I can’t believe it’s almost Easter! I love Easter! It’s the best holiday, because we’re celebrating Jesus Christ dying for our sins and rising again three days later. We go to church, read the resurrection story in the Bible, and focus on the real reason of Easter. But, we also have fun Easter traditions that have nothing at all to do with the real meaning of Easter. We enjoy coloring eggs on the Saturday before Easter, seeing what the “Easter bunny” left for the kids Easter morning, having a big Easter lunch with family, and doing an egg hunt after lunch. Read on for some great, HEALTHIER Easter basket ideas – that aren’t all candy!
Why not just put candy in the Easter baskets?
I’ve never liked the idea of loading the Easter baskets up with tons of candy. Excess sugar can cause so many problems!
The American Heart Association has set the recommended daily limit for kids ages 2-18 to 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar. Really, that’s probably more than they should have. That’s the most they should have in a day. But most kids are eating WAY more sugar than that! A Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg has 16 grams of sugar, 9 grams short of the daily limit for kids. So, if they eat two Reese’s Eggs, they’re over their sugar limit for the day! And a lot of kids drink juice or soda and eat other snacks with sugar on top of that!
I’m all about cutting out as much added sugar as possible, and getting our sugar from natural sources – like fruit, honey, and maple syrup. In fruit, the sugar naturally occurs with fiber. We need that fiber to help our body absorb the sugar slowly, preventing blood sugar spikes.
Easter is a holiday and a special day, so we make exceptions and let them have a LITTLE more candy than normal (usually they get 1 piece a day). But it’s still not a reason to let our kids go crazy and eat as many sweets as they want.
So, our kids’ Easter baskets will have candy in them, but they’ll be healthier alternatives and there won’t be TONS. I like to put other things in the Easter baskets that will last longer than candy, not make them go crazy and fill their teeth with cavities, and provide some kind of fun, entertainment, or even a little education.
Healthier Easter Basket Ideas:
I am a teacher. I love reading and learning new things, and I try to instill the love of reading in my kids as well. So, I give them books or learning activities for most holidays and birthdays. Here are some cute Easter/spring books that would be perfect for Easter baskets!
2. Coloring/Drawing Book and Crayons
Coloring is something toddlers through even some adults love doing. Here are some traditional coloring books and a water-reveal book for younger kids (it’s a great, mess-free option for road trips!).
Here are a few options for older kids. Emoji’s are really popular right now, so this Emoji coloring book would be great. This Easter drawing book would be great for more artistic kids that like to draw their own pictures and color them.
If you’re getting your kids a coloring book, a fresh pack of crayons would be a great idea to go along with it (if they don’t already have hundreds and actually NEED more!). Here are a few crayon options.
These Melissa and Doug crayons come in cute truck and princess carrying cases. They are triangle-shaped and easier to grasp for young kids.
These Honey Sticks are more expensive, but they are made of 100% pure beeswax (instead of paraffin wax, a by-product of crude oil, like most crayons are made of) and food-grade pigment – so non-toxic! They are naturally scented of honey. They are also chubby, which makes them more safe for toddlers and easier for them to grasp.
3. Sidewalk Chalk
Writing with sidewalk chalk is a fun activity to do outside. I’m all for getting kids to play outside and NOT staying inside watching TV or playing video games for much of the day. My boys love going out and drawing pictures and practicing writing words with sidewalk chalk. This is fun egg-shaped chalk you can get your kids for Easter.
Right along with the sidewalk chalk, playing with bubbles is another fun outdoor activity for kids to do. I love these Fubbles! They are great because they are NO-SPILL. Three kids can use the wands and play with them at once, and if they knock it over, it’s okay! The liquid won’t spill out, make a mess, and get everyone sticky!
5. Healthier Candy
If you do want to get candy for your child’s Easter basket (I mean, what’s an Easter basket without a little candy, right?), try to get candy that is organic. If it’s organic, it will be not contain GMO ingredients, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. Also try to choose candy that is lower in added sugar to provide a healthier alternative to the traditional Easter sweets.
These Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups are so good! They taste like Reese’s, but are a healthier option. The dark chocolate almond butter cups are my fave, but these milk chocolate peanut butter ones probably tastier for kids. You can get them ThriveMarket.com, and use this link to get an extra 25% off your first order.
These Surf Sweets Jelly Beans are great because they’re not full of high-fructose corn syrup. They’re sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic fruit juice. They’re still sweet, but at least they’re made with natural sweeteners, not factory-made chemicals.
Also, just because “the Easter bunny” may put these candies in the Easter baskets, that doesn’t mean kids need to eat it all on Easter. I still set limits for my kids – 2 of these peanut butter cups or 10 jelly beans in a day is plenty! That way, they won’t be too hyped up, and their treat will last a few days.
6. Other Snacks
Here are a few healthier snack ideas for your little ones’ Easter baskets. Lara Bars are awesome because they are made of a few clean ingredients. These blueberry muffin ones are: dates (a fruit that provides natural sweetness), cashews, blueberries, blueberry juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, and vanilla extract. They are so yummy!
Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks are organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Like the jelly beans, they are also sweetened with organic cane sugar and organic fruit juice. The bunny shape makes them perfect for Easter. My son, Jase, loves these!
These beef sticks are also gluten-free AND sugar-free! They are made with grass-fed beef and a few other clean ingredients.
This Paleo Snack Mix is a healthier alternative to crackers or chips. It has banana chips, nuts, oil, vinegar, coconut aminos, and spices.
Another sweet treat you can put in your kid’s Easter basket would be fresh fruit. Who says the Easter bunny can’t leave an apple, orange, or whatever your kiddo’s favorite fruit is in their Easter basket?
7. A Small Toy
I choose one small toy to put in my kids’ baskets that I know they will love. Jackson, 6, is at the age where he LOVES Legos. He likes the Lego City ones the best.
Jase likes cars and trucks a lot, so these Hot Wheels cars are an option I may get for him.
I don’t have girls, but these Hatchimals are cute and would be a great Easter gift for younger girls.
8. A Craft
Like I wrote earlier, I like putting things in the baskets that provide fun, entertainment, and education. I like giving my kids crafts and projects to do because it allows them to be creative. And they are so proud of the things they create by themselves. Here are some Melissa and Doug crafts that have everything you need in the box!
9. A Gardening Set
Another option is giving your child a clay pot and seeds. You can put some paint and a paintbrush inside, and decorating the pot could be their craft/project. Put some seeds inside that would be something your child would LOVE growing. Add their favorite fruit or vegetable or a pretty flower.
Or, if they really love being outdoors and helping with gardening, you can get them a whole gardening set. This one is adorable!
10. A Stuffed Animal
My boys love getting stuffed animals. Jase especially loves animals, and he picks a different one to cuddle with each night. Here’s a cute bunny from Melissa and Doug that would be perfect for Easter!
11. A Game
Another fun idea would be an outdoor game, like lawn darts, or an indoor game, like The Floor Is Lava, to play as a family.
12. An Experience
Something that doesn’t take up space in your home and add to the clutter would be some kind of an experience. Think of what your child loves to do and give them a ticket to that thing. It could be tickets to a baseball game, the zoo, a museum, or make up your own ticket to another experience they would love!
I hope you enjoyed these healthier Easter basket ideas and found some ideas that would be perfect for your little ones. I’m not recommending get all these things by any means. But use these ideas as a jumping off point. I always try to choose a few things to eat, something that provides a fun experience, and a favorite toy for each of my kids.
What are some other things you’ve put in your kids’ Easter basket in the past? What are you planning on putting in your kids’ Easter baskets this year? Let me know in the comments!
Happy shopping and happy Easter (almost)!