of orange. I can picture myself adding cranberries and walnuts to the top and enjoying it with a glass of milk. It had a great flavor in combination with the crisp texture of the quinoa. Great for a sunny, summer morning.

Overall, all the cereals tasted great and they offer a great base on which to add fruit, nuts and milk to plan a balanced, complete and filling breakfast. They are a little sweeter than I would prefer to eat on a daily basis, but I would consider purchasing the Banana and Orange flavors as well as the Honey Almond, which I didn't try. I would like to see a "plainer," more lightly flavored option too!

The cost of a six pack is $21.00, which comes to $3.50 per pack. Alongside milk, fruit and nuts, you would still have a breakfast that costs less than $5. Cocomama also offers $3.99 flat shipping on all orders.

Since I am not required to follow a gluten-free diet, but do enjoy quinoa, Cocomama Quinoa Cereal is a nice addition to my breakfast repertoire. For those people who are required to eat gluten-free for health reasons, convenience is really a huge factor! Many gluten-free hot cereals take longer to prepare, coupled with advanced planning. You just can’t beat the convenience of this product, especially if you’re on-the-go or eating breakfast at work. I would consider it a great option as well for camping trips and travel too, especially if you don't mind eating it cold.

Cocomama makes a nutritious breakfast quick. If you're required to eat GF, this is a very delicious option. I would consider purchasing Cocomama cereals as a breakfast treat to add variety to my breakfast options.

To read more about Cocomama Foods or to purchase the Quinoa Cereal, visit

One of the perks of my job is receiving complementary samples of products or compensation for passing along my expert opinion as a Registered Dietitian. Please be assured that my opinion and review is not guaranteed to be positive solely because I have received compensation. I'm here to help you--the consumer--sort through the vast amounts of nutrition information available to find legitimate answers. This is my primary goal in providing product reviews on my blog.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Introducing The GF Taste Project

I'm starting a bit of a project. Here's the story:

In my practice, I see clients who have celiac disease. Sure, I know the science of it, but I haven't had much experience with the actual experience of eating gluten-free (GF) foods. Minus all the hype, I would never recommend going gluten-free unless it was necessary. Not only is it a very restrictive diet (and I say that with caution--it can also be healthy when planned correctly), but it can also be lacking in some important nutrients. Therefore, since I don't have celiac disease, I don't typically purchase gluten-free foods, unless they just naturally come that way, of course.

I've recently become associated with company with an innovative idea: they send "care packs" to subscribers every three months. The care packs are affordable and offer subscribers the chance to sample TONS of products (via free samples included or coupons). They were kind enough to send me a care pack to get a chance to see "in person" what I could potentially recommend to my clients. And I was totally impressed! Many of my reviews will be of products I received in my care pack. I highly recommend GFreeConnect to people who have been newly diagnosed with celiac disease as an opportunity to find some products that will fit your new lifestyle (and still taste good).

So this is what led to what I will call, "The GF Taste Project." This will be an ongoing project/series in which I'm going to be sampling GF foods and reviewing them online. Please forward the blog to anyone you know who follows a gluten-free diet so they can get in on the action! If there's a product you'd like me to try or you have a review of your own to pass on, please do!

First taste test, coming up in the next few days.

For more information on celiac disease, gluten intolerance, dermatitis herpetiformis and the gluten-free diet, visit expert Shelley Case's website. I also see patients in St. Louis who need to follow a GF diet; visit my website for more information.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Roasted Garlic Hummus

I come up with new recipes sort of on-the-fly, that's why I keep a journal my sister gave me in my kitchen--so I can keep track of my creations to share them! Most weeks I create at least one new recipe, often on the weekend when I have a little more time. This weekend's yummy creation: Roasted Garlic Hummus.

I love hummus. It's built from just a few simple and healthy ingredients, but depending on the brand or restaurant in which you find this trendy dish, the taste can be worlds apart. I have several favorites: many from Trader Joe's (roasted garlic, kalamata olive and Mediterranean), plus the hummus from Bar Louie and Mosaic, here in St. Louis. This weekend, I perfected my own. I don't like my hummus too lemony, that's why I don't purchase the regular supermarket brands. I love the more savory flavors and I'm quite fond of garlic. So this one was a no-brainer. Want some of your own? Get out your trusty food processor (an essential and worthwhile kitchen investment) and give this one a whirl! This week it's on my lunch menu with some mini whole wheat pitas, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and homemade taboulleh. Looking forward to it :)

Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained with juice reserved
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) juice reserved from can
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, divided
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon parsely flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Fresh ground black pepper, several grinds
  • Paprika, just a dash

  • Peel garlic cloves and roast in 350 degree oven on a small cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray until starting to brown. 
  • Put all ingredients in food processor, except 1 tablespoon pine nuts. Blend on high until smooth. 
  • Serve with remaining pine nuts on top.

