Healthy Easter Basket Goodies

Sugar and Easter is a tough combination to break, but one well worth the effort. Forget the artificial colors and ingredients found in prepackaged candies and cheap chocolates. If you feel compelled to give the kids something ‘normal’ go ahead, just make it a small part of the entire basket.

Fill the rest with healthy choices and get the kids started on the road to high quality goodies they can make themselves. There are some fantastic recipes on the web for raw chocolate candy which is typically made with raw cacao powder, nuts and raw agave or honey. Roll them in cacao powder, crushed nuts, sea salt, or coconut … YUM! With cookie cutters you can make them into Easter shapes by first flattening them and then cutting them out.

The beauty of raw: there’s no cooking involved so even the littlest ones can join in and cleanup is a breeze! (The ingredients are available at Whole Foods and in often in the organic/health food area of your regular market. (In the KC area, HyVee carries raw ingredients at a fairly reasonable price.) There are some prepackaged raw chocolates available at Whole Foods if you have run out of time.

One of the most flavorful, convenient, reasonable priced alternatives to junk food? Larabars. There are probably more than 16 varieties including chocolate chip, carrot cake and lemon, cherry, apple or pecan pie. They are made with dates, fruit and nuts and taste fabulous.

Another treat available at most stores, but my favorite is at Trader Joe’s, is organic dark chocolate. Some have bits of orange, almonds, mint, cranberry, jalapeno pepper … the list goes on, but my point is that quality dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants and is lower in sugar than milk chocolate. Look for 70% cacao or more.

Instead of empty calorie jelly beans,  add some green, purple and red seedless grapes. Sweet, crisp and loaded with nutrients, put them in egg shaped containers or small containers that they can later use to hold their small collectibles.

Put lettuce and carrot seed packets in the basket and after the hustle and bustle dies down, get out the potting soil and get them started. Maybe once the seedlings are planted, and the carrots and lettuce begin to grow, rabbits might visit. If not … Salad time! Instead of a basket, use a large flower pot to hold their Easter goodies!

Make sure the eggs you color and share are from a farm where the chickens are allowed to engage in normal chicken behavior. Most major stores carry a local brand such as Good Natured Family Farms and my favorite, Campo Lindo. Thankfully, there are many resources in the KC area.

Use natural plants to develop the dye and use the activity as a teaching moment with the kids. Click here for a good place to learn how.

Be creative, have fun, include the kids. Start healthy holiday traditions and your kids will be blessed with good health, not only at the holidays, but all days!

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