It’s that time of year again when our normal (over) consumption of sugar basically goes full throttle – welcome to Easter! It always amuses me when people say, “But, it’s just one day.” I don’t know how that excuse can work anymore when there are junk food and candy-worthy occasions practically ever time I turn my head (think school events, sports practices, church, etc.). And if you think you’re doing okay because you try to avoid sweets, added sugar now (unfortunately) lurks in all sorts of unexpected places, including salad dressings, dried fruit, spaghetti sauces, breads, cereals, condiments, flavored yogurts, beverages, and even crackers. The main problem here is that it all adds up!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a sugary treat on occasion (although I do prefer to save that indulgence for a homemade cookie as opposed to bottled salad dressing!). The problem is though how different people define “on occasion.” For some parents they might let their kids have a sugary treat just once a week or once a day or even after almost every meal. Where do you stand?
How much sugar are we supposed to have?
Let’s not forget that the recommended daily allowance of added sugar is six teaspoons (24 grams) for women, nine (36 grams) for men, and three (12 grams) for children. In the case of our kids – you’re basically done after just 1 Cadbury Egg or 2 Marshmallow Peeps. And that’s only if they don’t have added sugar for the rest of the day, which I think we can all agree is highly unlikely for many.
My whole point with today’s post is to share with you that Easter can still be fun without a complete sugar overload. My kids love the ideas in today’s post, and I know yours will too. So go have fun together – and feel good about it! :)
Fun Easter Food For Kids!
- Easter Carrots
Seriously, how cute are these? Thanks to some inspiration from Pinterest we quickly learned how easy these Easter carrots are to make. You simply stick a toothpick in the top, pull it out, and then insert the curly parsley in the hole. I saw lots of different versions of these with the tops being made out of chives, flat leaf parsley, and more. We paired ours with homemade onion dip from my cookbook.
- Little Chicks!
I agree that this next one looks like it could easily become a “Pinterest Fail,” but they aren’t as hard to make as they look! With a little time and steady fingers all you have to do is make your standard deviled eggs sideways. I cut a tiny triangle out of carrot for the nose and made sort of octagon-shaped eyes out of pickles. I couldn’t quite master a round shape, but I thought they still turned out great. We did have a couple that didn’t quite turn out, which we just munched on as we worked. :)
- Whole-Wheat Carrot Cupcake “Nests”
Now if you’re looking for easy this is your answer. For these cute cupcake nests I simply made the Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from my cookbook and then added some unsweetened toasted coconut and 3 dye-free jelly beans on top. You can find the jelly beans at stores like Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods – or other health food stores that don’t allow artificial food dyes in their products. One note, when toasting the coconut (I did it in our toaster oven) be sure to keep a close eye and stir often. My girls were super excited about this one, and I loved that it included a modest serving of jelly beans!
Basket Themes and Plastic Eggs
As I’ve mentioned on previous blog posts – there’s all sorts of non-candy fun to be had with Easter baskets, too! Here are a bunch of ideas, and be sure to check out my post from last year for more detail and pics.
- Spring Break or Summer
- Frozen Movie (or other favorite movie)
- Upcoming Trip/Travel
- Active (i.e. sports clothes and outdoor toys)
- Arts and Crafts
- Makeover (nail polish, nail file, etc.)
- Go to the movies (tickets, popcorn kernels, etc.)
- Sports (tickets to a game, ball toys, etc.)
- Dress-Up Clothes
What To Put In Those Plastic Eggs…
- Clues on paper (for a scavenger hunt with their Easter basket surprise at the end)
- Coveted $2 Bill
- Gem mining rocks
- Coins (including a half dollar and/or golden dollar coin)
- Mood ring or necklace
- Silly bands or rainbow loom bands
- Earrings or other small jewelry
- Puzzle pieces (try jumbo eggs for this one)
- EOS Chapstick (actually looks like an egg by itself!)
- Seeds to plant
- “Coupons” for special time with mom/dad
- Hair clips/rubber bands
Please share your “healthy” Easter ideas with us in the comments!