Download the recipe.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups; 27 calories per tablespoon (24 servings).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Are Sugars Really Toxic?

The sugar debate is an ongoing one in the media, especially after the 60 Minutes segment that aired a couple weeks ago. Although I try for the most part to politely dismiss "attention-grabbing topics" such as this, after Dr. Sanjay Gupta referred to sugar as "toxic" I felt I had to weigh in on this too.

Sugar is not toxic. Period.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s description of sugar as toxic really disturbs me. Toxic is a very strong word--used to describe chemicals and poison. Applying this term to sugar is a gigantic overstatement and one of the craziest things I've ever heard! Furthermore, this oversimplification is now leading the public to believe that sugar is the cause of Americans’ health problems. It’s not! Demonizing any single ingredient does not a healthy diet make.

Over the years, many diets have had their “fifteen minutes of fame.” But what happened when we focused on cutting out fat? We got bigger. Low carb diets have been trending for the last 10 years and what happened? We got bigger. Clearly overly-restrictive dieting isn’t the answer. Singling out sugar will only cause our health problems to get worse because we’re not focusing on a real, long-term solution. What happened to learning from history? Not to mention, research in the September 2011 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that our consumption of sugar has actually declined in recent years, but our waist lines continue to expand.

The solution to our nation’s obesity and health crises lies in a balanced, “big picture” approach to our lifestyles. The idea is quite simple, but the action tends to be easier said than done. That’s right--leading a healthy lifestyle takes effort! Unfortunately many of us are suffering because it’s an effort many people don’t want to put forth. I understand we live in an era when both parents are working, kids have multiple commitments in school and extracurricular activities, and we’re also taking care of mom and dad. No matter how many modern conveniences we have, we still don’t have enough time and we’re tired. Sometimes it might feel like a struggle to get a healthy dinner on the table. I get it. But it all starts with making health a top priority and planning a clear path of action. Identify your goals, your strengths and weaknesses, and then seek assistance. Don’t be ashamed. Find an RD; it’s our specialty and there are many of us out there just waiting to pitch in a helping hand!

To get started with a healthy lifestyle, take some advice from MyPlate, the pictorial representation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. A healthy diet should be composed of a variety of mostly whole, minimally processed foods: whole grains, starches, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein and healthy fats. Couple balanced meals with daily physical activity such as walking, jogging, biking or swimming. And last, but certainly not least, start listening to your body and its hunger cues.

It’s true, added sugar doesn’t have much of a place on a healthy plate. But that doesn’t mean that sugar is the cause of all our problems. Most often we can chalk these problems up to eating too much (of everything) and not exercising enough. It’s an imbalance of calories and poor diet quality. Remember this rule of thumb: 500 extra calories per day equals one pound a week. I'm sure some people are taking in those extra calories from added sugars, but I would venture to say most of those excess calories are found in other foods.

Maybe it sounds easier to just cut out sugar and ignore the rest. But the fact of the matter is: it just won’t work.

What do you think about sugar being called "toxic?"

Don't forget about my Mother's Day give-away! Contest ends April 29. Visit RDbyyourside on Facebook to enter. More details here.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Cut 64 Calories Per Day to Meet Childhood Obesity Prevention Goals

At the rate we're going, 1 in 5 children will be obese by the year 2020.

According to a report released this week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a goal of reducing the childhood obesity rate to 14.6% by 2020. Their message: children aged 2 to 19 would need to eliminate an average of 64 calories per day to meet this goal. Currently 16.9% of American children are obese and if we don't slash the calories, more than 20% of our youth will be obese by 2020.

I think this news can be viewed in a positive light. Why? It demonstrates that we have a lot of control over childhood obesity and can take some small steps to begin to remedy the problem so that our children can grow up to be healthier. It's really easy to cut out 64 calories! Granted, different populations have different rates of obesity, requiring that heavier populations cut more calories. White children would need to slash an average of 46 calories per day, while Mexican American children need to cut 91 calories and African American children need to reduce their diets by 138 calories per day.

