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?