I love Easter time for a lot of reasons. Plants start sprouting, flowers start blooming and if we’re lucky, the weather in Chicago will finally be warm on a semi-consistent basis.
It’s also a major holiday celebration for my extended family. One steeped heavily in tradition, so we usually make a road trip home to see everyone. If we go, that means I HAVE to bring my niece and nephew (ages 6 and 5) an Easter treat or two. It’s my own little tradition and I like putting a little extra time and thought into it.
With a solid six years of Easter-basket making under my belt, I’ve been on the hunt for healthy-alternatives to baskets of candy for few years and that’s made the Easters since my son was born a little easier to buy for. My go-to selection is usually a mix of affordable, hands-on toys (Play-Doh, bunny-poppers, sidewalk chalk etc.) that I update each year so it’s age appropriate and something I think they might be into.
No matter what, I always like to include a few edible options to fill up the baskets without filling the kids up with sugar. So here are some easy, edible candy-alternatives to consider if you’re looking for ideas. (Bonus: most of these can be found on your usual grocery or Target run or shipped directly to your house, so you can buy in bulk and focus your time on the collecting a few little extras to personalize your baskets…or not).
A healthy twist on the real-deal, these bars are a blend of almonds, dates, walnuts, raisins, dried pineapple, unsweetened coconut, carrots, cinnamon and extra virgin coconut oil. They’re also gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, soy-free and dairy-free so they work for pretty much everyone. I like them as an on-the-go treat for everyone in my family, so we regularly add them to our Amazon Subscribe & Save, but you can also find them at big box retailers like Target.
I buy these all the time and pretend they are just for my toddler, but these tasty little bunny-shaped treats are especially perfect for Easter. Order a snack-size pack of the Bunny Grahams or Extra Cheesy Cheddar Bunnies on Amazon and fill a few of these carrot-shaped party favor bags. Annie’s Bunnies also come in fruit snack form and at least three flavors (that I know of).
Baby Carrot Snack Packs and Peanut Butter
Sure, you could buy full-sized carrots, cut them up into bite-sized pieces and portion out some peanut butter and ranch dressing OR you could save yourself some time and pick up some snack-sized packs of baby carrots, a few of Justin’s Peanut Butter Squeeze Packs or Hidden Valley Ranch To Go Cups.
I like Blue Diamond 100-Calorie Almond Snacks as an everyday thing, but Sahale Snacks Variety Packs are also tasty if you want to make it a little interesting and you think your kids will be into it. Available on Amazon and other retailers and they come in fancy flavor combinations like Berry Macaroon Almond Mix and Raspberry Crumble Cashew.
A Small Selection of Your Kid’s Favorite Easter Candies
For me, Easter wouldn’t be Easter without Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (call it a side-effect of my candy-addled youth). While I wouldn’t plan on giving my toddler candy, I fully intend to add a few pieces of his favorite Easter candy to the mix as he gets older. Just like I plan to keep a close eye on his Halloween candy intake. I feel like as long as you make it feel like a “sometimes” treat and keep it all in moderation you’re good to go.