Easter Ideas without Junk Food!

I never noticed until we made our switch to real food that every single holiday seems to revolve around food! And not just any kind of food…“junk food” of course. I think building family traditions around certain meals is priceless, but I often wish holidays weren’t so focused on foods that include white flour, sugar, and worst of all – store-bought candy. Halloween and Christmas certainly “take the cake” when it comes to our consumption of junk food, but in my opinion Easter isn’t that far behind. If our family managed to have a candy-less (and still fun!) Halloween this past year then we can certainly do the same for Easter. And by the way, its not that my kids don’t get any candy for these holidays…its just that they get so much of it from school/friends/parties that I don’t need to also supply it at home!

I’ve compiled a fabulous list of candy alternatives (thanks to my wonderful facebook community – I love chatting with you guys!) for your child’s Easter basket this year. But before we dive right in I must share a super cute alternative to those big chocolate bunnies. Last year we got our daughters big honey whole-wheat bread bunnies (pictured) from Great Harvest, and they absolutely loved them! Right when I thought I couldn’t like Great Harvest any more they come up with this idea. And I know not everyone lives near one of their stores, but if you like to bake use this as inspiration to make something similar.

Without further ado, here’s the list of ideas. The items that are starred will most likely fit inside a plastic egg!

Arts and Crafts

  • Coloring books, notebooks
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils
  • Ceramic eggs to paint together
  • Craft kits found at Michaels and Target (near the marker/crayon aisle)
  • Stamps

Supplies for Summer

  • Bubbles
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Bug catcher
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip flops
  • Crocs
  • Bathing suit
  • Beach towel
  • Goggles
  • Snorkel
  • Beach ball
  • Fish net

Gardening (it’s the perfect time of year to plant some seeds!)

  • Shovel and other gardening tools
  • Gloves
  • Seed packets*
  • Pots for planting
  • Watering can
  • Rain boots


  • Puzzle pieces* (send them on a scavenger hunt to find all the pieces of a puzzle hidden inside plastic eggs…I absolutely LOVE this idea from a reader!!)
  • Books
  • Card or board games
  • Flash cards
  • Activity books


  • Stuffed animals, pillow pets
  • Stickers*
  • New fun cups, plates, silverware for kids
  • Thomas the train, matchbox cars, other little toys
  • DVDs
  • Coins*, piggy bank
  • Glow in the dark bugs*
  • Dresses for dolls
  • Tag reader
  • Legos*
  • Silly bands*
  • Zoobles
  • Small ipod shuffle*
  • Event tickets*
  • Play doh
  • Gift cards for music or other stores
  • Rocket balloons (available at Target)

Real Food

  • Exotic and unusual fruits like star fruit
  • Bread bunny (pictured above)
  • Mini Lara Bars* (sold in a box at Target near the pharmacy)
  • Popcorn*

Homemade Gifts

  • “Coupons” for special time with mom/dad*
  • Sock bunnies
  • Photo albums/books


  • Socks with a fun pattern
  • Special piece of jewelry*
  • Hair bows, clips*, hair rubber bands*

Another suggestion is to scope out the dollar bins at Target, Michaels, and the Dollar store. Also, consider creating a theme for the basket to make purchases easier and budget-friendly. If you have any additional ideas that didn’t make the list please feel free to leave them in a comment below!

*items that will most likely fit inside a plastic egg

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110 thoughts on “Easter Ideas without Junk Food!”

  1. Just had a candy free egg hunt w friends! Eggs were filled with:

    Homemade easter shaped rainbow crayons, stickers, raisins, egg shaped sidewalk chalk, fun shaped erasers, mini play doh, coins, homemade marshmallows, mini finger nail polish, tiny cars, and little necklaces stung with cheerios and dried fruit the kids loved it.

  2. This is a bit of a side note, but as the parent of a child with food allergies, I love this article and the list of ideas for non-food gifts/treats.

    My 5-year-old son has multiple food allergies, so I have become very aware of how often food is used at parties, in class projects and for every holiday. I am so thankful for other parents who give non-food treats like bubbles, stickers, etc. instead of candy that is unsafe for him to eat or that is full of food dyes. I hate having to tell him that the candy that he is so excited about receiving at school isn’t safe for him to eat.

    I told him tonight that for Easter I will buy the candy that he can’t eat or that he doesn’t want. At least this way, I can keep him safe and let him experience some of the joy of receiving a new toy or something else with the money.

  3. Pretty sure I’m the puzzle piece reader. We buy dollar store puzzles and put them into eggs, my son finds the eggs with a few pieces each in them and has to try to put the puzzle together. Some eggs have change or trinkets along with the puzzle pieces. This year we are going to do a small Lego set instead, since he’s always bugging me to buy him Lego sets anyway, good way to get more mileage from the purchase.

  4. With Easter coming up, I am shopping for our kids baskets tonight. I found this when looking for ideas. Thanks for the suggestions! Have you written any post on what to do about junk food your kids are given when away, such as while at church or grandparents. Our church hands out a ton of candy every time the doors open and my husband and I have talked to our parents repeatedly about the junk food issue very poor results.

  5. Bonbon’s nail polish will fit in eggs, as will lip gloss decorated band-aids (Hello Kitty, Lisa Frank, Angry Birds, ect…)stickers, super balls, ‘Slime’ (great recipe for homemade using glitter glue and borax at scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom.com, homemade crayons using silicon ice trays.

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