Get creative and come up with other Easter basket ideas to keep it healthy, but still festive! Try to focus on giving experiences instead of material gifts in your holiday celebrations.
Healthy Easter Baskets: Taking It Too Far?
Do you think taking candy out of an Easter basket takes the whole healthy thing a little too far? If your thoughts are running along these lines, consider:
Easter is the second biggest candy-selling holiday of the year after Halloween. Over 16 billion jelly beans are made each year, along with millions of neon marshmallow chicks and hundreds of varieties of chocolate treats. Most of these products are now made with high fructose corn syrup, food dyes, and ingredients our bodies (and certainly our kids’ bodies) were not meant to consume. The point is, if it’s extreme, it’s because its a reaction to a bigger problem.
Since food dyes may affect behavior, and many people consume over 100 pounds of sugar a year, it is becoming increasingly important to consider healthier alternatives even on holidays. These simple switches don’t take away any of the fun or tradition … they just reduce the sugar and food dye content.
Certainly, sometimes the stress of choosing natural options can outweigh the benefits, but this is a holiday where we can definitely make improvements. We can still celebrate all that Easter is meant to be without going to extremes on either end of the spectrum.
Ok, that’s out of the way … on to Easter baskets! Hopefully some of these suggestions get the wheels turning and inspire some ideas perfect for your family!
Experience-Based/Themed Easter Basket Ideas
These experience-themed baskets are more fun and long-lasting than a sugar-laden basket of candy. Create an Easter basket based around an activity or theme like gardening, baseball, swimming, or camping and give your kids the gift of a new skill or favorite pastime.
You can use inexpensive clay pots for the “baskets” and fill them with child-sized gardening gloves, seeds, small garden tools, and other garden-related items. Each child in the family could get different types of seeds that you will use in your garden and help to start the seeds, plant in beds, and water throughout the year.
If your family enjoys camping, or perhaps want to plan a trip, this is a great way to stock your camping supplies! Each child could receive camping items in their baskets. Sleeping bags, flashlights, binoculars, whistles and camping silverware are just some suggestions.
Baskets with gear to play certain sports and even tickets to local minor league teams to go to games as a family throughout the year are always a family favorite.
Movie Night Basket
Most kids really enjoy family movie nights, so their baskets could contain summer PJs and movie tickets or DVDs/Blu-Ray discs. Each kid gets a different movie and gets to “host” that movie night by making snacks and setting up for the movie.
Every mom knows the challenge of keeping kids pleasantly and productively occupied (especially in the summer months, which are coming not long after Easter!). Craft-themed baskets are perfect for this. You might fill the baskets with craft supplies like construction paper, glue, scissors, buttons, and modeling clay.
Scavenger Hunt Basket
With this idea, the basket is part of the experience. Create a scavenger hunt around one big gift and leave the clues in their baskets. Hide one part of the first clue in each basket so the kids can work together to find the first clue and lead them on a scavenger hunt to the final destination or gift.
Easter Basket Filler Ideas
If you don’t want to follow a theme for an Easter basket, just fill it with a random assortment of items that encourage activity and experiences, such as:
- Jump ropes
- card games
- jump gym passes/Bounce
- ingredients to make natural slime
- outdoor games
- water guns
- kid-sized cooking tools
- beach towels and toys
- hair accessories
- coupon for a lunch date with Mom or Dad
- sticker pads
And When There’s Time: Try Homemade!
Just say no to the neon jelly beans and marshmallow chickens! Skip the chocolate bunnies and Cadbury eggs completely and consider making healthier chocolate, marshmallows or fruit snacks (maybe in an Easter-themed mold!). And although it’s not as convenient, homemade candy comes with a bonus: quality time together preparing for Easter.
An Easter Basket to Treasure
It takes a little thinking outside of the box to come up with new Easter basket ideas, but in the end the kids don’t feel deprived or miss out the celebration of the season. In fact, it’s amazing how colorful, sweet, and festive a healthy Easter basket can be. Hope these ideas help you fill your Easter baskets with surprises, joy, and good health!