eggs_smallIf you celebrate Easter, chances are you are trying to decide what goodies to put in your kids’ Easter basket. For most people, the decision is easy; simply walk down the “Easter” aisle at your local Target, Wal-Mart, drug store, or grocery store and you are inundated with all things pastel and sugary. And filled with many toxic chemicals (like food colorings and preservatives). Since food colorings, preservatives, and sugar are big no-nos in our house, we need to find alternatives. If you are also trying to reduce or eliminate candy from your child’s Easter basket this year, I’ve found some fun alternatives.

Theme Baskets

Instead of traditional Easter baskets, use something else that can hold goodies and build a theme around it:

  • Fill a big plastic bucket with fun sand box toys such as sand molds, shovels, and sifters.
  • Fill a bucket with swimming items such as new swim suits, water shoes, floaties, pool toys, or goggles.
  • Fill a flower pot with packets of seeds, gardening tools, gloves, etc.
  • Fill new backpacks with fun things like a flashlight, bug jar, magnifying glass, etc.

Non-Food Ideas

Here are a few non-food goodies and toys, especially for younger kids:

Here are a few ideas for older kids:

  • Age appropriate reading books
  • Sketchpads and pencils (for older kids)
  • Origami paper and instructions
  • Cross-stitch kits
  • Model car kits
  • Movies

Oriental Trading is a great place to find some goodies for their Easter basket.

Healthier Food Ideas

Here are a few ideas for some healthier treats:

  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Small box of raisins or other dried fruit (my son *loves* dried cranberries so those would indeed be a treat for him!)
  • Trail mix (raisins, pineapple, banana chips, almonds, papaya, walnuts, etc)
  • Fruit leathers (such as FruitaBu Organic Smooshed Fruit)
  • Yogurt-covered pretzels and crunchy sesame snacks (check out the bulk bins at natural food stores)
  • YummyEarth Organic Lollipops

I found a place to buy all natural candy, but their Easter deadline has passed. You should check out The Squirrel’s Nest and see what they have!

What to Put In Plastic Eggs

Here are a few small things that you can put in plastic eggs:

  • Small cars
  • Stickers
  • Small toys
  • Money
  • Coupons (for things like an hour of TV time or video games, stay up an hour later, etc)
  • Puzzle pieces (regular for older and wooden ones for younger kids)

For the puzzle piece idea, assign each child (if you have more than one) one egg color. Buy a small puzzle for each child and place a few puzzle pieces inside their plastic eggs. Instruct them to only pick up that color egg. Once they find all their eggs, they open them up and start putting their puzzle together (with the help of the puzzle box).

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for alternatives to candy in Easter baskets. What are you putting in your kids’ baskets this year?

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