We don't need policies to make this happen. Just band together as a nation, learn about good nutrition and take some simple action steps. Here are some ways to easily cut 100 calories from your child's diet daily, without over-restricting (and these are also ideas that are healthy for the entire family):
  • Take a family walk for 30 minutes (or do any physical activity for 30-60 minutes!)
  • Replace one sugar-sweetened beverage with a calorie-free alternative, like diet soda, powdered drink mix or flavored water
  • Replace 2 cookies with a piece of fruit
  • Trade a bag of potato chips for baked chips or pretzels
  • Swap french fries for a medium-sized baked potato
  • Swap bologna or hot dogs for sliced turkey or ham
  • Reduce meat portion sizes from 5 ounces to 3 ounces
  • Instead of 1 tablespoon of oil, use 1 teaspoon for cooking (per person)
  • Trade a sugar-sweetened cereal for an unsweetened cereal
  • Swap ice cream for low-fat yogurt
  • Replace packaged macaroni and cheese with whole wheat noodles topped with some Parmesan and herbs
  • Trade sausage and bacon at breakfast for ham or Canadian bacon
  • Exchange snack cakes for low-fat pudding cups
As a family, make sure that you're making smart food choices everyday. A healthy diet includes a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and healthy fats. Serve moderate portion sizes and ensure physical activity is a part of every day!

If you and your family are struggling with weight loss and want to make a difference in your health, see a dietitian. Visit RDbyyourside and find more tips here.

The referenced study was published this week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Read more about helping your child lose weight from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here.

Don't forget about my Mother's Day give-away! Contest ends April 29. Visit RDbyyourside on Facebook to enter. More details here.

Photo credit: photostock

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cure Your Chocolate Craving...Without the Guilt!

We're post-Easter now, but there are probably plenty of chocolate eggs and bunnies lying hidden around your house. They sure are tempting! So how do you cure that urge to indulge without blowing your plan for a healthy diet?

What if I told you the answer was having chocolate when you crave it? That's right--but just a little. The key is to have a small portion and to "train" yourself to be satisfied with a small indulgence. In fact, recent reports have told us that chocolate might actually help us lose weight (and benefit cardiovascular health). I don't think we know enough yet to recommend regular consumption of chocolate in large quantities, but most any food is okay to eat in moderation. Having a small portion of a food you really enjoy will probably help you avoid the feeling of deprivation that causes many diets to fail.

Here are some perfectly portioned chocolate treats with calorie levels that won't blow your budget.
  • Mini chocolate egg: 30 calories
  • Individually wrapped Dove chocolates: 45 calories
  • Hershey Kiss: 25 calories
  • 10 plain M&Ms: 40 calories
  • 4 peanut M&Ms: 40 calories
  • 1/2 cup Jello chocolate fudge pudding made with skim milk: 100 calories
  • 1 teaspoon Nutella on 1 graham cracker square: 75 calories
  • 1/2 cup 1% chocolate milk: 90 calories
Whatever you choose, make sure that it can be eaten in small pieces--this helps force portion control. Seal your treats in a container and place it out of sight, so it stays out of mind. In other words: on a high shelf in your pantry or cupboard so it's not staring you in the face every time you open the door. When it's time to indulge, take out the appropriate portion size and but the container back. Now walk away. Pay attention and take your time while you're enjoying your treat so you can really savor the flavor.

Who said dieting was about deprivation?!

How do you stick to your meal plan without feeling deprived?

Don't forget about my Mother's Day give-away! Contest ends April 29. Visit RDbyyourside on Facebook to enter. More details here.

Photo credit: Stuart Miles

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mother's Day Give-Away!

I'm hosting a Mother's Day give-away in honor of all the healthy Mommies out there! Thanks to my friends at Balance Bar, I'll be giving away a lovely Mother's Day gift package to one lucky winner. The only requirement is that you are (or someone you know is) a healthfully inspirational Mom. Visit my Facebook page to enter!

Yes, that's me!
I'm positive my mom inspired my love of food and dedication to health. And I'm ever-thankful! She reminisces that I wasn't given a cookie until I was two, drank watered-down apple juice, and noshed on caviar and Brie as a youngster. (No wonder I like fine food!) I remember baking banana nut bread from my very first cookbook before I was 10 years old and making homemade (healthier) frozen popsicles in the freezer. Healthy family meals and exercise were a routine part of my family's life for as long as I can remember. Yep. Moms are inspiring.

Since the foundation of good nutrition habits is built when we're young, Moms can really make a difference for years to come. I want to know how you inspire your family (or how someone you know inspires theirs) to make healthy food an important part of their lifestyles. It can be as simple as planning meals on a calendar for the week, preparing fruits and vegetables for quick-grabs in the fridge, or stimulating conversation at the dinner table. The more creative, the better. Share the health by sharing your inspiring ways with others!

