Creative Ways to Detox Your Easter Basket
Lisa Murray RDN, LD
What is Easter for a little one without the joy that comes from getting an Easter basket? But, between food allergies and trying to keep kids healthy throughout these time-honored traditions, some parents may be interested in cutting back on the amount of sugar, dairy, gluten and artificial colors found in the traditional basket. Cutting back on the bad stuff may take a little effort, but it can absolutely be done, while maintaining all the fun that comes along with it.
While crème eggs, chocolate bunnies and yellow peeps may take center stage in all the stores, why not just go “au natural” with yes, real eggs! If you prefer to skip the artificial dyes to color the eggs, all natural dye kits are available in most health food stores or online. You could also go fully DIY by making your own vegetable dyes. My daughter makes her own all natural vegetable dyes as part of the holiday preparation with her kids. There are a few different methods you can investigate – from throwing purple cabbage into the boiling egg water to using beet juice, Google is a wonderful way to grab all the fun details!
In addition to your colorfully dyed eggs (and maybe a few cute little toys – see my list below) you can now find lots of healthy treat options at local health food stores. From dairy free chocolate (dark is most common), sugar free jelly beans and a other sugar free all natural candies, without artificial colors or preservatives, there is so much that is now readily available. Fruit gummies, honey stix, and sugar free gum were always staples in my kids’ baskets, and they certainly didn’t seem to mind.
As far as filling those little plastic eggs for hiding, they make great containers for trail mix, nuts, and other small snack treats you can find walking up and down the aisles in the health food store or on the Emerson website! From nuts to dark chocolate and gum, you can be sure to find a variety of things that will meet a range of dietary requirements.
In addition to the sweet treats, non-food options like pocket change, chalk and jewelry are always welcome surprises in a plastic egg! Mini-flashlights, whistles, playing cards, wooden airplanes, mini puzzles, hair accessories, markers, stickers, matchbox cars, camping accessories, carabiners and mini Lego sets are all little toys I’ve tucked into their baskets and eggs over the years. The options are endless and usually pretty cheap if you take a walk through your local dollar store.
Putting together a healthy Easter basket for your kids can be as fun for you as it will be for them. It just takes a little pre-planning and a little creativity.
Here are a few inspirational treat ideas you can purchase at Emerson for Easter or anytime.