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A Healthier Easter Basket

Posted Mar 07 2013 11:43am
Spring is in the air! Okay, I live in Hawai'i and each day is pretty much like the next. Oh how I do miss those great Texas thunderstorms but I do not envy those who are snowed into their homes without power. I hope things are brightening, and warming, up for them. And I must confess, the idea of driving in the snow terrifies me! I guess growing up in southern Texas and living in Hawai'i has turned me into a winter-wimp. But we can have some heavy rainfall here every now and then.....

But onto Easter!

I completely remember Easter as a child. My sisters and I would each receive an Easter basket, sometimes hidden, and there was usually a family plate with Easter goodies too. Imagine lots of different kinds and shapes of chocolate, jelly beans, marshmallow animals, etc. It was a dentist's dream! And hey, as a kid I didn't mind too much but I did tend to make my basket last quite awhile. So instead of gobbling up in one go, I was indulging in sweets day after day after day after.... Well, you get the picture.

But times change, or perhaps I am a mean Mommy, but I am completely against sugar bombs for Easter. I do allow the occasional indulgence in sweets because personally, I like a treat every now and then myself. And yes, I grew up eating tons of sugar and drinking gallons of soda and turned out okay, right? So why shouldn't I let my daughter do the same? Simply stated....because I don't want to. I won't feel good about myself. Done. This Mommy does things differently. And I don't think I am the only mom out there making the transition. And after talking to friends, some of them didn't grow up with the sugar bombs but with real hardboiled eggs hidden outside. Okay, that kinda scares me in a warmer climate but go for it if it is your cup of tea.

So what is a mom to do if she wants the Easter basket tradition without all the meaningless sugar?

Put on your creative hat and have fun!

Last year Darling Daughter received this beautiful basket.


I was not doing a good blogger job since I never took a picture of what was inside but she had some fruit twists, about 6 dinosaur bath fizzie eggs, a bottle of Dora bubble bath, and two small chocolate chicks. And they were the good kind - Dove dark chocolate. She was delighted! And why the chocolate? I feel it is okay to add just a touch because it teaches eating in moderation. I don't believe in being too restrictive as I feel that can backfire. I don't want my child growing up feeling regret or bad about herself for indulging. It is fine to indulge.....some times.

This year I haven't quite nailed down what I will do but the general concept will be the same. Healthy snacks, perhaps bath stuff or art supplies, and a touch of chocolate. Here are some snacks I feel better giving to my daughter.

Fruit Crisps: These are really good and when she was much younger, darling daughter ate them on a regular basis. I felt safe giving them to her when she was learning to chew since they dissolve well in your mouth. Now that she is older, biting into an apple is less worrisome. And on the plus side, I could sometimes find them at our local Costco store. I do dehydrate my own fruit now from time to time but these are still an option. They are convenient and healthy. And she would be happy to have some again since it has been so long! I am seriously leaning towards a pack of these!

Organic Twisted Fruit: I could do the same as last year and get a variety box of these. Darling daughter fell in love with them in the early days of Kids' Club visits to the gym. It was part of the process. Mommy runs. She got a fruit twist after. We don't do that anymore but I do like these for her as they are a fun alternative to fruit chews mainly because of the twisted shape.

But let's talk fruit chews for a minute. Over the years these treats became a little too prevalent in our house so I recently implemented the no corn syrupy chews rule. Darling daughter wasn't too happy with it as she loves the chews. And I must confess, it was easy to grab a bag and go. But it wasn't right. I wasn't treating her nutrition as well as I should so bingo, no more corn syrupy treats. Darling daughter asked what would she have instead and I told her, we will try to find something chewy that she likes without the corn syrup.

Organic Fruit Snacks: Lucky for me, the following weekend I noticed these at our Costco. Like every product, it isn't always there so I often have to resort to Amazon.com. I scoured over the ingredients and decided yes, this could be an alternative. They are a bit pricier than the corn syrupy chews but it is worth it. Plus I have rules about how many she can eat and try to keep dear hubby's hands out of her box. Sorry dear, you can take something else on your runs and leave these treats for darling.

Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks: I haven't tried these yet but the ingredients passed my inspection and I do love other products by Annie's. I do like the bunny shape for Easter so this is a strong contender, even though I like the less sugary option of the Fruit Crisps. I guess now I need to decide between cuteness and health. Perhaps a little of each?

So you can see, I still add eating stuff in the basket but I do try to make the treats healthier than the traditional chocolate, marshmallow, and corn syrup jelly beans. And I reinforce that even though these snacks are fruit, they are still sugary and need to be eaten in moderation. Does my child get it? Absolutely. Is she always happy when I say no more sugaries today? Nope. But that is fine. Because she is learning the lessons and coming up with some alternative snacks on her own. Just the other day, she wanted a snack and I told her to pick something out. She picked out a big handful of baby carrots and asked for a little dip to go with them. The lesson is being learned! And it helps that I try to keep fresh fruits and veggies in the house for the grabbing.

Do you have any other suggestions for Easter baskets?

Daily Gratitude: I am grateful I live in a warm climate.
Daily Affirmation: I am a good Mommy.
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