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Better Baskets from the Easter Bunny

Move aside unwieldy artificially sweet chocolate bunnies and neon-colored confections, there’s no room for you in my kids’ baskets. Don’t get me wrong, candy is a part of our baskets but I’d prefer that unnecessary ingredients are not.

Build a Better Basket

If candy quandaries like mine have you hunting for great-tasting treats, rest assured all our sweets at Whole Foods Market meet our strict quality standards — no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives.

Here are a few of my favorites Easter goodies.

  • Surf Sweets Organic Spring Mix Jelly Beans. With a variety of six flavors to please every bunny, these Non-GMO Verified candies are made in a nut-free facility.
  • Lily's Chocolate Pops. Looking for an egg-shaped chocolate treat without the added sugar? Lily’s stevia-sweetened 55% dark chocolate pops offer the indulgence you crave, and their stevia-sweetened 40% milk chocolate pops have all the velvety smoothness that you expect.
  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. These gummy bunnies are a year-round favorite and an Easter essential. Plus, they’re Non-GMO Project verified.
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates. If it’s not Easter for you without a chocolate bunny, you’re in luck. With the irresistible combination of rich chocolate, crunchy almonds and sea salt, their Sea Salt ‘n’ Almond Bunny is a must for your baskets. (Look for their Dark Chocolate Coconut Cream Eggs and Milk Chocolate Caramel Eggs too!)
  • Theo Chocolate Bars. In our house, the adults don’t get baskets but the bunny doesn’t forget them. Theo’s organic limited edition 65% Dark Chocolate bars — specifically the deliciously roasted nutty-tasting Forbidden Rice in 65% Dark Chocolate one — could be just the thing for Mom and Dad.

Candy isn’t the focus of our Easter baskets, so my kids aren’t focused on candy. Our baskets also include springtime favorites like bubbles, kites, jump ropes, sand toys and sidewalk chalk.

The Hunt
The real fun at our house is the Easter egg hunt, though the plastic eggs are filled with dried fruit and yogurt-covered raisins instead of candy. I save money by shopping the bulk bins for goodies in order to get just the amounts I need.

I’ve also been thinking a treasure hunt to find the Easter baskets with clues in the plastic eggs rather than candy would be a fun alternative.

Tip: Look for eggs made from renewable content or reuse the plastic ones at bath time, for kids’ secret treasure storage or make a spring wreath.

DIY Eggs Dyes

The kids and I also like to make bright vivid natural dyes made from everyday ingredients like fruits, vegetables and spices. And there are no worries about what might be in those mysterious dye packets. Try this recipe for Naturally Dyed Eggs, using beets, blueberries and turmeric, or try these colorful suggestions:

  • Yellow – Lemon or orange peels, carrots, or celery seed
  • Orange – Paprika, cumin, chili powder, or yellow onion skins
  • Red/Pink – Cranberries, raspberries, or radishes
  • Purple – Hibiscus tea
  • Blue/Lavender - Red cabbage, blackberries, purple or red grape juice
  • Green – Spinach leaves
  • Brown/Beige – Coffee, tea, or walnuts

How do you build a better Easter basket? Let me know in the comments below.