The most health-inspiring Mom will win this prize from Balance Bar, the makers of nimble (read my review on nimble bars):

  • 24 nimble bars (12 peanut butter and 12 yogurt orange swirl) tied with a satin ribbon
  • a glittery mini pouch embellished with a wildflower applique
  • a nimble headband
  • a Mother's Day poem on premium cardstock
It's a prize valued at $54.98!

Visit my Facebook page to enter the contest. I'll select one person who shares the most inspiring healthful idea as my winner! The winning idea will also be shared on my blog on Mother's Day. Entries are due by midnight on April 29.

Contest rules and requirements:
One entry per person.
You must submit your entry via Facebook. Only Facebook fans will be eligible to win the contest.
Name, address, email and phone number are required for entry so that the winner may receive their prize!
Winner will be contacted by email (
If you are the winner, your package will be shipped directly from Balance Bar, the makers of nimble.

Visit RDbyyourside on Facebook for more information and the official contest rules.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The "Ten Commandments" for Healthy Eating

When the holidays of Easter and Passover are celebrated, we’re reminded of the Ten Commandments. It's a time for renewal and "new life" when we're asked to re-examine our actions to ensure they're in line with our beliefs and values. I think this is also a great opportunity to re-assess and renew our commitment to good health.

Here’s my version of some modern “Commandments” that focus on health; no “thou shalts” included. These are the guiding principles that I live by to stay healthy and they’re the actions I recommend to my clients too. After all, being healthy is part of being your best.

1.  Eat breakfast every day.
Just like your mom told you to! Breakfast gets your metabolism moving. Studies show that those who eat breakfast weigh less than those who don’t.

2.  Pack a lunch and snacks for work every day.
Planning and preparing your meals will help you avoid temptation whether you're at work our just out for the day.

3.  Eat at least one vegetable at lunch and dinner.
Vegetables are lower in calories, great sources of vitamins and antioxidants, and packed with filling fiber. Your meals will be more satisfying.

4.  Don’t let yourself get too hungry.
We all know what happens when you’re too hungry come meal-time--our best laid plans tend to fly right out the window! If it’s going to be 4-5 hours before your next meal, plan for a snack.

5.  Use a calendar to plan weekly dinners—whether it’s just you, two or a whole family.
You'll be more prepared to make healthy meals fit your schedule (and ensure you have the ingredients on hand to make them).
6. Measure your food, at least occasionally, to keep portion sizes in check.
We all need a portion size check-up now and then. Little extras throughout the day can cause calories to add up.

7. Purchase mostly whole, natural and unprocessed foods.
Bottom line: they’re the healthiest because there’s nothing added. They’re what Mother Nature intended.

8. Cook most meals at home.
Restaurant foods are major sources of extra calories, fat and sodium. Instead, make dinners at home more often by using your favorite restaurant dishes for inspiration. You can re-create them healthier at home.

9. Come up with a plan for exercise and stick to it. No excuses!
Pick an activity you like and make exercise a priority by scheduling workout time as an appointment. If you need some motivation, use the buddy system.

10. If you blow it, forget it. Get right back on track.
It will happen at some point and it happens to everyone. It’s most important that you get back on the wagon and keep pushing forward. Living healthy is a lifelong goal.

I have to throw in one last all-encompassing Commandment for good measure: Believe in yourself. You can do it!

Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

What "Commandments" for good health do you live by?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Healthy (and Fun!) Easter Basket Ideas

The holidays seem to be notorious for high-sugar, high-fat indulgences. We pushed through Valentine's Day, characterized by 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 supposed to enjoy them, remember?), so I recommend coming up with some creative ways to manage the temptations that usually come along with them.

It's definitely okay to indulge a little on special occasions--in fact I recommend it. But for many adults, over-doing it may lead 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 the following themed Easter gifts, some eggs filled with the other treats below, a little bit of candy and some other healthy snacks. Some kid-friendly Easter basket snacks include trail mix, goldfish crackers, fruit (my nieces love clementines and dried cherries) and carrots--that's what the Easter Bunny eats!
  • Coloring set: 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, acrylic or oil paints, a paint palatte, paint brushes
  • Barbie doll set: a new Barbie with a few different outfits or accessories
  • Game basket: 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 subcription, a reading light, 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: combine several smaller items needed for your child's favorite sport
The possibilities are endless! Think about your kids' favorite hobbies or things to do. Also consider planning a themed basket based to get set for a fun family outing such as a camping trip, trip to the zoo, day at the 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 small 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, pink eggs for girl-specific prizes and blue eggs for boy-specific prizes.
  • 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?