13 healthier Easter basket ideas

Easter is a time for family, friends and religious devotion, but for most children it means one thing: a giant basket filled with candy. Thankfully,…

An Easter basket doesn’t have to be full of candy. (Shutterstock)

Easter is a time for family, friends and religious devotion, but for most children it means one thing: a giant basket filled with candy.

Thankfully, parents who want to provide their children with healthier options but don’t want to disappoint can use some easy tips to build a better Easter basket.

SEE ALSO: Why Easter can be a nightmare for a busy mom

In honor of Easter this weekend, Saludify has compiled some healthy Easter basket ideas that won’t leave children unhappy at the end of the day.

Healthier Easter basket ideas

  • Individually wrapped candies: If you’re not ready to cut out candy completely in an Easter basket, consider putting individually wrapped items in rather than large chocolate bars or bags of bite-sized goodies. Individually wrapped treats will help encourage portion control.
  • Sugar-free gum
  • A toy like a Frisbee or an inflatable ball
  • A book
  • Chocolate-covered fruit: Again, not as healthy as plain fruit, but this will allow children a taste of that chocolate Easter is notorious for providing. The best part about this Easter basket treat is it can be made at home using whatever fruit a child likes best.
    • Homemade fruit snacks: Commercial fruit snacks often contain a lot of sugar and preservatives. If you can find an organic brand feel free to add a few baggies to your basket; however, for a more nutritious alternative An Organic Wife offers a recipe for making fruit snacks at home: read it HERE.
      • Dark chocolate: If you have to have chocolate in an Easter basket, try to make it dark chocolate. Research shows that dark chocolate contains a number of antioxidants, can be a part of a heart-healthy diet, and can help regulate stress hormones.
      • Chocolate covered strawberries are a great way to celebrate Easter.

        Chocolate covered fruit can be a great alternative to traditional candy. (Shutterstock)

        • Decaffeinated tea: Tea comes in hundreds of flavors and can be a great addition to an Easter basket. If your child already enjoys tea, consider finding novelty flavors and including a personal mug in the basket as well.
          • Lip balm
            • Gift cards
              • Dried fruit: Finding healthy dried fruit can be trickier than it seems as many commercial brands have added sugar and preservatives. Dried fruit made at home or purchased in an organic store, however, can be a great alternative to candy in an Easter basket.
                • Homemade Peeps: Love those marshmallow Peeps at Easter? You probably don’t want to know everything that is in the commercial product (including trace amounts of carnuaba wax, a product found in car wax), but there is a way to make a natural version at home. While it’s still not really “healthy,” it’s free from all those questionable ingredients in the store-bought product. Read the recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet HERE.
                  • Sidewalk chalk
                  • SEE ALSO: Chocolate covered Easter eggs (recipe)

                    And remember: an Easter basket doesn’t have to have food items at all. There are plenty of ways to create a fun basket based on what you know your child enjoys. Have a daughter who loves horses? Fill her basket with horse books, toy ponies, or even a card that shows you’ve purchased some riding lessons for her. Have a son who can’t get enough of superheroes? His Easter basket could be filled with comics, action figures, or even a super hero costume.

                    Creating a basket specific to your child’s hobbies can not only make them feel special, but it can help them forget about candy on Easter morning.