Half-eaten chocolate bunnies and untouched stale neon marshmallows are not signs of a successful Easter basket. Luckily there’s a better way to build an Easter basket — one that is as fun to give as it is to receive and that isn’t a sugar bomb.Ingredient-Conscious Confections
If candy quandaries have you hunting for great-tasting treats, rest assured all our sweets meet Whole Foods Market’s quality standards opens in a new tab — no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives. Here are a few of my favorites.
365 Everyday Value® Organic Milk & Dark Chocolate Squares. I’m sweet on this bag of better bites. They’re organic, imported from Italy and made without artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. With about 35 squares per bag, these are the perfect portion for parents…er, bunnies…with an eye on size.
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks. Variety Pack. These soft and chewy gummy treats from Annie’s come in bunny shapes and are made with real fruit juice. With 14 individual packs per box, they’re organic and vegan (they are made without gelatin). Plus, they are Non-GMO Verified. opens in a new tab
Lily's stevia-sweetened chocolates. Satisfy a sweet tooth and your conscience; these Fair Trade chocolates do it all. Look for their no-sugar-added foiled eggs, sunflowers and bunny pops.
Fun (Non-Edible) Fillers
When candy isn’t the focus of the Easter basket, my kids aren’t focused on candy. So I include springtime favorites like bubbles, kites, jump ropes, sand toys and sidewalk chalk. You could also cater the basket to the child. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
For the bibliophile. “The Tale of Peter Rabbit opens in a new tab”, “Guess How Much I Love You opens in a new tab”, and “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale opens in a new tab” are all great rabbit-related reads.
For the explorer. How about a nature kit, field guide or a science experiment kit to keep your little adventurer learning?
For the artist. Coloring books, colored pencils, fingerpaints, construction paper and watercolors are essentials for keeping creativity high. Homemade play dough, felt, stickers and stamps would be great too.
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 shop the bulk bins for goodies in order to get just the amounts I need.(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 for next year.)
Most weekends you can find me and my little girls arms deep in paper scraps, felt, crayons and glitter; this weekend we’re making baskets for Easter egg hunts. Whole Kids Foundation and ScrapKins have partnered to demonstrate the fun in upcycling with a series of hands-on projects; I’m using their easy eco-art project for a basket opens in a new tab. (Find more hands-on kids’ activities at wholekidsfoundation.org.)
Don’t forget to get your kids in the kitchen and color your Easter eggs with dyes made at home using fruits, vegetables and spices with this Naturally Dyed Eggs recipe opens in a new tab. Last year, we discovered that brown eggs and homemade dyes created an unusually beautiful color palette.
How are you building a better Easter basket? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Easter planning made easy! Order heat and serve meals and sides online now opens in a new tab, then pick them up at your local Whole Foods Market. What could be easier?